This Friday I’m featuring a superb shot taken on the Grinnell Glacier Trail in Montana by April Blaszak from The Unending Journey Blog.
April caught the travel bug at the age of 18 and looks forward to the day she can travel full time.
In the meanwhile, she makes the most of vacation time and weekends to explore not only other countries but the varied landscapes of her home.
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Photo Story: Grinnell Glacier Trail
Whoever said you can’t enjoy a trail unless you make it to trail’s end clearly never hiked the Grinnell Glacier Trail early in the season.
Glacier National Park had been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Seeing photos of the park just deepened my resolve to go.
Last year, I said enough. Stop with the wanting and get your butt there. So, that’s what I did. Recently, I spent three incredible days exploring the park.
Although, if you want to hike some serious trails, turns out that going the first week of July isn’t really the best time. There’s lots of snow hazards, flooding, increased bear activity, etc.
This I found out on my very first hike in the park – Grinnell Glacier Trail. Just shy of 10 miles round trip, I couldn’t wait to spend the day on the trail. It didn’t take long before I was filled with joy.
That’s what Glacier does to you, especially in the Many Glacier region of the park. The first views of the serene waters of Swiftcurrent Lake were rivalled by the presence of the most amazing assortment of wildflowers.
I’m generally not one to stop and smell the roses. Well, on this trail, that’s all I seemed to do.
As the trail made its way along Lake Josephine, you could start to see more of the landscape. And, as the trail began its gentle ascent, the views got better. And, they just kept on getting better.
You could start to see Grinnell Lake and its unreal colour of turquoise. Seeming to be embracing the lake, the peak of Angel Wing stands over it.
Continually, you found yourself stopping to take in the scene convinced that this was the best view possible. Only to find a better view just down the trail. How could you not be fueled by this landscape to go on?
Well, after what was surely the best view of the lake and Angel Wing, the trail was roped off. And, you could see why.
Massive amounts of snow were covering the trail. And, with the snow melting, you couldn’t trust the snow underneath.
Seeing it was too risky to carry on, I had to call it quits on the trail. Was I disappointed that I didn’t get to the glacier? A little bit. But, I would never regret hiking only a part of the trail. It was such a treat. All that green. All those flowers. And, THAT view.
That perfect view of nature in all its perfection. It’s one of the many reasons I hike. You just never know what nature will come up with that will blow your socks off.
I can’t wait to hike that trail again!
Glacier National Park is a national park located in the state of Montana, on the Canada–United States borderwith the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.
Grinnell Glacier is in the heart of Glacier National Park. The glacier is named for George Bird Grinnell, an early American conservationist and explorer, who was also a strong advocate of ensuring the creation of Glacier National Park.
The glacier is in the Lewis Range and rests on the north flank of Mount Gould at an altitude averaging 2,100 m, in the Many Glacier region of the park.
Grinnell Glacier Trail is about 17 km heavily trafficked out and back trail located near East Glacier Park, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate.
The first two miles follow the north shores of Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine (Boat rides across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine can shorten the hike to about 7 miles).
Then the trail gains elevation with views of Grinnell Falls, Angel Wing, Mt. Gould, the Continental Divide and Grinnell Lake.
To view the glaciers and Upper Grinnell Lake, make sure you follow the trail up and over the rocky moraine beyond the picnic area.
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