Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sneak preview of Glacier Park

A large herd of elk on Two Dog Flats in Glacier

The road to Two Med Lake became our path because it was gated, but passable

Rising Wolf towers over the Two Med camp store

Sinopah dominates the head of Two Med Lake

The most photographed place in the park, Goose Island on St. Mary's Lake
Temperatures climbed into the high 70s and the skies cleared, so my wife and I shot up to Glacier for a couple of days to look around.
What we found were clear, gated roads for hiking that took us up St. Mary's Lake and Two Medicine Lake, where we found mostly bare ground and snow-capped mountains.  St. Mary's Lake was clear of ice, but Two Med had ice at its west end.
Particularly at Two Med I can see no reason why the gates aren't removed so more people could enjoy the area.  We hiked 4.1 miles from the park boundary on the road to the lake, where we then walked the south shore trail to Paradise Point, where we had a glorious picnic on the lake shore.  On the way back we stopped at Running Eagle Falls.  Along the way we saw lots of moose and wolf sign.  We encountered several people.  A backcountry skier on a mountain bike, and a couple on road bikes.  At the very least, the Park Service should open the road to the falls.
The St. Mary road is open to Rising Sun Campground, where it is gated.  We walked to the Goose Island photo overlook and beyond.  We were most interested to see the effects of the 2015 fires, and were pleased to find that the fire had burned in a mosaic, unlike the 2006 Red Eagle fire across the lake that burned white hot, scorching everything in sight and leaving few tree.
Visitors will have plenty to look at from the Going to the Sun Road as they assess the fire.
On the way back we passed Two Dog Flats and there was a herd of more than 60 elk grazing in full daylight.

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