June 18, 2010

Glacier National Park, Montana

After Waterton Lakes, we headed back into Montana to visit Glacier National Park. We had these grand plans of big hikes and wanted to stay several days. But, the weather would not cooperate. What seems liked it was going to be a nice sunny day, turned rainy.

The wind was ripping and the lakes had white caps. Here you can see an image of Lake St. Mary.

The next day we took off over the Going-to-the-Sun road. It was cloudy, rainy down below, and snowing at the pass. It wasn't a great shock to still see snow on the ground. But, it was a shock to see snow in the air.

Here a brief break in the clouds showing fresh snow

Here you can see the heavy snowpack at the summit of Logan Pass (6646 feet)

Also near the summit, I stopped at a wayside to take some pictures and met up with this Mountain Goat kid, who was hiding underneath the picnic bench I was standing on. When it saw me above it, it emerged.

Looking down below the cloudline

After we crossed the pass onto the westside of Glacier National Park, we descended from a Rocky Mountain landscape we were so accustomed to into a very familiar Pacific Northwestern forest of Douglas fir, Western Red Cedar, and Big-leaf maple, among others. We decended down to Lake McDonald to walk around after the long drive, although the cool passing showers continued.

With rain storms continuing, we realized there would be no hiking in Glacier National Park this year. So, we just headed west. Ironically, some friends of ours who visited one month later in late July said Glacier National Park was on fire. Apparently, shortly after we left a month-long dry spell with temperatures in the 90's dried it out until it was tinder dry and it exploded into wildfires. Hard to believe given the rain and snow we experienced.

A picture of a wildfire in Montana taken from the plane on the way to Italy in 2004

1 comment:

Parag said...

Glacier national park, because of its pristine natural beauty, is one of the best and most visited national parks in America.