Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Glacier National Park, a different perspective

We took Going-to-the-Sun road east through the park this morning. The road is worth traveling in both directions, as the views differ considerably. From the west end of St. Mary's Lake we hiked to St. Mary Falls, Virginia Falls, and Baring Falls, all fantastic.

Wild Goose Island, St. Mary's Lake

St. Mary Falls

Virginia Falls

At St. Mary we turned south for 30 or 40 miles and re-entered the park at Two Medicine Valley. An easy paved trail leads to Running Eagle Falls, also called Trick Falls. In the spring, water pours over a high cliff, almost completely obscuring a lower waterfall, which seems to come from nowhere. In the autumn only the lower falls is visible.

Running Eagle "Trick" Falls

From Two Medicine Lake we watched at a distance two big grizzlies foraging on a mountainside. We abruptly cut short our planned hike in this area! Later we took a steep hike to Appistoki Falls. After all the great falling water we'd seen, we had to rate this one as underwhelming, mostly because the trail didn't go anywhere near it.

What are you looking at?

We returned to Whitefish via Highway 2, which runs along the southern border of Glacier. Goat Lick is a bluff that provides a natural source of salt and minerals for the park's mountain goats. There weren't any goats there this afternoon, so we'll just have to be satisfied with the one we saw in the parking lot a couple of days ago.

Goat Lick Bluff

Back to Dos Amigos for dinner tonight, another good meal, but this time marred by lousy service. It still beats the hell out of gas-station food.

209 miles.


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