Wow, where has time gone? Somehow it’s already been 3 months since we visited and came home from our trip through Canadian National Parks and Glacier National Park.
You may recall, our foray in to Glacier National Park started with a 10+ hour drive from Lake Louise. We arrived late at night, in the dark, to the Apgar Campground without any clue of what surrounded us.
Waking up the morning after our arrival, we were tired, exhausted, but ready to hit the trail and explore the area. The Western side of Glacier isn’t exactly known for the amazing hiking, but with the Going to the Sun Road closed due to fire, we were going to make the most of our time here. We jumped in the car and hit the road, in fact more dirt road, making our way to the North-Western corner of the park, we passed through the small town of Polebridge before continuing to Bowman Lake with the goal of hiking to Quartz Lake, a 7 mile round trip out and back hike.
Bowman Lake was beautiful and amazingly clear as we hiked along its shores, before turning right and heading up hill in to deep timber. As we hiked on, both Cassie and I got the sense that the trails out here weren’t used much, no other footprints were to be seen on the otherwise clear trail. After ascending through the woods, and then starting a descent to a lake in which we couldn’t see, we aborted the mission in favor of just exploring the rest of the park as much as we could for the day.
Back to the car, we pressed on further up the road to Kintla Lake, the furthest point in which we could drive in Glacier National Park. The lake was gorgeous and almost empty! We were only the 4th car in the parking lot, making for a very relaxing spot to let Fitz roam the beach, collecting and playing with rocks. Finally, having our fill, and wanting to get back to camp and relax, we turned the car around and headed out.
On the way out, we decided to stop in to Polebridge and check out the mercantile. After all, the sign out front told us the best pastries in the world were inside, the sign did not lie! If you ever find yourself in the neighborhood, I highly recommend stopping in for a delicious, flaky, sugary treat.
The next morning, we were determined to have a good hike. After being shutout the previous day, we were still thirsty for what Glacier National Park could offer us. Just outside the Apgar Campground, we discovered the Apgar Lookout. The hike up was pleasant, a moderate grade through a recovering burn, meant we had views up the valley towards distant peaks, fresh growth vibrant in color, and plenty of birds playing music. Reaching the top, the views only increased, providing a full view of Lake McDonald along with providing a view towards the fire burning within the park.
We stuck around on top for nearly an hour, eating lunch, talking with other hikers who thought Fitz was just the coolest, and watching the views continue to open up more and more as the clouds parted, revealing the craggy Rocky Mountains. Finally deciding we had our fill, it was time to head down and fill up on whiskey. We had a special task to complete before leaving early the next morning, requiring us to make a stop at Glacier Distilling. The stop here was brief. I talked Cassie in to sitting down for a tasting, which turned in to a bad idea for both of us. For some reason (good or bad, you be the judge) neither of us are fans of whisky.
The next morning, it was time to pack up and head towards home. The plan was to take three days, spending the night somewhere near Missoula and the final night at family property near Lake Roosevelt back home in Washington. Just because we were heading home though, doesn’t mean the trip has to come to an end. We still have three full days left to explore, and we will make the most of our time, ensuring we squeeze out every last bit of adventure before pulling in to our driveway.
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