Well, let’s start with a quick update. Good news – our RV is feeling much better now. No biohazard problems to report! 🙂
After spending the past couple of weeks touring the main areas of Glacier National Park, we think our RV neighbors put it best: the park sometimes feels like a theme or amusement park. There are some high “touristy” areas that are packed with people, the main road through the park can have long lines, and sometimes there are too many cranky/annoying/unmannered children (and parents). We have been hitting the more popular and easily accessible areas of the park recently which probably explains some of the crowding, and no doubt they are popular and crowded because they are absolutely stunning. Don’t get us wrong, we are fine hiking with 20-90 or more of our fellow nature enthusiasts to get to a view like this one:
However, the park does sometimes feel a wee bit crowded and anxiety inducing. Driving along the ‘Going to the Sun Road’ we actually had a guy honk at us because he wanted to go faster… We were doing a hair over the speed limit while going around one of the trickier bends in the road. Go figure, it made the T-Shirt we saw at the gift shop make sense. The short version was, ‘Thanks for speeding around curves and passing on the Going to the Sun Road’. Yours truly, GNP Paramedics. Those who have experienced the white-knuckle driving of the Going to the Sun road will understand. There are some areas where our full-size, extended bed 3500 pick-up feels like it will mash the wall or go over the cliff.
We plan to create another blog post to comment and elaborate about our top tourist “types” later, Types like the “Hurry Up, Get Out of My Way So I can See Something”, or the “The Rules Must Not Apply to Me” tourist. We have a whole list of the people we have categorized along this journey so far, so take it as a fun tongue in cheek commentary. Oh, we did not categorize ourselves. LOL. Humanity is interesting.
Now the fun stuff: We have had the opportunity to witness a lot of beauty while we’ve been here. The hike to Avalanche Lake is no exception. The trail is very popular and easily accessible from the Going to the Sun Road. In fact, there are several parking areas specifically for this trail. We did have difficulty finding a spot, even on a Tuesday! We consider ourselves pretty athletic people for the most part, but Sherry especially had to stop a few times along this hike.
It is only 2 miles from trailhead to the lake, but it climbs over 500 feet. The trail is very well marked and defined. It passes through some remarkable ‘ecosystems’ and has an amazing stretch near the start where the creek runs through a rocky gorge.
Absolutely breathtaking. The upward climb was exhausting at times, but when we saw families and children passing in the other direction, we knew that we might be over-exaggerating the difficulty. The view at the top was remarkable.
The lake was fed by runoff from Sperry Glacier, most of which dropped into the valley from three waterfalls on high cliffs. We had to sit and soak it all in once we arrived. One of the funniest things, there are tons of chipmunks in the area and none seemed afraid of the people. Unfortunately, too many people ignore the signs about feeding the animals and these little guys have lost all fear of people.
We had several come right over to the rock we sat on to ‘talk’ with us.
The lake was spectacular and well worth our little hike. We stopped across the lake from the falls but could still hear them crashing down the rocky cliffs.
Hard as it is to believe, we keep hearing that these parts of the park, while gorgeous, don’t compare to the harder to access areas. Over the next few weeks we plan on hitting some of those spots.
Last note. You can always go to our Lovey Photo website to see more photos of our hikes and travels (the link is below). In order to save on bandwidth and our storage capacity, we have been uploading photos in low resolution format. If there are any you see and would like to see in a higher resolution, please let us know. Sean may do a post later (on a rainy day) about our cameras and the equipment we use both for studio and nature photography. 🙂