the wandering chick
...Glacier National Park
I think it was Robin Williams who said of Glacier National Park, 'If it isn't God's backyard, He certainly lives nearby."
Lake McDonald at Apgar Village, on Glacier's west side. Depending on the weather and time of day, the view of Lake McDonald can change dramatically, as seen in the following shots. Not all of them were taken from the same spot.
An explanation of Glacier's layout:
Generally, when people speak of hikes, lakes, waterfalls or mountains in Glacier, they qualify it with 'Glacier east' or 'Glacier west.' What 'separates' the two is the Continental Divide.
There are two major lakes in Glacier: Lake McDonald on the west side and St. Mary Lake on the east side.
There's only one road that goes across Glacier Park east to west and that is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. It's 50 miles long, steep and winding and absolutely stunning. It travels from one lake to the other and peaks at Logan Pass. The only other way from east to west is Route 2 on the outside of the park. Highway 2 is the long way around, but if you have trouble driving heights and cliffs, this is the road for you. There are no roads within the park that travel north to south.
Whereas there are only two main lakes, there are hundreds of smaller ones, and many,many of them have hiking trails leading to them. Hiking is the name of the game in this park. Trails, short ones and longs ones, are well marked. Many have waterfalls, and all have spectacular views.
There are several overlooks along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This shot was taken at The Loop from where you get a clear view of Heavens Peak (left). This area was devastated by fire in 2003. Evidence lingers.
As you travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road, you come to the Garden Wall. In spring, the base of the wall is covered with wildflowers. Even in late summer, it's a sight to behold.
Reynolds Mountain (above and below, left) stands majestically at the top of the Going-to-the-Sun Road at Logan Pass.
McDonald Creek (Above, Left and Below Right) parallels the Going-to-the-Sun Road in West Glacier Park. There are many pullout places along the road for viewing and photo-taking.
The path around Johns Lake, just off the Going-to-the-Sun Road, is typical of the quality hiking trails in the park. Though some are steeper and longer than others, a day hike guide gives you the information you need for choosing the trail you want to do.
The roots of a fallen Red Cedar tree in the Cedar-Hemlock Forest in Glacier West amazes many viewers.
The Cedar-Hemlock Trail is a .07-mile loop that goes through a forest that is in stark contrast to the rest of the park. It's much more damp in the forest of old, old hemlocks and red cedars to the point where forest fires are not as much a threat than in the drier parts of the park. In fact, there has been no fire in the forest since the 1500s.
Avalanche Gorge is also a point of interest in the forest as well as the swift-flowing Avalanche Creek. A longer 2-mile trail to Avalanche Lake starts in the forest.
Above and Right: Camas Road is in west Glacier near the park entrance. Regrowth is slowly improving in the area that was damaged by fire in, I think, 2003.
Avalanche Lake is so called because of the numerous avalanches that come off the surrounding mountains, especially in the spring. By late summer, much of the water has dried up exposing the avalanche debris.
The following shots were taken at Avalanche Lake.
On the trail to Avalanche Lake
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