Today we spent another day in the awesome Glacier National Park. We started the morning by doing a couple hikes and it ended up taking over most of the day. The fist hike we did was called Trail of the Cedars and wasn’t actually planned, but you have to hike at least part of the trail to get to Avalanche Lake, which is where we were going. It’s a really easy, wheelchair accessible trail that follows a wooden walkway through the forest. There’s a really beautiful waterfall halfway through.
Then we took the junction at the back of the Trail of the Cedars that leads to Avalanche Lake. It’s a two mile hike, but well worth it. The lake is absolutely stunning and we probably spent more time sitting out there than we did hiking to it. I don’t think we got back to the car until almost 3pm.
Daisies along the lakeside
Adela spent a good amount of time at the far end of the lake trying to skip rocks. It was quite entertaining.
After we hiked back to the car, we took some time to just relax and do nothing. Before we knew it, it was close to 9pm and we decided to head back out and check out Lake McDonald now that most people we off the road. The park is a lot more peaceful at night when very few people are there. We ended up driving all the way back to Logan Pass and stopped for pictures at more than a few spots along the way.
OH. EM. GEE. Glacier National Park is amazingly beautiful. I’m extremely glad I decided to stop here before heading to Yellowstone. It was a pretty brutal drive getting here, though. We drove almost the entire day, only stopping for gas, and we still didn’t get to the visitor center until around 7pm. Of course, the visitor center is closed by that time, so we just headed out on the main road across the park to check things out. We spent the next three hours being awestruck by the views, and that was rushing it. I can’t even explain how intense it is to drive through the park and just experience the magic of the nature here. Almost the entire drive across Montana was filled with fields of nothing (some people might call it “hay”), then as if out of nowhere, mountains broke the skyline and we were tossed into a wonderful world of curving roads, trees a plenty, mountains, snow, waterfalls, rivers… it’s just amazing. It’s around 50 miles to drive across the entire park.
We’re camping out near the West end of the park tonight. Gonna do some hiking tomorrow and probably the next day.
It was a long drive today to get to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s only around a five hour drive from Fargo, where we were last night, but it’s an extremely boring drive with almost nothing to look at the entire way. Seriously, North Dakota, can’t you plant some trees or something?!
We arrived at the visitor center just before 4pm. I bought a couple postcards and talked with the rangers about back-country camping, but they suggested today was a bad day because there’s supposed to be a storm coming through and I guess lightning is a fairly decent threat out here. Adela hasn’t done much for backpacking or setting up a tent, so I thought it’d be a fun experiment, but it might have to wait until next time. Instead, we took about two and a half hours to drive the 36 mile loop around the park. Along the way we saw lots of prairie dogs, a deer, several pronghorns, five horses, and a bison. The drive around the park is quite nice and offers great views of vast landscapes. My favorite view was from the Wind Canyon Trail, accessible on the North side of the loop drive. The trail leads to a ridge overlooking the Little Missouri River and was quite relaxing to look out over.
I forgot to mention it before, but as of yesterday, I have been to 49 of the states. I’m coming for you, Alaska. Next year.