We only had one day in Glacier NP, with the dogs
After the show was over, we went to a blog friends place outside Columbia Falls, and stayed a couple nights at their place. This was the first time we had actually physically met, and it was so fun to get to know her better. She took us to Montana wild wings, a bird rehab, were she volunteers. She got a few birds out for us to photograph, and we got to see all the raptors they have there. It was awesome. I posted pics and a video on Facebook, so if you missed it, check it out.
Almost exactly 9 years ago we spent 2 weeks in Glacier NP on our honeymoon. We hiked all over, explored the beauty, and loved every minute of it. We have wanted to go back ever since, so when we decided to do the Kalispell art show, it was a no brainer to visit Glacier again. The dilemma this time was, we only had one day in Glacier NP, with the dogs. Of course hiking in a national park with dogs is forbidden, I’ll never really understand why, so we settled for the road tour.
If you have only one day in Glacier NP, even with dogs, you can still see some beautiful scenery. Follow this road tour to see the best parts of Glacier.
Tuesday morning we left at 8am and headed for West Glacier. Everyone said that Glacier is packed, and the Going to the sun road can be a parking lot. Leaving early seemed wisest. Our first stop on the road was beside McDonald Creek just past McDonald Lake. The sun was hitting the water so perfectly.
It was still a bit chilly, so we didn’t linger too long.
The road was nice, not a lot of traffic, and we just enjoyed the scenery. We passed a waterfall, one of many that are beside the going to the sun road, and stopped to get some photos. Sadly, the waterfall was still in shade so they weren’t the best. But, I looked up and saw this amazingly crazy cloud. It was rotating, and moving so fast. In no time at all it was gone behind the mountain. The colors were unbelievably weird.
I got the dogs out and let them walk a little bit, not enough for Torrey, but she was happy to stretch her legs. We continued down the road and started the climb to the top. We were lucky that we were able to find pullouts so I could get photos.
The next waterfall we stopped at was perfect. Perfectly beautiful.
There were some flowers near here too, so I got some great shots. I looked and looked for the name of this flower, no luck.
This is bear grass. I remember loving this flower when we were in Glacier last time. It’s the only place I have ever seen it.
Wild Bergamot. This was a very interesting and beautiful flower.
This is penstemon. When I was looking this flower up, I read that there a couple different varieties.
Farther down the road I found these, Pearly Everlasting. They were like tiny little roses. Each individual flower is about 1/4 inch across.
We saw a lot of fireweed, which was great because I love this flower. We stopped at an area that had been burned last year and the fireweed was just thick there. So pretty.
We got to the top of Logan pass where there is a visitor center, and some hiking trails. We had stopped here 9 years ago, hiked, and saw a lot of mountain goats and bighorn sheep. I was hoping we could stop, walk the dogs around the parking lot for a bit, then go and find some goats. But the parking lot was packed, we had been warned about that, and we couldn’t see driving in circles for an hour. So we kept going down the other side until we found a place we could walk the dogs along the road. There is a lookout for Johnson Glacier, and it was perfect. We then stopped along St. Mary’s lake and I got several shots of the colorful rocks on the shore. I bet in the evening this place is even better.
We drove into St. Mary’s about 1:00. Al stopped for coffee, and I walked the dogs around the shops and the grass that is there. We then headed for the Many Glacier area. As we were heading that way, we drove past The Park Cafe. We remembered having a very tasty meal and homemade pie there, so of course we had to stop. I highly recommend either the smoked salmon wrap, or the smoked salmon fish tacos. The waiter told us they smoke their own fish and it was awesome. We got both dishes and split them. We then got a piece of grizzle berry pie to go.
Many Glacier is the prettiest part of the park, I think anyway. When we were in Glacier before, our two favorite hikes were out of this area. Iceberg lake, and swift current pass are gorgeous. The wind was blowing all day, and that made the lakes a little choppy. This is swift current lake going up the road to Many Glacier.
Along the road going to Many Glacier there are wide open areas. The wild flowers are crazy here. This photo doesn’t even start to capture the colors and how beautiful this area is right now.
At the end of this road is the Many Glacier lodge. The view here is amazing.
Past the lodge is parking for the trail heads, a store, and some cabins. We couldn’t find parking here either, so on we went.
When we stayed in Glacier for the honeymoon we stayed at Two Medicine campground. We loved it there. It’s off the beaten path, on a lake, and there is hiking all around there. We drove to the campground because we wanted to see it again, and we also knew we could get a good walk in with the dogs there. By this time it was 4:30. I fed the dogs dinner, we ate some of our pie, and went for a nice walk.
We left Two Medicine just before 6:00, and got home close to 8:00. A long, beautiful, day in Glacier. It made me sad we couldn’t do any hiking, to me that is the best part of our national parks. But at least we got to visit, and you really can see some beautiful country, even if it is from the road.