6 Days of Exploring the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park

My end-of-summer vacation was LIT.

We spent five days and six nights exploring Glacier National Park and as beautiful as the park looks in pictures, photos just simply cannot do GNP justice. It is breathtaking. I can only imagine it's grandeur years ago with 200+ glaciers, rushing waterfalls and lush vegetation. I'll be honest, I really don't care about your take on global warming. The fact of the matter is, GNP's glaciers are melting. And fast. If the current trends continue, according to glacier recession models, the park says it will no longer have active glaciers in 2030 (NPR, 2017). The loss of these glaciers can have a significant impact on the eco-system. Pro-tip: book this as your next trip, liiiike ASAP.

Here are our highlights:

Day 1: Hike to Grinnell Glacier

You'll pass numerous lakes (Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine, Lower and Upper Grinnell Lake) on you way to Grinnell Glacier. We were very lucky to catch a moose chilling in Lake Josephine and multiple long-horned sheep along our trek.

Days 2- and 3: Backpack to the foot of Glenns Lake 

We managed to outrun some ominous looking clouds and dodge grizzlies and moose here with our heavier packs in tow. We also had the opportunity to meet some rad individuals finishing up their Continental Divide Trail through hike. #Goals.

Day 3 (afternoon): Hike to Hidden Lake Overlook

This is a relatively easy day hike and we even got to meet a family of seriously cute mountain goats!

Day 4: Stop and smell the roses. 

So, we got a weeee bit lost this day trying to summit Mount Siyeh, so we meandered. Nope, that's not quite right. We hauled ass up Siyeh Bend Trail, Piegan Pass Trail, onward to Siyeh Pass Trail, only to come back down partly and head back up Piegan Pass and along the CDT, adding a few extra miles. Thankfully, we had trail beers in tow. Phew. Major meltdown averted. Moral of the story: you don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness. It's right there in front of you if you're paying attention and practicing gratitude. 

Day 5: Hike to Cracker Lake

This was the warmest of our days spent in GNP and surprisingly found not many people out on this trail. #Winning. Pro-tip: If you don't capture your plunge into the glacier water, it didn't happen. Duh.

Day 6: Capturing the sunrise in GNP, overlooking Goose Island

This was of course followed by exploring some of the breweries in Whitefish, MT. Gotta reload those carbs!

Until next time. 

Cheers,
Chief

Published: September 21, 2018

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Karin Victoria Peck

North Carolina

As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart †