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.


The use trail leaves Logan Pass from the curving ramp between the lower bathrooms and the upper vistor center (and NOT from west of the visitor center as some guidebooks imply). It crosses about a mile of open meadows before climbing not too steeply up open ground to the saddle between Mount Oberlin and Clements Mountain. You then follow the ridge north to the summit. Along the way across the meadow towards the saddle, we encountered a huge marmot sunbathing – which, at a distance and with our heightened sense of bears, we thought WAS a bear.

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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.

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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  the Scalplock Lookout Trail, located at the very southern tip of the Park and well away from the usual tourist venues.

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