We left Helena Montana, a town we will likely revisit someday, and drove about 190 miles northwest. Highway 12 west was a breeze and the turn north on 141 and 83 was much nicer road than I expected. Beautiful scenery all along the way made the long drive exceedingly easy. We pulled into Greenwood Village and set up for our month-long stay in Kalispell.
That afternoon we drove over to Columbia Falls to the Backslope Brewery to meet RV friends Steve and Mona Lisa of The Lowe's RV adventures for dinner. We haven’t seen them since we wintered in Florida a couple of years ago. It was great fun reconnecting with them and it was too bad they were leaving the next day otherwise we likely would have shared a few hikes with them. Since we have similar winter travel plans we may see them again. We also might make a foray into Mexico to Puerto Peñasco with them in February.
With Glacier National Park so close we made a trip the following day to the park to redo one of our favorite hikes and to continue conditioning our legs for more mountainous adventures. Wow, the park is very crowded this year as compared to when we were last here two summers ago. We had no luck at all finding a parking place at Logan Pass, the summit of Going to the Sun Road so we drove back down to the loop and caught one of the park’s shuttles back to the top.
The Hidden Lake hike begins up a fairly steep stair step boardwalk for about 3/4 of a mile. The trail then becomes mostly a rocky trail the rest of the way to the the Hidden Lake Overlook. There were a lot of people on the trail and at the overlook but once we continued on fewer people were encountered. This part of the trail beyond the overlook had been closed last time we were here due to bear activity so it was a treat to see new views of the trail and the beautiful blue mountain lake. We highly recommend this hike to anyone visiting Glacier NP.
We noticed many beautiful wildflowers and we were amazed at how much less snow there was this year compared to our last visit in July 2014. I know we are a few weeks later in the year but there was hardly any snow on top this year. Happily once again there were lots of mountain goats on display all along the trail. I swear they must be on the National Park’s payroll since they seem so ambivalent to people. We also saw a few big horned sheep on the mountainside and there were lots of golden fronted ground squirrels scurrying about.
What a great hike it was and it heightened our excitement to revisit several of the hikes we did last time since they were great hikes with lots of incredible scenery. We hope to do a couple of hikes each week while we are in Kalispell Montana so we should be in good shape after our Glacier adventures…
NOTE: We are in Kalispell Montana till September 12, 2016. Then over towards Spokane Washington most likely…