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Feb 2016

Lake McDonald Lodge (almost) to Avalanche Trailhead – GNP

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The Going to the Sun Road(GTTSR) usually doesn’t open up past the Avalanche trailhead until late June, if you go in the dead of winter then you may not get past Lake McDonald lodge, that was the case for this hike. In years past I have not spent all that much time hiking in GNP because I love to take my dog, Ron, hiking with me. Well, if you’ve followed the blog then you know he hasn’t been popping up in posts, sadly. This is due to him injuring his leg somehow over winter 2015. Not hiking, the little turd did something at home while I was at work and we’ve been working to get him recovered ever since. It was a knee injury which is really difficult for dogs and takes a long time to heal.

In case you forgot… or don’t know who Ron is.

Anyhow, back to the hike!! So we parked at Lake Mcdonald lodge and decided to try the trail that goes back past the horse stable. It was gorgeous, loads of snow though and tough going, for some reason we decided to go at it without snowshoes on this particular day. It wasn’t crazy cold and there ended up being a mixture of snow conditions and a whole lot of “post holing” as I’ve heard it referred to. Which is where your footsteps plunge through the snow and leave big holes because the snow is deep and too soft to walk on the top.

As we all know that can be quite tiresome! It definitely was so we made it out to the road at a random point after several miles, we were pretty tired by this time, working our way towards the Avalanche trailhead. I think we were probably about a half mile from it when we decided to turn around, even if we had made it we wouldn’t have had the energy to hike the Avalanche trail which was our idea originally. What really sealed the deal is when a family came along cross country skiing, boy that looked nice, haha!

Making our way in we took the trail that goes back by the horse stables and just followed that, eventually we ended up off trailing very briefly when we saw the road and it looked much easier to walk on!

Coming back we stopped to look at McDonald Creek which was a definite highlight so here are some shots from that!

The always stunning mountains that never quit also made an appearance.

If you’re hesitating for some reason, DON’T, get here and see this for yourself!!! You won’t regret it.

Happy trails!

Hiking Paula

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