This was another of our sort’a bi-annual visits to this great park. This year we divided out time between Many Glacier Hotel on the east side and Lake McDonald Lodge on the west side, with the idea of doing some of the trails we’d missed before (or which had been closed due to bear activity). There were fires south near Missoula and the air was thick as we entered the park, but, thanks to a passing front that cleared the air during our first night in the park, it was almost clear (there was still a faint red tinge in the air) for the first two days of this year’s visit.
Today we decided to follow the Redgap Pass Trail from the Apikuni Falls parking area toward Poia Lake. Following this trail as it gradually ascended the side of the valley gave us good views of the lower Swiftcurrent Valley,
and directly toward Mount Siyeh at the head of the Cracker Lake valley.
We continued on up the trail, below the cliffs buttressing Point 8072,
passed Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake, crossed the ridge, and started down toward Poia Lake. At this point, two backpackers came rushing toward us saying that a grizzly had forced them out of their camp at Poia Lake. They didn’t stop to provide details but they nonetheless deeply dampened our enthusiasm for visiting Poia Lake. So we turned back to Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake,
with its views of the Yellow Mountain complex to the north.
Then, after a snack and a quick smell of the flowers,
it was back to the trailhead (7.2 miles roundtrip; 1,000 feet of elevation gain).