Every year we choose a goal to reach for the our summer travels and this year we selected Glacier National Park as our goal. Our plan was to arrive near our mid point summer timeline to allow plenty of time to visit one of the gems in the National Park system and one of our bucket list places at Glacier National Park. We are based for a week in Columbia Falls, Montana (we have been here four days now) and we will stay for two more weeks in nearby Kalispell, Montana.
Our plan was to visit Glacier extensively while staying in Columbia Falls and while in Kalispell perhaps revisit the park if we want to or simply relax and enjoy some Montana summertime. We are also excited to see Bernie and Dodo, friends we made while staying at Betty's RV park, who recommended the park and will be staying there for several months as Kalispell is their former home. It will be great to see them.
Needless to say we hit the ground running as we visited the National Park the first afternoon we arrived in Columbia Falls. We of course had to stop at the main entrance sign near West Glacier for the obligatory touristy photo op since of course without a photo these days you simply can’t prove you were there!!!
We have been using our America the Beautiful Access Card that we invest $80 each year in order to receive free access in all National Parks as well as use of most other National Lands such as the many US Forest Service pay facilities. We feel it easily pays for itself and even if it doesn’t we enjoy supporting our beautiful National Park system as justification enough to purchase it. We stopped by the Apgar visitor center and spoke with a ranger about the hiking we would like to do and we also bought our bear spray here for about $45.00 (cheap insurance in lieu of being mauled by a bear).
Our main objectives for our visit to this park were to see all that we can visit easily by road, hike several of the scenic trails and hopefully to see the big three animals on our list. I have already seen two of the big three but Sharon has not seen any of them. The big three that we hope to see while visiting Glacier are the Mountain Goat, Bighorn Sheep and the icon of the northern wilderness the Grizzly Bear, of course at a very safe distance… As luck would have it we able to see one of the big three on our list the very first day at the park. Since this blog is long enough I will continue about our first sighting in our next blog…