The best way to see any National Park is to hike its trails.  Previously in Glacier, we had hiked the Hidden Lake Trail, so Ron and I decided to return to the park today to hike on the Highline trail.

We left the truck at Apgar (entrance to the park) and took the shuttle bus to Logan Pass. 2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking Highline Trail 1001The Highline Trail begins there and runs north, following the Continental Divide for a total of 20 miles.  We decided to hike until our legs grew tired, then return.

The trail hugs the mountainside along the area known as the Garden Wall.  The views are fantastic.  2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking Highline Trail 1019We were hoping to spot a bear, although I would not have wanted to meet one face to face on the narrow trail.  2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking Highline Trail 1017

No bears were around, but we did meet up with the largest marmot I have seen, 2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking Highline Trail 1041spotted a herd of mountain goat, 2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking Highline Trail 1074and were entertained by a playful chipmunk.  2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking Highline Trail 1067

The wildflower display was beautiful, with many different varieties in bloom. 2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking Highline Trail 1027 We cut the hike shorter than we had planned when we encountered a waterfall on the wall created by the snow melt.  It was spraying across the entire trail, and we would have gotten wet if we continued.  We decided the day was cool enough that we didn’t want to spend the rest of it in damp clothing, so we turned around.  2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking Highline Trail 1057Since we hadn’t hiked as much as planned, we decided to try the nearby Hidden Lake trail.

A boardwalk runs along the first mile or so of the hike, keeping the hikers from damaging the fragile arctic plant life nearby.  We could not believe the amount of snow still lingering. 2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking the Hidden Lake Trail 1013

Just as we neared the end of the boardwalk, we realized there was no longer large patches of snow, but a snowfield that covered the trail as far as we could see.  I spoke with some hikers returning from the lake.  They related that the snow continued, and that the alpine wildflower meadow was covered with snow.  2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking the Hidden Lake Trail 1020Not wanting wet feet, we decided to return to Logan Pass and our shuttle ride. 

What a contrast to the same hike in 2004.  That day, there snow was almost non-existent, and the wildflower meadow was in full bloom. 2004 Trip (280) [50%] 

We did have a visual treat on the return hike, however , when we came across several bighorn sheep grazing.  2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking the Hidden Lake Trail 1024One ram seemed to enjoy posing, classically silhouetting himself against the mountain.2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking the Hidden Lake Trail 1037

Our pedometer measured 5 miles for the two hikes.   One more treat was in store.  On the way down the mountains, our driver spotted this small bear alongside the road. 2010-07-28 -1- MT, Glacier National Park - Hiking the Hidden Lake Trail 1040 For more photos from the hike,

 click here.

If you would like more information on these two hikes of Glacier National Park, Take My Trip.com is an excellent resource. 

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