On this particular weekend I found I would be lacking my usual hiking companion… I considered venturing on my own but decided to find a few individuals to take along. Using a local online site I was able to find two willing accomplices with ease. I planned a hike in Glacier National Park on the Eastern side by the St. Mary entrance.
The day of we met in a close-by town and rode together over the pass to our trail head. This proved to be a bit interesting.
I’ve owned my 1980 turbo diesel Mercedes since October last year, I’ve driven from Missoula to Kalispell over 20 times at least. I’ve never broken down, overheated, blown a tire, or had any problems (knock-on-wood). On this hot August day, however, going up to Logan pass, creeping along at 10-25 MPH due to tourists and coming to a stop every 500 ft as vehicles pulled off or on the road without care; my car was not her usual self. My temp gauge began to climb, usually sitting around a comfortable 90 it jumped to 110… then 120. By the time we made it to the pass I was in fear that we were going to overheat and break down, my temp gauge’s needle was sitting ominously close to that red line. I was able to pop it in neutral, by one passengers suggestion, and coast down for a little while.
She cooled right down and we parked at Jackson Glacier outlook to begin our journey.
The park was very busy that day, as is to be expected. We got started on the trail, you immediately begin a descend at a pretty decent rate. It doesn’t last too long though, by the time you hit the first little falls the trail has evened out, which is a good sign for the hike back. We decided to stop and look around here and I’m sure glad we did, it’s a very cool spot. The water rushes through a small path in the colorful stone and creates tiny bubble that look like glitter in the sunlight. The water is so clear, blue, and beautiful that you just want to jump right in.
I’m still learning when it comes to landscape photography, as you can see. I have a lot to learn as it does not click with me in the same way that portraits do.
The trio for the day!
Before splitting off to the Florence Falls trail you come across a few bridges, one of those is a neat suspension bridge.
The suspension bridge sways, jiggles, wiggles, and moves all about as you walk over it. Yes, it was mildly terrifying. I’m glad it was hanging pretty low! I think I’d about faint if it were across a 100 foot drop or something.
This last bridge is actually right after you cut off to the falls, I walked ahead and took the photo. Here you would continue on the the pass or the lake.
If you were to take the entire trail, almost 20 miles, you could end up at Lake McDonald lodge. We passed a lovely family of four on the way. They had two little boys all geared up with boots, packs and bed rolls. They were headed to the lake to camp and then moving on to the pass the following. How great it is to see families with their youngsters out in the woods!
The path after you turn off the larger trail is very overgrown, the foliage envelopes the trail and is as tall as I am. In some spots the growth extended above my head! It’s only for about half a mile though so it’s easy.
The falls are even more spectacular than I have expected, they tower above you rushing down and spraying mist all around you.
I was happy to walk in to the cooling, refreshing mist after the 4.6 mile trek in on an 80+ day!
Be sure to hike up to the higher portion on the falls, it’s only a short distance and you can see even more of the falls.
Overall, this trail rates pretty high in my book. Despite how easy it is the falls at the end are pretty dang spectacular. It’s not the most popular trail, which suits my fancy! If you’re going to Glacier, I would put this on the list if you have time.
Total length: 9.8 miles
Elevation gain: 975 ft
If you look away from the falls you’re greeted by a phenomenal view as well.
I miss my Ron when I hike in Glacier. He loves to go and I’m sad to disappoint him when he sees me leaving with my gear. Next time my boy.