5 Reasons to Visit Montana

5 Reasons to Visit Montana

 

Glacier National Park in Montana is steadfastly considered to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. In 1890, naturalist and historian George Bird Grinnell described it as the "Crown of the Continent"-a two-tiered idea acknowledging the triple headwaters of the continent that flow out to three seas, and mountainous formations that decorate the rooftop of Big Sky Montana.

For millennia, the movement of glaciers in this area of the Rockies has carved out valleys and lakes while pushing peaks, cirques, ridges, and fins into the sky. Atop the peaks are snow and glaciers (which are sadly disappearing); and surrounding them are sub-alpine conifer forests and vast meadow slopes that create a wonderful home and habitat for wildlife.

You will start to see creatures that are essential to the strength of the ecosystem including scores of birdlife, elk, moose, and mountain goat-the last of which has become a symbol for the park. From January to March, Glacier is a premier destination for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and for other winter sports.

During summer, people come to see wildlife, go camping, fish and boat on perfect glacial lakes, and hit the ground to explore a trail network surpassing 700 that are consistently maintained. Long-distance treks, day hikes, wilderness walks, and backpacking adventures transcend visitors to that carefree state of being that Muir spoke of so long ago. Along the trails, visitors find out why Glacier is regarded to be among Earth's most lovely places with every sublime step.

Avalanche Lake

Beginning at the Trail of the Cedars off of Going-to-the-Sun Road is this awesome, 4.5 mile half-day hike that is totally unique in the park. Its power is a result of glacier runoff cascading down from high mountain peaks that eventually give way to clear, blue, still reflective waters. On the shores of Avalanche Lake, the peaceful setting continues as it changes, with spectacular views of Bearhat Mountain prominently dominating the skyline above the lake.

Beginning at the Trail of the Cedars off of Going-to-the-Sun Road is this awesome, 4.5 mile half-day hike that is totally unique in the park. Its power is a result of glacier runoff cascading down from high mountain peaks that eventually give way to clear, blue, still reflective waters.
On the shores of Avalanche Lake, the peaceful setting continues as it changes, with spectacular views of Bearhat Mountain prominently dominating the skyline above the lake.

Hidden Lake Trail

The shores of the lake are located 1.5-miles down from the overlook across relatively easy terrain on a well marked trail. Because of its easy starting location at the visitor center, its relatively short distance (1.3-miles one way,) as well as the fact that much of the early part of the hike crosses a wooden boardwalk, this first section is a great easy adventure for large groups and families. Starting at 6,375 feet, it is also a great acclimatization hike to prepare your body and breath for the thin-air environment before setting off on other hikes in the park that face an even higher elevation gain, which most big hikes in the park do.

The shores of the lake are located 1.5-miles down from the overlook across relatively easy terrain on a well marked trail. Because of its easy starting location at the visitor center, its relatively short distance (1.3-miles one way,) as well as the fact that much of the early part of the hike crosses a wooden boardwalk, this first section is a great easy adventure for large groups and families. Starting at 6,375 feet, it is also a great acclimatization hike to prepare your body and breath for the thin-air environment before setting off on other hikes in the park that face an even higher elevation gain, which most big hikes in the park do.

Grinnell Glacier Trail

The Grinnell Glacier Trail starts at a gentle incline before ascending 1,600 feet across terrain that is a mixture of crystal lakes, glacier views, and gorgeous peaks accentuated by the drama of Mount Gould, standing at 9,554 feet. At the top of the hike is a small alpine pool where you can see icebergs-a rarity in the park and a great place to stop to refuel with some food before starting the equally intense descent down the range.

The Grinnell Glacier Trail starts at a gentle incline before ascending 1,600 feet across terrain that is a mixture of crystal lakes, glacier views, and gorgeous peaks accentuated by the drama of Mount Gould, standing at 9,554 feet. At the top of the hike is a small alpine pool where you can see icebergs-a rarity in the park and a great place to stop to refuel with some food before starting the equally intense descent down the range.

Highline to the Loop Trail

With dramatic views that are revealed instantly as you walk onto the trail, the beginning of it is typically quite congested. After passing the first couple of miles, the crowds begin to dissipate and you will find yourself quickly immersed in a sea of vast wilderness. At the Granite Park Chalet you will connect to the Loop Trail to begin your descent of 2,200-feet across four miles which eventually brings you back to your car in the parking lot.

With dramatic views that are revealed instantly as you walk onto the trail, the beginning of it is typically quite congested. After passing the first couple of miles, the crowds begin to dissipate and you will find yourself quickly immersed in a sea of vast wilderness. At the Granite Park Chalet you will connect to the Loop Trail to begin your descent of 2,200-feet across four miles which eventually brings you back to your car in the parking lot.

St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls

If you are looking for a hike with abundant waterfalls within a lovely protected forest, this network of trails is your jam. As you continue to make way through the conifer forest, you will find that this trails is not one to just two falls, but a waterfall spectacular.

If you are looking for a hike with abundant waterfalls within a lovely protected forest, this network of trails is your jam. As you continue to make way through the conifer forest, you will find that this trails is not one to just two falls, but a waterfall spectacular.

5 Inland Empire Hiking Spots

5 Inland Empire Hiking Spots

Gear up for Hiking

Gear up for Hiking