Tuesday July 28, 2020
Yes, I am giddy with excitement. I am in Montana. At Glacier National Park!
I arrive at Glacier National Park in the late morning. I have seen the warnings about arriving late and the long lines to get in, but I try it anyway. I arrive around 11 am and there is no line to get in. My plan is to go to the visitor center to get maps and info. The west enterence is the only entrance to the park that is open because of covid, all other entrances are closed. I also learn that my van is to wide to drive the full length of the going-to-the-sun road. Or at least all of the section that is open. There is a small portion of the east side that is closed. There are length, width, and height restrictions. I am just under the length and height restriction by a few inches, but I am over the width restrictions by a few inches. There is also only one campground in the whole park that is open, Fish Creek Campground and it is full. All others are closed because of covid. But, dental offices are allowed to be open. It blows my mind.
Oh yes please. How lovely does this look? Much better than a day at the office.
I decide to venture in a bit and take a look around and come up with a game plan for tomorrow. I can go in as far as Avalanche campground with the van. When I get to Avalanche campground the place is packed and there is no place to park. I turn around and stop at a few places on my way out.
I passed the cutest cherry stand on my way to Glacier. I stop and buy fresh flathead and rainier cherries. They are delicious. There are cherry groves and cute roadside stands all along this road.
I have my alarm set for 4am. I am camped 22 miles outside of Glacier in Katie and Scott’s yard. They are hip camp members who will let you camp in their yard for a fee.
When the alarm goes off I’m up. It is a chilly morning. I quickly walk Berkley then we head out.
I get to the park entrance around 5am. It is just starting to get light.
I have decided to drive the going-to-the-sun road. My plan is to get back down before the crowds start to make their way up. I almost hit a deer on the way up to Logan Pass. Luckly I’m going slow enough to stop in time.
I stop at a few areas on the way up. Since it is so early. I’m able to easily pull into the pullouts.
I will admit the drive is scary. The road is super narrow as well as on the very edge of steep drop offs. I pretty much hog the road since no one is coming down at this hour. There are others up this early and they pass me on their way up.
Distant view of Birdwoman Falls.
Closer view of Birdwoman Falls. It is 392 feet from top to bottom.
View of Weeping Wall.
More beautiful sites on the way up.
At the top of Logan pass. It is very cold and windy up here. Elevation is 6647 feet.
I see some mountain goats along the roadside.
I greet these Big Horn Sheep coming in the exit as I am trying to get out. They just proceed right through the parking lot. I have seen them once before in Colorado when I was there to hike half of the Colorado Trail.
I make it back down safely. I’m glad I didn’t hang out too long at the top because it was starting to get really busy.
On the way back down I am able to get an awesome shaded parking spot near Avalanche Campground. I feel comfortable leaving Berkley in the van. It shouldn’t get to hot here for him. I hike the 5 mile round trip hike to Avalanche Lake.
On the way I pass Avalanche Gorge. As you can see from the photos it is just stunning. The color of the water is mesmerizing. It makes you just want to sit here for hours and enjoy it.
The trail is pretty busy, but most people a curteous… minus the kids. They run all over the place like heathens. I had one jump off a rock right in front of me. Lucky for the kid I stopped before I trampled over it.
When I got to the lake it was surrounded by many high peaks and what looked like several waterfalls just flowing down to the lake.Saw this cute little guy just sitting in the middle of the trail on my way back down.