Glacier National Park

Winter Spring 2015

Go to photo of Mamma Moose with calves

This is a screen shot from my iPhone taken after hiking the Scenic Point Trail in Two Medicine. This was done from GAIA GPS a very hand little program that works on iPhones and Android phones.
I'm still struggling with the 'Pause Recording' command so I have found it easier to record the return trip as it does not involve any long pauses. GAIA GPS does have a pause recording button but it is a lighter shade of blue which for my old eyes is no different from the record state. In addition I frequently forget to restart it when it is actually paused. One of the things that starts to happen when the hiker is closer to 70 then sixty. Not that my short term memory was every very good.

The program is $18.00 the maps are FREE. It does take some time to download the maps particularly when I am planning on hiking 350 miles in Glacier Park this year and another hundred on the Whitefish Trails.

For me it is easier to record the down part of the trail as GAIA does tend to jump around when I stop to catch my breath or take macro photos of wildflowers. While there is a pause Record function my memory is such that half the time I forget to Restart the Recording function. Your milage my vary but as I get closer to 70 my short term memory, which truthfully was never very good has gone the way on the missing hair on the top of my head.

Altitude Change while descending the Scenic Point Trail in Two Medicine

GAIA Altitude Profile Scenic Point Trail descent

June 1, 2015

Flash Flood Watch in effect for Glacier National Park.

May 26, 2015

Note: Trail to Iceberg Lake is not cleared of snow at this time there is one large snow pile before Ptarmigan Falls. After Ptarmigan Falls hikers would need micro-spikes, poles and snow covered trail experience. Just back from two days camping at Many Glacier followed by two days camping at Two Medicine. Hiked Apikuni Falls on the first day at Many Glacier, then Iceberg Lake Trail on the second day. Both trails had lots of wildflowers. Apikuni Falls had no snow on the trail, while Iceberg Lake Trail started to have some snow at Ptarmigan Falls. After entering the bowl for Iceberg lake I had to cross four snow covered avalanche chutes then as the trail finally got up to near the lake level the trail was 100% snow covered. Iceberg Lake totally frozen. While the creek crossing was possible the bridge was not fully in place as trail crew had not been up to the lake yet.
I had micro-spikes and poles without baskets. Others were hiking in shorts and flip flops and many realized too late that wasn't a good choice for this time of year.
Scenic Point Trail was snow free until near the top where the trail loops through subalpine fir, those sections were totally snow covered.
First time ever that I was able to stand at the edge of the first scenic point without strong gusting winds.

May 14, 2015

The winter of 2015 after January was basically a non event at lower elevations for snow. Strangely enough up until that point it had been a very heavy snow year in Whitefish. Late January at my house I had the most snowfall in a 24 hour period then I had ever experienced in Montana. Just for the record the blizzard on the Outer Banks of NC during the winter of 1979 remains for me the most powerful snowstorm that I have lived through. Upper elevation snowfall hovered around 80% of average this year.
Just because it is the middle of May doesn't mean that it won't snow. June 12 - 13 of 2002 it snowed over 4 feet in twenty four hours in East Glacier, Montana.

Many Glacier Campground set to open on Friday the 22 of May this year. The long absent ,if memory serves me right, almost a decade ago the Many Glacier webcam was shutdown for National Security reasons.
Well it went back online this week in a new location with a great view of Swiftcurrent Lake and Grinnell Point everything else is hidden behind clouds at the moment. The waterfront edge of Many Glacier Hotel is also visible.
Wildflowers are making a strong spring appearance this year. In the woods near my house Paintbrush is in full bloom, in the park it was in bloom two weeks ago just below the Loop on the GTSR.
GNP reports that the Snyder Lake Trail has been cleared of downed trees but that the backcountry campground at the lake still remains under snow. Trail Crew reports from St Mary note several hundred windblown down trees on the trail that runs from Red Eagle Lake to Virginia Falls.
As I mention every year the trail crews in Glacier Park are the unsung heroes.
When I hiked the Red Eagle Lake Trail, about a month ago, to the first wildflower meadow there were over twenty trees that I had to climb over in the first mile of the trail.

April 27, 2015

Biked to Loop yesterday, lots of wildflowers between Packers Roost and the Loop. Below Packers Roost mainly Trillium from Red Rock Falls to Packers Roost.
Paintbrush, Spring Beauty, Yellow Round Leaf Violet, Glacier Lily, Wild Strawberry, Blue Eyed Mary and Early Blue Violet are some of the wildflowers blooming above Packers Roost on the side of the GTSR.

April 21, 2015

Mamma Moose

mama moose two calves

Pray Lake

Photo below sunrise at Lake McDonald from Apgar Winter Campground.

sunrise lake mcdonald

Hoods Phlox Glacier National Park

Will be posting later today pics from my latest camping trip which was two nights at St Mary and one night at Two Medicine. Left St Mary in a very wet, very windy snowstorm. FYI St Mary Campground until June 4th is actually a backcountry campground NOT auto campground. Two Medicine A Loop is open. I think this is the earliest that this campground has opened in the quarter century that I have lived in NW Montana. Red Eagle Lake Trail in St Mary had the first wildflowers of the year that I have come across ~ crocus and Hood's Phlox.
Hood's Phlox is a very hardy wildflower growing from one of the lowest elevations in the park at St Mary to the top of the Garden Wall. After two nights at St Mary, which I had to myself the entire time I moved over to Two Medicine Campground which opened over a month early then had been posted when I started this camping trip. Lots of wildlife in Two Medicine but didn't see any wildflowers. Many Glacier Road is open.

February 2015

In the process of working out a method for providing current condition information without letting this web-page get too big.

Added another YouTube sideshow Logan Pass to Many Glacier by way of the Highline & Swiftcurrent Pass Trails.
This is the MOST scenic hike that I have ever done in Glacier National Park. Luckily for me the heavy rains held off until I got to Many Glacier and was seated in the Swiftcurrent Restaurant. August 29, 2014. The skies were clear for the majority of the hike.

Youtube sideshow of the hike from Gunsight Lake to Gunsight Pass on September 18, 2014.

YouTube sideshow of the Dawson Pass Trail on a blue sky day this past August 1, 2014. Plus it was a great wildflower hike with all the snow gone from the trail with just a few patches of snow along side the trail just before the pass.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream.
    Mark Twain

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