Category Archives: Montana

Piegan Pass Trail (Glacier National Park) 02-Sep-2009

Piegan Pass Glacier National Park Montana

Last year we made a reconnaisance visit to Glacier National Park – our first time back in almost 30 years. We did one hike (Scalplock Mountain Lookout) in the extreme southern end of the park but were put off by the hoards swarming around the hikes further north. We gave it another try this year and (almost by chance) hit on the perfect time to visit the park: between the last week in August and the concession closures in mid-Spetember. By then most folks are past their holidays and the crowds have thinned considerably.  This time we stayed at the Many Glacier Hotel (very nice, but there’s also a motor hotel and a campground nearby). Several major trails start right from the hotel’s backdoor and there is also a hotel shuttle (not free) that connects with the National Park Service (NPS) shuttle (free) that runs across the park.

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Grinnell Glacier (Glacier National Park) 31-Aug-2009

Grinnell Glacier Montana

This is THE iconic hike on the east side of Glacier National Park. And thus it was the one where we encountered the most other hikers (20-30, including a ranger-led hike). It’s 11 miles roundtrip, and with 1,600 feet of elevation gain, from Many Glacier Hotel to Grinnell Glacier, so we got an early start (easy to do when the trail starts right from the hotel).

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Mount Oberlin (Glacier National Park) 31-Aug-2009

Mount Oberlin Glacier National Park Montana

Mount Oberlin sits just northwest of Logan Pass in the center of Glacier National Park’s heavy tourism zone. It’s billed as the easiest “real” (meaning you have to register with the rangers) climb in the park but barely makes it to Class 3 in just one or two spots. But if you only have a short time in the park, yet want to do a short hike/scramble (2.5 miles roundtrip; 1,500 feet of elevation gain) with amazing views (and away from the crowds), then Mount Oberlin is it.

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Hyalite Lake (Montana) 21-Aug-2008

Hyalite Lake Montana
As part of our big Western U.S. roadtrip in August, we tried to do a “local” hike in each area we visted. While in Bozeman, Montana we heard about the popular Hyalite Creek Trail located only a few miles outside of town. It was reported to boast a nice trail, 11 waterfalls, a lake, and a summit.  The weather wasn’t fully cooperating (happy turning to sad) but we figured with 11 waterfalls, we’d get to see at least one before it started raining. Continue reading

Scalplock Lookout (Glacier National Park) 18-Aug-2008

Scalplock Lookout Glacier National Park Montana

In August, we went on a major roadtrip through the Western U.S., stopping for a few dayhikes along the way. Our goal was hikes that were local favorites, rather than major tourist attractions. We had explored some of the more familiar hikes around Logan Pass in the heart of Glacier National Park but had been put off by the heat and crowds. {We would subsequently learn that the best time to visit Glacier is between the last week in August and the middle of September, when most folks holidays are over.} While staying at the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, Montana, we learned of  Scalplock Lookout Trail, located at the very southern tip of the Park and well away from the usual tourist venues.

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