Glacier National Park – Elana Visit

After a quiet week to ourselves, Elana came thru to have a look at Montana.  Being the smart woman she is, Elana took our advice and stayed a full week which would give her a chance to really soak in country life.Neighborhood


Tour of the neighborhood

As a bonus, she got to experience the insane weather events that mosey on through Big Arm.


The storm was moving east over Big Arm Bay at an incredible pace, dumping rain on Flathead Lake, and providing for an INSANE experience where it appeared the rainbow led the charge.

Glacier NP

The relaxing first day of the visit was a nice way to ease into the intensity of a Glacier weekend.  For our last foray into the park – for this trip – we decided to head back to Many Glacier and hike Grinnell Glacier Trail.  Since the forecast for Sunday was cloudy, we made sure to take Going-To-The-Sun-Road on the way in so Elana could get the full Glacier NP experience.


She was pretty pumped about it.

Once we arrived at East Glacier we headed to our go-to campground, Chewing Blackbones; it’s 25 minutes from the trail and always has plenty of space.

Camp 1

We chilled by the fire, had a couple drinks and got to sleep early in anticipation of the hike.

Grinnell Glacier Trail – 11 miles round trip, elevating over 2,000 ft

One of the many fantastic aspects of this hike is that the ill sh*t starts 5 minutes in and doesn’t stop.

Hike 1

The trail begins by hugging Switftcurrent Lake which transitions into Lake Josephine providing for a relatively flat walk to start.  Once the trail approaches the back end of Lake Josephine, the climbing begins.

Hike 2.1

YES! We know there are bears roaming around Glacier NP; you don’t have to scare the shit out of us right when we’re getting to the good part of the hike.

Hike 3.1

Just kidding…it’s probably a good thing.

Moving on…the hike starts to really elevate at this point revealing the types of views you only get at high altitude.

Hike 3

The trail was definitely well traveled (which is a good thing in an area where bears frequent) and we took an opportunity to get a picture of all three of us.

Hike 4

Old dude who took it asked if we were European.  We must seem really out of place…

Walking up to Grinnell Lake was amazing.

Hike 5.2

The sun was hitting it just right as we approached and we decided to plop down and recharge on some jerky.

Hike 5

And of course have a photo shoot of this ridiculous view.

The remainder of the climb brought dropping temperatures accompanied by steep and rocky terrain.  In our experience, the hardest treks provide for the most rewarding experience which could only mean one thing: the Grinnell Glacier is going to be ridiculous.

Hike 6

So it’s more of a melting Glacier…incredible nonetheless; worth every step.

The way back (the mission), as always, provides a totally different perspective making going down as awe inspiring as the way up.

Hike 7

From this viewpoint all three lakes are visible in succession: Grinnell Lake, Lake Josephine, Swiftcurrent Lake

After the hike, Amy and Elana thought it would be a good idea to rinse the day off in really REALLY cold water.

Once they came to their senses and got out we headed back to camp for a relaxing night by the fire.

Camp 2

The next morning it started to hail – yes it was hailing – in Glacier and we hauled ass back to Big Arm.

We spent the last couple days of Elana’s trip working during the day and hanging around Flathead Lake in the evenings.

We paid a visit to the Flathead Lake Brew Pub on the way to dinner in Big Fork

Flathead Brewery

And of course got some paddle boarding in.

Paddle 1

Can you see em?

Chica even managed to get on the water.

Paddle 2

This was the perfect week to precede the “wind down weeks” leading to our departure at the end of September.

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