Sunday, August 3, 2008


If I had to choose a favorite hike, today's would win be just a hair. They were all beautiful and glorious, but today's did not have one foot of the trail that was not breath taking. We rode up to Logan's Pass on the Going to the Sun Road and started hiking the Continental Divide at that point. This trail was called "Highline Trail" and for good reason. We followed the ridge line on the Continental Divide for a long way. UNBELIEVABLE! The destination of the hike today was Granite Park Chalet, Swiftcurrent Pass, Red Rock Falls & Swift Current Trailhead. After one wrong turn which resulted in a back track, we hiked 16.2 miles today-our longest hike. When we first arrived in Glacier this trail was closed after the first 3.7 miles due to the dangerous deep snowfields. We kept postponing this hike hoping to trek the entire hike and thank goodness we did. The snowfields were long, slick and a little scary since at some points if you slipped and started sliding-you would go off the mountain. This made for slow going when traversing those long fields, but we made it.

Along today's trail we had mountain goats withing 5', longhorn sheep, a moose in a lake from a long distance, many marmits and ground squirrels, & a grizzly on the side of the road at the end of the day. Each and every day provided wildlife galore!

Sonja was leading the group and made one small wrong turn. We realized about a half a mile UP the mountain that we were on the way to a lookout on the VERY top of a mountain. This climb was straight up and when we turned around we almost ran down the mountain due to the steep decline. The scenery was so beautiful that we all forgave her the extra steps.

The chalet was one of the first high points. This cozy mountain cabin provided bare bones over night accommodations. It stays booked all during the season and we spoke with hikers that had been there the night before. It must be quite the experience!

Traversing on we crossed ANOTHER pass and then headed down. Past the falls and then in view of several lakes, we never lacked for beauty each and every step. More pictures today-because it is just difficult to put into words what we saw. ENJOY!

Here we are at the start. Note the jackets-it was cold up there. The Continental Divide is the highest point on the continent. If you took all the high points and drew a line through them, this would constitute the divide.
The beginning of the trail on the ridge line. Note the cable for hand hold on our right. This provides some security during the gusts that blow through these mountains. Look to the left and you will see the trail. The trail goes up and down for quite a few miles.

One of the many streams that flow off the top of the mountain and have to be stepped over as they cross the trail.

Look how high we are. Way above the tree line.

Looking back at the trail and the mountains surrounding the divide.

It is truly remarkable to see the wildflowers growing out of solid rock, but they manage to find a spot to grow.

The road is at the bottom of this valley.

The largest snowfield we had to cross. Sonja is making it look a lot easier than it actually was. This field involved a climb up and then over-a lot of snow and ice.

We are still way up the mountain.

This is a relative of a quail or grouse. The reason she is not flying off is the chicks that were hiding under her wings.

The goats seemed to not care that we were right by them. Someone had left some nuts and the a little bullying was about to begin to keep the other one away.

The chalet is to the left on the mid point on the mountain.

The mountain chalet which also had another building of rooms behind it.

The view from the porch of the chalet.

Look down on the side of the mountain and you will see the trail we came up.

The longhorn sheep that we got to see because we took wrong. OK-Sonja we forgiven you!

This is an example of the trees that were burned in a forest fire. For as far as you could see-this was the view and then just the other side-not a tree was touched. These trees are all small since they are WAY up the mountain. The burned trees we saw on the way to Polebridge were huge trees.

Way over there-that is the falls.

The lakes that we saw and followed all the way down. The moose we spotted was in the third lake.

At last we came upon the lake and had a little foot soaking time after making the entire 16.2 miles. What do you think-UNBELIEVABLE HUH?????


adrian seney said...

You saw a moose? They are so cute in a weird kinda way! You think?

the Jennings secede from the South said...

Billygoats! Cool. Man, Mom, I wish I'd been there. That trip looks incredible. Maybe I'll go next year and you can carry me on your back the 16.5 miles.

Ann Miller said...

okay, besides the amazing display of all of your bad assness, the unbeleivable pictures, i have one question---with the up, down, hot, cold, freezing, sweating, cooling off, how did your James sinus "issues" deal w/the trip??

Deb said...

Wow....just breath taking. I would have probably been passed out on the ground and missed all the critters.

Lora said...

Ann-except for a little nose running in the altitude and cool-my sinuses faired fine. We were too busy looking at the beautiful views to worry about running noses.

Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

Looks beautiful......been to the continental divide a couple of times but in different locale than yours. It is VERY cool to say you were at the continental divide.