Thursday, August 1, 2013

Glacier National Park and the Highline Trail Hike

Wow! 7.8 miles on the Highline Trail from Logan Pass up to the Chalet, then down the Loop Trail to Going to the Sun Road, 4 miles, plus an extra mile on the Glacier Overlook Trail, for a total of 12.8 miles.   Then it was take the shuttle back to Logan Pass.
  It wasn't really much of an elevation gain overall to the Chalet, just up 500 feet, then down 500 feet; up 200 feet, down 400 feet; up 700 feet, etc., etc., until finally the Chalet, which is within 200 feet elevation of the start.  But the Glacier Overlook trail is .6 mile and about 1200 feet elevation gain.  Really, really steep.  I tried, but didn't make it.  I was tired after 7 miles of hiking and I only made it about halfway and decided to tackle this another day.  Then once I left the Chalet, it was 2400 feet down in 4 miles.  Yes, I think I may lose a toenail or two, but what a great view and great hike.  Here are some pictures.
I had heard so much about the goats on the tail, but unfortunately these were the only goats I saw, and they were in the meadow at the start of the trail.

Yes, it starts out narrow and on the edge of a cliff.  But it really isn't as bad as it looks or as some people say.  There are even guide wires to hold on to and the ledge is wide enough for two way traffic.

What a view down the valley.

Not all the trail runs along the cliff.  Lots of flowers blooming everywhere.

Sometimes you did walk across small waterfalls cascading down the mountain.

And you got to hike along the mountain meadows.

The road sure is a long way down.

These people make their own hiking sticks each year from limbs they cut in their backyard.  Nicely decorated, too.

I feel like I'm on top of the world.

Saw several of these marmots along the trail.

Here was the start of the Glacier Overlook Trail.  As I said earlier, next time.

But I made the Chalet.  The young men who work here come up in the early summer and stay throughout the season.  They bring up most of the food they will need when they come up, then have the rangers and suppliers restock for them, and even sometimes bring them a hamburger.  They sell cold drinks and some snacks which are brought up on mule on the Loop Trail.  You can also make reservations and stay at the Chalet.  They have accomodations for 35.

On the way down I passed through the remains of the 2003 fire.  I had planned on visiting Glacier National Park on my way back from Alaska in 2003, but didn't have the chance because it was burning. 

I know this trail is highly used, but you wouldn't think so looking at this narrow path through the bushes.

Finally, almost to the Sun Road, just across the bridge and a few more feet.

After picking up my car and heading back to camp, I spotted these people on the side of the cliff, hiking the Highline Trail.  They look pretty small from the road.


Diana said...

WOW - I'm really impressed! That is one long hike. I was writing my post on the Highline trail when I read your post - amazing how great minds think alike.

BTW, it would be nice if you got rid of the captcha requirement for leaving a comment. They are impossible to read.

Barbara and Ron said...

That was a really long hike. I hope your toenails are okay. I know what you mean - those steep downhill sections can be murder.