Glacier National Park, Montana - June 28-July 6, 2008

28 June 2008: Drive from Spokane, WA through Idaho into Montana

29 June 2008: West side Going to the Sun Rd, Avalanche Lake, Polebridge

30 June 2008: Whitewater Rafting on the Flathead River, Apgar Summit

1 July 2008: 2 Medicine Lake, St Mary, East side GttS Rd, Sunrift Gorge

2 July 2008: Grinnell Glacier & Lake

3 July 2008: Waterton Lakes Nat'l Park, Canada, Mtn Biking

4 July 2008: Iceberg Lake, Cracker Lake

5 July 2008: Entire GttS Rd, Logan Pass

Some Highlights!
*50+ miles of hiking over 6 days (according to the GPS) although we didn't bring it on every hike!
*Camped in our tent every night but the last!
*Free flights roundtrip thanks to our Southwest Airlines Frequent Flyer status (4 checked bags = $0 because they still don't charge!)
*5 bears
*20-25 Mountain Goats
*1 Moose
*Uncountable Deer, Marmots, and Ground Squirrels
*Quite possibly more wildflowers than either of us have ever seen in 1 place.
*Food, campsites, car rental, fuel, travel, souvenirs, and we still spent less than $1000!

Our itinerary:
*Saturday June 28: Fly Las Vegas to Spokane, WA with all our camping gear. We arrived in Spokane around lunchtime, picked up our Chevy Trailblazer rental, and drove to Montana. We stopped for dinner at the Bulldog Saloon in Whitefish, and then set up camp at the Fish Creek Campground on Lake McDonald.

*Sunday June 29: We started exploring by driving as far up the "Going-to-the-Sun Rd" as we could. It was still closed for snow removal!! We then hiked to Avalanche Lake, and drove up to the NW part of the park to Polebridge for dinner. A town that time forgot!!

*Monday June 30: We spent the 1st part of the day rafting the middle fork of the Flathead River, then hiked to Apgar summit on the SW corner of the park. Great views!

*Tuesday July 1: We packed up camp and drove around the bottom of the park (GttS road STILL closed) and stopped at 2 Medicine Lake for an awesome hike! We set up camp at the St Mary campground and then drove as far as we could on Goint to the Sun Rd coming from the East. We did one last hike through Sunrift Gorge, then stopped back at the St Mary Lodge for some Moose Drool, then bed.

*Wednesday July 2: Packed camp early to claim a campsite at the Many Glacier campground. A wise decision! This was our favorite part of the park. The Grinnell Glacier/Lake Hike is phenomenal. We couldn't believe how much this area resembles central Switzerland. The flowers were unbelievable, and as the clouds drifted past us through the valley at eye level, it was utterly surreal. These are some of the best pictures of the trip.

*Thursday July 3: Wanting to see what the Northern part of Glacier looks like, we crossed the border to the Canadian side called Waterton Lakes Nat'l Park. We rode about 9 miles on rented Mtn bikes, then, fearing bears, came back to the car to find a family of Mountain Goats licking bugs off the bumpers. We saw 3 (!!) bears on our way out of the area, then enjoyed some Canadian beer on the shore of Loon Lake.

*Friday July 4: We took a 9 mile guided hike to Iceberg Lake with Kara, a park ranger, who did an amazing job explaining the geology, flora and fauna of the area. Then we hiked back towards Cracker Lake on a horse trail, but when it started to T-Storm and hail we cut the hike shore and slopped miles back through the muddiest, nastiest, sloppiest horse trail ever. After a shower at the Many Glacier Motor Inn, we finished the day with a fancy dinner at the Many Glacier Hotel. We didn't see any Independence Day fireworks, but the wildflowers along the trail made up for it!!

*Saturday July 5: We packed up camp and drove on Going to the Sun Rd (finally open!), through Logan Pass, back to the West side of the Park, then down through Coeur d'Alene, ID and to our hotel room for Sat night in Spokane!