I failed to mention that we only stayed one week at Columbia Falls and are now about 15 miles further from Glacier National Park here in Kalispell, Montana. We have been here a little over a week and have been enjoying this vibrant town and all there is to do around the Flathead Lake area.
Another great place for hiking nearby is the Jewel Basin Hiking Area. We decided to head east over to do a little hiking in the basin. As we approached a few miles west of the town of Big Fork we noticed the brown signs pointing to Jewel Basin. We drove quite a ways on a dirt road before we found a small 1/4 mile loop interpretive trail in Krause Basin. It was a beautiful hike through a mature Western Hemlock forest
We drove further on the road and came to a hiking trail called Strawberry Lake. We hadn’t read about this one but since it went to a lake we gave it a go… Three miles each way this trail took us literally up the side of a mountain, a steep hike loaded with switchbacks. Huckleberries were all along the trail and we foraged our way up to the top. This was a nice hike with great views of Flathead Lake and the basin below.
Another day we drove back into Glacier NP and did a hike we didn’t do earlier due to lots of snowpack. Well there was still some snow pack but we decided to hike the Hidden Lake Trail at the top of Logan’s Pass on the Going to the Sun Highway. What started out on a nice stairstepping boardwalk suddenly gave way to snowpack. As we slogged our way over to the Hidden Lake Overlook we couldn’t help but be in awe at all the stunning vistas provided along the trail.
Wildflowers were in bloom as it is still early spring in the high country and this trail also was loaded with Mountain Goats. Several groups of them and their newborn kids were all along the trail and would cross it in front of us at closer than comfort distances if we weren’t paying attention. It was really cool to sit and watch these magnificent beasts in their own habitat.
The trail was closed at the overlook about 1.5 miles into the hike due to bear activity at the lake. It would have been nicer to be able to go all the way to the lake but his was a great hike nonetheless. On the way back it was a bit trickier managing the several snow packs going downhill so we “slipped and slid” our way back down. Nearing the boardwalk I noticed a marmot and since Sharon hadn’t seen one yet we stopped and watched this little fellow. He seemed to enjoy our attention and seemingly posed for us… Yes a very nice hike this is and the only downside is that it s very popular and so it was quite crowded. Still we feel it is a must hike for those visiting Glacier National Park…