Thursday, September 22, 2011

The September Road Trip

Although we didn't travel far we saw an vast amount of inspiring beauty and had a most excellent time exploring territory new to us. 

September 15th at Many Glacier

On our first night out, September 6th, we camped at the young mining town of Elkford (est. 1971) in the wilds of British Columbia's Elk Valley.  The following morning we took a short hike to nearby Josephine Falls viewed from the edge of a very deep canyon.  That afternoon we went the short distance to Fernie and set up camp (for two nights) at Mount Fernie Provincial Park which is just down the road from here ...

Island Lake

On September 9th, we crossed into the United States and lazily made our way to Mountain Meadow RV Park at a little town named Hungry Horse, between Whitefish and West Glacier, Montana.  Based there for five nights, we alternated hiking days with shopping and touring days while enjoying glamping with full services including wireless Internet, at our camp site, great meals at cool cafes and restaurants.  The last time we were in the Kalispell/Glacier area was in 1979.  It was a flash trip with two young kids and a couple of outlaws.  Things are quite changed since then.  It all looked new to us, with the exception of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.  Anyone who has ever traveled it can never forget the beauty and what a feat of engineering it is.

Going-to-the-Sun Road looking west from Logan Pass

I can't really think of anywhere more beautiful to be stuck in road construction traffic.  It delayed our hike until late in the day when the light was so much finer.  At Logan Pass, on the Hidden Lake trail, we got our moneys worth of wildlife and knock-your-socks-off scenery in the best of weather, even with forest fire smoke haze.

Mountain Goat beating the heat

Hidden Lake

With the weather so fine and everything (that wasn't already was closed) about to shut down for the season the crowds were horrific.  We drove around and around the Avalanche Lake trail head waiting for a parking spot to free up as if we were at a mall on December 24th.  I worked hard to exclude the hordes in my photos!

Avalanche Lake, near Apgar, West Glacier National Park

Coming home up the east side of Glacier National Park we intended to stay just one night at Many Glacier then quickly changed our minds so that we could take the full day hike to the Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint.  The elevation gain was 1600 feet over 8.5 kilometers ... I like to mix up how I measure things!  This primo trail is out in the open for most of the time affording exquisite views of mountain peaks above you and jewel coloured lakes far below.  If you have time to look at only one photo essay I would suggest this one. 

Grinnell Lake, East Glacier National Park

If you are inclined here are links to complete photo essays:

The September Run Away Begins

Eureka, Montana

West Glacier - Logan Pass

Avalanche Lake

Many Glacier - East Glacier


  1. Wonderful photos Alice...some great inspiration! Can't wait to see your paintings from these excursions.Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh Alice, that Grinnell Lake image is a painting in the making . . . lovely travels and a real trip down memory lane for us. That is the exact route we took (in reverse) when we came to Canada in 2004. :-)