We’ve been coming to Flathead Lake in Montana for almost as long as I can remember. We would load up in the motorhome when my dad got home from work, and he would drive through the night.
We would wake up in the morning in Montana, at the campgrounds in Big Arm, and we would spend two weeks boating, having campfires, swimming and feeding the geese.
About 8 years ago my parents bought a cabin in Lakeside, and we’ve been spending most of our summers and a lot of our Christmases here ever since.
In all that time, I don’t think I’ve ever spent any actual time in Glacier National Park, although I do remember driving through it, and stopping to play in the waterfalls along the Road to the Sun.
So this summer, on a day too cold to spend on the boat, my mom and I drove the hour and a half to the park to go hiking. The park is absolutely gorgeous, and there are so many hiking trails and gorgeous lakes to choose from. We ended up going up to the top, to the Logan’s Pass trail. It’s a long, winding drive to the top, but the view is spectacular.
We were dressed in light layers, and we brought our bear bell and bear repellent, just in case, although if I ever had a bear come close enough to use it I would probably just lay down and wait for it to finish me off.
We stopped at the gift shop at the top to see if they had any snacks (they had these AMAZING oatmeal chocolate chips the size of your face, and I ate it in about two bites) and then we set off. We kind of randomly picked a trail and started walking.
The beginning of the trail was a wooden boardwalk through fields of multi-coloured wildflowers, but eventually it became a dirt trail with puddles everywhere from the runoff, and it got snowier and colder as we got closer.
My feet got wet, which wasn’t a problem at first, but after we’d been outside for a few hours and it started getting windier and colder I thought it was going to be Alive all over again.
The first animal we saw was a Marmot, it looks like an enormous fluffy gopher, but it was just chilling along the side of the trail so we left it alone.
The end destination of our hike was Hidden Lake, but we didn’t really know how far it was, so we kept ambling along. We passed a few people having a snowball fight, tons of waterfalls and a few little lakes before we got to the viewpoint.
When we were almost there we ran into one of the park rangers, and he told us he had seen a grizzly bear with her cubs down by the lake.
We walked for about 10 more minutes, and then we started to see little white dots moving down the mountains across an open field. They were mountain goats, there were 4 of them, and they were coming straight towards us.
We watched them for awhile and then went to continue on, when all of a sudden one of them popped up right in front of us on the trail, about 5 feet away. I’m not sure if mountain goats are dangerous, but he did have horns, so we tried to give him some space, but it was really cool to see him up so close.
We made it to the Hidden Lake Viewpoint, the view was amazing, and we did get to see the bears, although they were so far away that it was like a brown dot with two smaller brown dots walking around by the lake, which is fine because that’s about as close as I want to be to a grizzly bear in the wild anyway.
Eventually it started getting really cold and windy, so we made the trek back down, and headed for home, or more accurately, to the Moose for pizza. It was a really fun day, but there is so much to see in the park that I’d need at least a week to do all the hikes and see all the of the beautiful views.
There are so many amazing places there, like St.Mary Lake and hundreds of hiking trails, but there’s always next summer.