Sunday, September 24, 2006

A 'scenic' fall hike

Hitting the fall weather just right

Flinsch Peak is already blanketed

Striking red mountain ash with Sinopah in background
If you’re thinking about seeing the east side of the mountains in blazing colors, this next week is the time to catch it in its full glory.
We were just a little ahead of the best color in Glacier National Park this weekend, although we could see the colors deepening from day to day and from early to late.
On Saturday we hiked the 10-mile Scenic Point to East Glacier Park walk-through, a much neglected and beautiful walk that covers all mountain zones from alpine to grass.
Most folks walk to Scenic Point and turn back down.
There was a skiff of snow on the trail, much less than Rising Wolf Mountain across the lake, which had a pretty good blanket above 8,500 feet.
Because the park’s Hiker’s Shuttle had shut down four days previously, we had to hitch a ride to the Scenic Point trailhead from East Glacier Park, where we were staying, a 12 mile ride.
There were several other car-less people we encountered who were stranded in East Glacier.
The Hiker’s Shuttle, when operating, is better than nothing, but runs so little that it discourages those who would rather rely on public transit than their own cars or thumbs.
Leading the Flathead girls across Scenic traverse
The trail from Two Medicine Lake to Scenic Point rapidly climbs above timberline, offering great views of the lake and Upper Two Medicine Lake. The fresh snow offered wonderful relief to Sinopah, Lone Walker, Painted Teepee, and Red mountains to the north and west.
After a windy ascent we dropped down toward East Glacier Park, cutting our way through a limestone canyon more typical in color and feel to the Rocky Mountain Front than Glacier. Then it was through aspen sprinkled forest that touched wetlands, and back to the town.
On Sunday we were looking for a stroll and chose to walk around Two Medicine Lake, with a side-trip to Twin Falls, about an 8-mile hike.
The hike passes through forest that breaks out into the open occasionally offering great views of the lake and the mountains above them.
Because this is the shoulder season we met only four other hiking parties during the 3-1/2 hours we hiked.
Up she goes!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope "Out There With Tom" is OK. I always look forward to your new blog and there hasn't been anything new in a while.