The epitome of the trip was Many Glacier Campground on the far north of Glacier National Park. This was our last destination before heading back home to Arkansas. It had been an incredibly long week and both Annie and I were completely wore out. However, I had one more hike in mind: the hike to Grinnell Lake. I had seen photos of this location while doing the little research I did before leaving for Montana. It was a must see on my list. Unfortunately, Annie’s legs were killing her, so she was not able to make the 7 mile round trip hike. At that point, I had to weigh the pros and cons of hiking into bear country alone.
I had come this far, I couldn’t just sit there and not go see the lake, so after my internal struggle, I finally just agreed that I would do it (with bear spray in hand). So, after saying my goodbyes to Annie, I headed for the trail head next to Swiftcurrent Lake. Upon arrival, I noticed a couple of guys and a woman preparing for a hike. After striking up a conversation with them and realizing they were actually heading the exact same way that I was, it was decided that we would all hike together. It was also decided that I would be dubbed “Arkansas” for the remainder of the trip. I was ok with that, safety in numbers, especially in bear country, is a good thing.
So, off we went, on the greatest trail I have ever had the opportunity to hike, the Grinnell Glacier Trail.
We hiked three miles alongside Lake Jospehine and climbed elevation of more than 1000ft until we finally reached the location that I captured this photograph from. At this point we were high up on the side of Grinnell Mountain overlooking one of the most beautiful valleys I’ve ever seen. With Angel Wing in the background, the whole scale of the place just dwarfed this half mile crystal clear glacial melt lake. We had planned to continue hiking, but snow covered the trail and we had lost it in the snow drifts. Instead, we hiked straight up the mountain for a ways until we made it to a small outcropping on which we could sit and relax and take it all in.
After sitting and chatting for a while, we heard something walking up behind us. Turning around we were greeted by 4 big horn rams who were also enjoying the scenery. The alpha, which you could tell by the size of his huge horns, stood high up on a rock eyeing us for a good 5 minutes. It was a bit uncomfortable, but after a while I guess he decided we were ok. Because, he turned and went back to his pack about 200ft away from us and sat down and enjoyed a nice patch of green grass while we sat there in awe. They are incredible creatures, but being able to see them that close was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t have enjoyed had I not decided to hike in.
Montana was, in a few words, absolutely incredible. It is hard to describe the beauty that we encountered that week, but we wouldn’t give it up for anything. Our next journey is just around the corner and we hope to have many more in the future.
I hope that you enjoyed this series of photos from Montana this month.
For October, we’ll continue with beautiful photographs of Arkansas.