Glacier National Park, Last Post (including a bear!)

Our last full day at Many Glacier started with a drive over to the other side of Swiftcurrent lake, where I took a photo of the lodge, and of another moose (but probably the same one as before).

Many Glacier Hotel Panorama

Many Glacier Hotel Panorama

Moose

Moose

After the pit stop for the moose photo, we started on our hike for the day. We originally planned to head up to Iceberg Lake, however there was a grizzly bear with her three cubs on the trail the day before, so they closed the trail past Ptarmigan Falls. We actually met the couple that had their trip interrupted by the bear; they were waiting for the boat with us on our first day in the park. She told us all about her encounter, which ended safely.

Quite a bit of the park was closed off due to bear activity. This day’s hike was along the edge of an area that was all closed off, we were not supposed to go uphill, ever.

Bear Warning Board

Bear Warning Board

Bear Warning Trail

Bear Warning Trail

Deer

Deer

Mt Grinnell in the Clouds

Mt Grinnell in the Clouds

After a while, I decided it was time to take some macro photos. I have a special lens (5o mm f/1.8 Canon fixed length lens), that I mount backwards with an aluminum ring, after I force it to lock at f/11. Since our walk was cut short by grizzly activity, there was plenty of time for me to take photos along the way. Many of these photos are focus stacked, and even panorama stacked, to get them to fit in the frame and have more in focus than a small sliver. Feel free to ask me sometime how to focus stack. If you ever take macro shots it can be a neat tool.

Fire Weed

Fire Weed

Berries

Berries

Purple Flower

Purple Flower

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Hover Fly Eye Crop

Hover Fly Eye Crop

Hover Fly

Hover Fly

Another Purple Flower

Another Purple Flower

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry

Thimble Berry

Thimble Berry

Service Berries

Service Berries

Bee on Thistle

Bee on Thistle

Bee on Thistle Leaf

Bee on Thistle Leaf

Ptarmigan Falls is the half way point to Iceberg Lake, and was our turnaround point for our hike. We sat above the falls and ate a snack, and then I took a photo of an Ichneumon wasp while everyone else taking a break gave me funny looks. Ichneumon wasps are very small and don’t sting, they are quite different than yellow jackets.

Ptarmigan Falls

Ptarmigan Falls

Ichneumon Wasp

Ichneumon Wasp

We then headed back down the mountain, but I kept my macro lens in my pack. All of the rest of these photos are taken with my telephoto lens. I’m really happy with my chipmunk photo; it was fun to watch him climb around and eat those seeds.

Columbian Ground Squirrel

Columbian Ground Squirrel

Chipmunk on Cow Parsnip

Chipmunk on Cow Parsnip

Megan on the Way Back From Ptarmigan Falls

Megan on the Way Back From Ptarmigan Falls

Unknown Flower

Unknown Flower

Vine

Vine

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

Dragonfly - Red

Dragonfly - Red

We got back from the hike and ate lunch. Then we went on a short ranger led hike to nearby Fishercap Lake, and got another chance to see another moose, as well as some deer.

Moose and Mountain

Moose and Mountain

Deer

Deer

Moose are Ugly

Moose are Ugly

Mayfly Emergence

Mayfly Emergence

Not a Bee (Hover Fly)

Not a Bee (Hover Fly)

After the tour, we did a little laundry. It was fairly cold most of the trip, so Megan wore most of her clothes just about every day. While the machines were running, I went out and took more macro photos. Unfortunatly, I didn’t notice that the lens was set to f/1.8, so all of these photos have an extremely narrow depth of field (focus range). It gives them an ethereal effect, but I had to toss almost all of them because they weren’t what I wanted.

Wasp at Narrow Depth of Field

Wasp at Narrow Depth of Field

Mossy Succulenty Thing

Mossy Succulenty Thing

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

Bee on Purple

Bee on Purple

Bee on Purple

Bee on Purple

That was an early night for us. We enjoyed fondue at the “Swiss Lounge” in the lodge, and then just sat outside on the back deck for a while. As promised, I took a photo of the interior of the lodge.

Many Glacier Lodge

Many Glacier Lodge

Megan in our Many Glacier Hotel Room

Megan in our Many Glacier Hotel Room

The next morning we headed out towards Logan’s Pass. The drive up was enjoyable, and we stopped frequently to go on short hikes. This time we were going to drive up, park at the top, and go for a hike in the alpine meadows. Little did we know that when we got there it would be completely covered in fog. We ate lunch up there, but the fog never left, so we just continued on down to the western side of the mountain.

Little Chief Peak in the Clouds

Little Chief Peak in the Clouds

Baring Creek Cascade

Baring Creek Cascade

Megan on the Path Near Baring Creek

Megan on the Path Near Baring Creek

Sunrift Gorge

Sunrift Gorge

St Mary Valley (or so the map says)

St Mary Valley (or so the map says)

Tunnel Before Logan's Pass

Tunnel Before Logan's Pass

Two Asses at Logan's Pass

Two Asses at Logan's Pass

Bighorn Sheep at the Pass

Bighorn Sheep at the Pass

Baa

Baa

Foggy Drive

Foggy Drive

Once we got down to the western side, we went for a hike up to Avalanche Lake. This was an absolutely stunning alpine glacial cirque. These photos do not do it justice at all. The best part was the black bear feeding on the mountainside across the lake. We enjoyed lunch number two while watching the bear munch on berries.

Mountain Cottontail

Mountain Cottontail

Avalanche Lake Mountains

Avalanche Lake Mountains

Charles at Avalanche Lake

Charles at Avalanche Lake

Charles at Avalanche Lake

Charles at Avalanche Lake

Black Bear

Black Bear

Lichen

Lichen

Forest Below Avalanche Lake

Forest Below Avalanche Lake

The western side of the mountains in Glacier National Park are actually rain forests, so they are covered in moss, lichen, and mushrooms. Not the place you would expect a rain forest, and it looked fairly similar to Olympic National Park.

Small Mushroom

Small Mushroom

Mushroom Gills

Mushroom Gills

Fungus Stalks

Fungus Stalks

Lake McDonald is quite large, and our cabin for the night was right next to the lake. We stayed at the cabins next to the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Somebody Needs Orbit Gum

Somebody Needs Orbit Gum

The next day we drove back to Logan Pass, because we really wanted to see the views from up there. Megan grabbed a quick shot of some deer that were crossing the road on the way up. The drive was a lot of fun, because we went up so early that there were not very many cars on the road. When we got up there, we ran into the same problem of everything being covered in fog. Just so we are clear, I’m calling it fog, but really it is just cloud cover. After eating a snack, we decided that we might as well go for a hike to Hidden Lake Overlook.

It ended up ok, as there were some breaks in the fog once we left the area of the pass, but it was very cold the whole time. There was one sharp rise up, where once we passed the ridge, the fog just rolled back and left a nice area that was open. As we continued on we walked in and out of the fog, but once we got close to Hidden Lake, it was all just covered in fog. We met some people traveling back, and they told us if we waited 20 minutes, there might be a short break where we could see the lake. So, when we got there, we waited around.

We took some photos, and eventually met a couple that were also risking the fog, and found out they were from University City, and she grew up in a house two blocks from where we live. Then, finally, after about 25 minutes, there was a break, and we could see part of the lake.

Megan's Deer Photo

Megan's Deer Photo

Megan at Logan Pass

Megan at Logan Pass

Columbian Ground Squirrel

Columbian Ground Squirrel

The Trail to Hidden Lake

The Trail to Hidden Lake

Path to Hidden Lake

Path to Hidden Lake

Megan on the Path to Hidden Lake

Megan on the Path to Hidden Lake

Megan Looking at Hidden Lake Overlook

Megan Looking at Hidden Lake Overlook

SolidWorks Backpack

SolidWorks Backpack

Charles at Hidden Lake Overlook

Charles at Hidden Lake Overlook

Trees at Hidden Lake Overlook

Trees at Hidden Lake Overlook

The Most We Saw of Hidden Lake

The Most We Saw of Hidden Lake

The Second Showing of Hidden Lake

The Second Showing of Hidden Lake

Charles and Megan After Hidden Lake

Charles and Megan After Hidden Lake

Bridge, Clouds, and Megan

Bridge, Clouds, and Megan

It did drizzle off and on the whole time we were hiking. Really, it drizzled off an on our entire trip. The weather took an interesting turn on the way back from the lake when it started to hail on us. It was not quite hail, which recirculates, really it was just ice pellets. Once that cleared we actually got a hint of blue sky, almost.

Megan Getting Hailed On

Megan Getting Hailed On

A Tiny Patch of Bluish Sky

A Tiny Patch of Bluish Sky

When we got back to the car at Logan Pass, we decided it was not worth walking on the Highline Trail, as it gives a great scenic view of the western valley. Unfortunately, it looked like it was just going to be covered the whole time, so we just went back down to Lake McDonald. We went on a short hike north of the lake, and then went down to West Glacier to eat dinner at the diner in town. Again, the food was edible. We donated our bear spray at the ranger station, then went back to our cabin for the night.

Little White Mushroom

Little White Mushroom

Single Blue Berry (not a blueberry)

Single Blue Berry (not a blueberry)

Shelf Mushroom

Shelf Mushroom

Forest Panorama

Forest Panorama

Forest Rock

Forest Rock

Charles Sitting

Charles Sitting

Lake McDonald Panorama

Lake McDonald Panorama

Lake McDonald Lodge Cabin Bathroom

Lake McDonald Lodge Cabin Bathroom

Megan in Cabin

Megan in Cabin

Cabin 3-5

Cabin 3-5

The next day we just got up and drove to Missoula for our plane trip back. We had a great trip, I hope you enjoyed the photos!

Glacier National Park: Photo Set 1

Glacier National Park: Hike to Grinnell Glacier

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