Glacier National Park – See the Sights Before the Sun Sets

“Far away in northwestern Montana, hidden from view by clustering mountain peaks, lies an unmapped corner – the Crown of the Continent.” –George Bird Grinnell, “Father” of Glacier National Park.

One of the wonderful things about living in Kalispell, Montana is its proximity to Glacier National Park. We can get ready, leave in mid-afternoon, see the sights, and return home before the sun sets.

We did that on a recent Sunday drive along the Going to the Sun Road and a visit to East Glacier.

First, we stopped at Swim Hole, a scenic stop on the road where tourists like to take a dip in the chilly waters of McDonald Creek. It is also the location of a virtual geocache.

Walking through the wooded area to the swimming hole, I saw that someone had lunch under the trees.  If I could get David to stay in one place long enough to spread a blanket for a picnic, I would like to have one here. It looked like an ideal setting for eating a sandwich and having a soft drink.

 

 

I then took a double take of this log, as it was not there a few weeks ago. It must have fallen in the recent severe thunderstorms that caused rock-slides and a brief closure to parts of the Sun Road.

 

 

Here you see my girls walking on the rocks. Eventually, we made it over to the far side of the rocks near the cliff to watch the swimmers.  Watching them dive into the clear green water always reminds me of the Elvis Presley movie “Fun in Acapulco”.  I am not sure if David has ever seen it, as he is not a fan of Elvis, especially his movies.

 

 

I always have respect for the brave souls who dive here.  For one thing, the water is cold. For another, I would be afraid that I would accidentally get caught up into the current. The main cause of death in Glacier is drowning.

This guy’s swan dive looks amazing but I didn’t appreciate the winged tattoos on his shoulder blades. I am not a fan of tattoos or body art.

 

 

After that, we stopped to take a look at the ranger station that we have been passing for years, but haven’t bothered to check out.  I included this picture of the parking area because you can see the famous Garden Wall in the center of the photo.

 

 

The cabin was just a cabin. But the views were nice and a stream ran nearby. And now we can say that we have officially seen it.

 

 

While we were exploring the ranger station, I took a picture of this moss that was hanging from a tree. It is a little different than Spanish Moss, but whenever I see it in Montana, it reminds me of my New Orleans roots.

 

 

We then crossed the Continental Divide over Logan Pass. I love the east side of the Going to the Sun Road. The colors are different – pinks and reds blend in with the blues and greens.  Here David tries to capture the awe-inspiring view of a glacier carved valley.

 

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Now it’s my turn to look like a photog and attempt to capture the nature of the place.

 

David is now over the rock wall, still taking shots. Mount Reynolds, the focal point of Logan Pass, is the gray peak in the center, left.

 

 

After that, we descended the road, exited at St. Mary, and turned south to East Glacier. David took this candid shot of a black bear after it crossed the road in front of the car ahead of us, that caused the car behind us to slam on their brakes because we had stopped, while yet someone else behind them kept blowing their horn because they didn’t know everyone had stopped to take pictures of the bear. It was just another typical bear jam on the highway to the park.

 

A later stop alongside the road provided some shots of Two Medicine Lake, but the lighting wasn’t the best. The Two Medicine area of Glacier is spectacular, however. Don’t pass it up if you visit the park.

 

 

We arrived at East Glacier and went into the lodge. I do believe it is my favorite of Glacier’s lodges. The ambiance is open and inviting. Look closely, as it was Christmas in July.

 

After strolling around the interior of East Glacier Lodge and people watching from the open porches, we stopped outside to talk to an outfitter before going on our way. We were all tired, hot, and hungry when we made our last stop at Goat Lick. No goats were spotted from the viewing area, but moments later after driving away from the Goat Lick parking lot, we saw people standing on a bridge alongside the highway, looking at something. It was mountain goats grazing on a shady hillside.

 

 

That’s it. We went home. The End.

Everywhere you look, life is an adventure!

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