I woke in the St. Mary area this morning hoping to do the Highline Trail (AllTrails). But unfortunately, once again, mother nature had different ideas as the high mountains were completely covered with clouds and the forecast called for rain. I looking over the trail map I decided to do a trail in the Many Glacier area to Iceberg Lake. Here is a map of the different areas within Glacier National Park to familiarize you with the park…..
The Iceberg Lake hike (AllTrails) is considered a moderate hike with 1700′ feet of elevation gain and just under 10 miles round trip. After I found the trailhead, which was actually a little difficult, the hike up to the lake was very nice. I passed several people on the way up and briefly chatted with most of them. Fortunately the clouds were hovering just above the glacier above the lake so I was able to see it from a distance on the approach. There was a beautiful lake just below it that I attempted to get a picture of through the rainy, foggy weather….
When I reached the lake it was the turquoise green color I’ve come to associate with most glacial lakes and streams. In spite of the iffy weather it was quite beautiful….
Unfortunately, just as I arrived at the lake the rain began to pick up. Buy the time I was finished taking pictures it was pouring and the temperature was probably in the mid – high 40s with a decent wind. Needless to say I didn’t spend very much time at the lake (unfortunately) and quickly started back down. As I was going down I came upon one of the couples I had passed on the way up. They had made the lake and turned back almost immediately. We struck up a conversation and hiked together for a half a mile or so. When I stopped to take some pictures they kept going. By this time the rain had tapered off some.
After I finished my pictures I hiked about 1/4 of a mile and once again ran into the couple I had been speaking with before. They both motioned for me to be slow and quite. As I approached the pointed to the woods and said, “moose”. We stood and watched as a cow crossed the path in front of us….
And just about the time we thought she was gone we saw this coming out of the woods….
I was so excited, which is exactly why my piece of iCrap (iPhone) decided to stop working just as he walked across the path right in front of us….UGH!!!!!!
Once he passed the couple walked on but I decided to stick around and see if he might come back so I could (hopefully) get some pictures this time. Well, he never came back across the path but he did stand in the woods close to the path for some time….waiting on me to leave perhaps? At this point I could only get shots from behind but they were still pretty cool….
After about 5 minutes I moved on and left him alone. I once again caught up with the couple and hiked and spoke with them for about 10 minutes when they stopped for a rest and I moved on. I enjoyed speaking with them and it was a good distraction from the weather as I was now completely soaked through. My feet were even squishing inside my boots with every step….I hate that! So I hurried back stopping to take a few more pictures every now and then….
That evening I went to a presentation by a ranger on Glacier National Park hosted in the Many Glacier Hotel. The hotel is very interesting in and of itself. It was built in 1915 by the Great Northern Railway company as a way to bring tourist into the area…and of course, make money. As I’ve discovered on this trip the railway companies built many of the original structures in the big western parks along with the rail lines. And like many of them the Many Glacier Hotel was modeled after a Swiss Chalet. Most of the meeting rooms and restaurants still have Swiss names….
The original building had a spiral staircase in the main lobby. Back in the 1950s the staircase was removed. It was replaced just last year and the hotel staff were very proud of it. The shot from the second floor was pretty neat….
One last note on the Many Glacier Hotel (I thought it was interesting)….in the movie The Shining Jack Nicholson plays the winter caretaker of a fictional hotel called the Overlook Hotel. If you come to Glacier looking for the Overlook Hotel you will not find it as the exterior of the hotel in the movie was modeled after the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon. However, if you’re familiar with the movie (I know Rob B. will be) there are numerous scenes in the hallways of the hotel. As I was walking through the hallway of the Many Glacier Hotel it seemed like I was walking through the movie. They did not look like the ones in the movie but they were eerie all the same. I kept expecting to see a little boy on a big wheel coming around the corner yelling, “redrum, redrum” with two weird little girls at the other end (yeah, that’s how my brain works, ha ha)…..
And by the way, the Many Glacier Hotel is inaccessible for several months over the winter just like the one in the movie and it does have a care taker who live on the premises, alone, during the winter months…eerie huh? And on that spooky note I will say adieu. Sweet dreams….mmmmmwwwwahahahahahaha. 🙂