Sunday, August 03, 2008

Stanton Lake diverson excursion

Katie at Stanton Lake with Grant peak in background in Great Bear Wilderness

Prolific and beautiful west side daisies
We took a quick trip to Kalispell this weekend for Katie’s high school reunion.
On the way back to Great Falls we detoured to a trailhead I had hiked so many years ago that I didn’t recall much about it --- the Stanton Lake Trail in the Great Bear Wilderness.
It is about 15 miles east of West Glacier on U.S. 2, just past the Stanton Lake Lodge.
It is about 2 miles to the lake from the trailhead, with a couple of steep pitches.
The hiker is rewarded with spectacular views of Great Northern Mountain and Stanton Glacier that feeds the lake.
The lake has that wonderful emerald color that only glacier fed lakes can have.
We took about two hours to do the hike, but could have done it much faster had it not been for the distraction of one of the best huckleberry crops I’ve ever seen.
The trailhead is very near the highway. There is a rough approach to a parking area, so we parked right off U.S. 2.
It is heavy, but pleasant timber all the way to this gem of a lake.
I understand there are cutthroat and rainbow trout in this gem.
We encountered no one on the trail or the lake until we were nearly back to the trailhead.
I couldn’t help but think of less than a mile away in Glacier where all the trails are jammed with people.
We got a great hike and a great huckleberry pie out of the excusion.

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