Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Eight Miles of Beauty!

St. Mary, MT
Glacier NP
August 6, 2013

 Third hike close as we could get to Grinnell Glacier. I say that because this hike is an 11 mile hike round trip. With 4 pups waiting in Belle, we just set out and decided to turn around when our time was half up. We made it four miles in.

 This trail begins at the Many Glacier Hotel and carried us around the shoreline of Swiftcurrent Lake.

This part of the trail is flat, easy, and full of photo opps.

 I was hoping to see a moose, even a deer would have been great, but just not meant to be.

We did spot a fisherman...

...a Pipsissewa which is a new wildflower for me to photograph...

 ...and a mama grouse with three babies. What a joy to watch her and listen to her soft clucking.
 She was very attentive to her babies.
 And enjoyed a dust bath.

From here, the trail turned right.

 Wildflowers, butterflies, and rock walls on our left...


 ...and Lake Josephine and mountains on our right.

We made a steady, gradual ascent towards Upper Grinnell Lake...its a 1600 feet rise to the glacier.

 From here the trail travels through open countryside with no obstructions to the incredible views that were all around.

This was our lunch view and the end of the trail for us.

Salamander Glacier, Mt. Gould and Lower Grinnell Lake were all visible.
 Salamander Glacier lies on a shelf which is part of the Continental Divide at an average elevation of 7200 feet. Before Grinnell Glacier retreated significantly, it used to encompass Salamander.

 View of Salamander Glacier

Grinnell Glacier rests on the north flank of Mt. Gould at an average altitude of 7000 feet. It is melting quickly and is likely to be entirely gone within 30 years.

Lower Grinnell Lake has an opaque turquoise appearance from rock flour (silt) which comes from the melting glacier.

 This is one of the more popular hikes in Glacier NP. If you are looking for quiet and solitude, you might not find it here.
 It's popular because of its incredible beauty.

There were a few colors of fall...already!

 We had a much more relaxed day today...

...visited another waterfall. The forecast was for 60 percent chance of thunderstorms...hasn't happened yet.

Until next time...
P.S. Does anyone know what these berries are? We see them on all our hikes. They are so red and shiny and almost look berries I bought for Christmas decorations.


  1. Another wonderful hike a great photos, too bad you did not get all the way in, but would have been a long day for the pups at home.

  2. I would never have been able to do the eight miles you did. Marvelous hike.

  3. That was quite some hike even at 4 miles in. The scenery is gorgeous there.

  4. Boy do we understand about the pups dictating our time away from the rig. But in the time you covered 8 miles, we might have been able to do one. Sure do love your pictures.

  5. I am really enjoying "visiting" Glacier National Park with you.

  6. So glad you made it almost to the Grinnell Glacier! Love the lake and that beautiful color from the minerals. There sure are an abundant of magnificently colored lakes in the mountains.

    Did you by any chance get an opportunity to see the pictures of the glacier through time in the halls of the inn? Stop if you have time and check out what use to be.

    We stayed over night at the inn in Many Glacier on our first trip to Glacier which was on a motorcycle. It was a step back in time. Sitting around the fireplace at night was perfect. It was early June and much colder.

    Another fabulous day for your hiking!! So glad you are having good weather with all that beauty surrounding you:)

  7. Your photos sure capture the awe and majesty of Glacier...a great montage.
    Box Canyon Mark

  8. I really enjoyed your pictures. The mama grouse is so cute as it here baby chick. I wish you had seen a moose or deer too. I'll bet the picture would have been great.

  9. Beautiful header photo. Montana is calling us. Incredible beauty and you captured them well. And this looks like a hike that we will definitely do.

  10. And oh please dont say Fall yet :) I always admire your wildflower pictures.

  11. Gorgeous pictures. We had a trip planned to Glacier last fall but never made it. It's certainly high on my list! Thanks for posting the wonderful pictures.

  12. Great photos as usual. I especially enjoyed the mama grouse - I found it interesting how her chest feathers form a circular design. Really pretty. You just never know what you are going to encounter. I always figure if I get just one really good shot, or one interesting animal or bird, then I'm happy. :)