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Glacier National Park

TravelWhitney CarlsonComment
Hiking in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking in Glacier National Park, Montana

We hiked over 54 miles in Kootenay National Park and Banff National Park in September 2016. You can read about the Kootenay and Banff National Park portion of the trip here. The second portion of our trip was spent in Glacier National Park in Montana. This was our second time in Glacier National Park. We were there for the first time in 2013 and hiked over 60 miles. Read about our first trip here.


Glacier National Park in Montana

Day 6 (Friday 9/9)

After hiking Moraine Lake/Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass in Banff National Park, Canada (a 10 (+) mile hike) and eating lunch, we drove through Canada to East Glacier, Montana. We were starving and we were so happy to find out that one of our favorite restaurants from the last time we visited Glacier was still open! We ate at Luna’s and had a great Greek salad and huckleberry pie. After eating we checked into our awesome rental and went to sleep!


Day 7 (Saturday 9/10)

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

For our first hike in Glacier National Park, we woke up early to hike Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake. Both are absolutely gorgeous hikes. We went to Ptarmigan Tunnel first and only saw a few other people. The trail was pretty steady (but steep!) until you reach the lake below the switchbacks. Once at the lake it is switchback after switchback and a very steep climb up. Once through the tunnel, it was like a completely new world and the views were magnificent. I loved the different colors of rocks.

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

After going back down part of the Ptarmigan Tunnel trail we arrived at the intersection of the trail that goes to Iceberg Lake. This trail was very, very crowded but I'm glad we didn't turn around because the hike to Iceburg Lake and the actual lake was breathtaking.

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana

After the 15 mile hike, we met up my with my cousin and his wife who just happened to be in Glacier at the same time. This is actually my cousin that we lived with for five weeks while we were in between houses. We ate at the Many Glacier Hotel Restaurant. We also tried a Huckleberry Margarita! After leaving dinner and heading back to our cabin we stopped for a Huckleberry Milkshake. Can you tell we are obsessed with huckleberry when we go to Montana?!

Dinner at Many Glacier Hotel Restaurant in Glacier National Park, Montana

Dinner at Many Glacier Hotel Restaurant in Glacier National Park, Montana


Day 8 (Sunday 9/11)

  • No hiking/rest day/travel day

When we woke up Sunday morning to head to Whitefish it was raining so we ended up leaving early around 8 AM. Our plan was to take Going to the Sun Road but it was snowing and they closed the road. Yes, snowing in September...enough to close the road. Once we got to the Whitefish side the sun was shining and it looked like it would be a pretty day. The weather fooled us though because once we got to our AirBNB rental and went to the grocery store it was dark and rainy. We took that as a sign that we should have an off day so we just walked around the town in the rain, ate lunch and then just relaxed at the townhouse.

Lunch: Loula's


Day 9 (Monday 9/12)

We were so excited to get to go to our favorite place again! We went to the Polebridge side of Glacier, which is much less crowded than any other part of the park. It could be best described as an old school type general store but we go there for the bakery. We stopped in to get a few bear claws, for pre and post hiking nutrition (of course) and then headed to the trailhead for the Numa Ridge Lookout Trail which started at Bowman Lake. The views from the top were magnificent but the actual trail to the top became kind of boring because you were basically in a forest for most of the trail. We actually contemplated turning around a few times. It was definitely great at the top but I don't think we would do the same hike again.

Hiking Numa Ridge Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Numa Ridge Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Numa Ridge Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Numa Ridge Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Numa Ridge Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Numa Ridge Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking in Glacier National Park, Montana

The Polebridge Mercantile and Bakery in Montana

The Polebridge Mercantile and Bakery in Montana

The Polebridge Mercantile and Bakery in Montana

The Polebridge Mercantile and Bakery in Montana

After the Numa Ridge Lookout, we did a short hike to Hidden Meadow. For some reason on this hike we were aware of every single noise and every single noise sounded like a bear so we ran most of the trail. It was a gorgeous meadow once the trail opened up. We even saw two white swans swimming.

Going to the Sun Road was still closed so we headed back to Whitefish to eat dinner at Piggyback BBQ.

Hiking Hidden Meadow in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Hidden Meadow in Glacier National Park, Montana


Day 10 (Tuesday 9/13)

Going to the Sun Road was still closed so we ended up doing a short hike to Sprague Lake on the portion of the road that was still open. It was an okay hike but definitely not one of our favorites.

Big horn sheep on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana

Big horn sheep on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana


Day 11 (Wednesday 9/14)

We actually had a hike planned for outside the park but once we got on the road, we decided to head for the park. We didn’t plan very well though and ended up only doing Trail of the Cedars. We didn’t have time to go all the way to Avalanche Lake, but we were able to do it on our last trip. It was soooooo cold and windy so I'm glad we didn't hike very long. After leaving the park we drove to Hungry Horse Dam after getting some advice from a park ranger.

Hiking Avalanche Lake and Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Avalanche Lake and Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park, Montana

After riding around at the dam for awhile, we went back to Whitefish for lunch (at Loula's again) and walked around town.

That afternoon Scott played golf at Whitefish Lake Golf Course and I walked the course because I had nothing else to do. ;-) After golf we got Piggyback BBQ again, but this time we ordred it to-go.

Whitefish Lake Golf Club in Whitefish, Montana

Whitefish Lake Golf Club in Whitefish, Montana


Day 12 (Thursday 9/15)

Going to the Sun Road was FINALLY open so we *thought* we would be able to do our scheduled hike and we tried...We woke up at 5 am to hike Siyeh Pass. We hiked all the way up to Siyeh Pass and at about 3/4 of the way up we turned around. The switchbacks were covered in snow and ICE and it was taking us forever to really go nowhere. I was scared and kept sliding all over the place. We were bummed to turn around so close to the top but it was the best and safest option. We decided to do Piegan Pass since we were already close by (and we wanted to do both anyway). We backtracked and went back to the fork in the trail and took the path to Piegan this time. The views from Piegan were unbelievable. I couldn't find any pictures from Siyeh so I guess we didn't take any since we were so cold!

Dinner: Pizza at Mackenzie River Pizza Co

Hiking to Siyeh Pass & Piegan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking to Siyeh Pass & Piegan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana


Day 13 (Friday 9/16)

  • Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin
  • 6 miles (1,700 ft)

Friday was our last day. Our flight left that afternoon so we decided we would try to squeeze in one last hike before departing. We didn't have time to go back into the park so we researched some areas outside of the park and ventured into the Jewel Basin. The hike we did was Mount Aganeas outside of Glacier in Jewel Basin, Montana. It was a gorgeous hike, worthy of National Park status. It was a 6-mile hike and by the time we finished we didn't have time to grab lunch so we headed straight to the airport. Good thing we had eaten leftover pizza for breakfast.

Crazy thing is once we were on the plane a couple from our gym were on the same plane as us, what are the chances?!

Hiking Hiking Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin, Montana

Hiking Hiking Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin, Montana

Hiking Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin, Montana

Hiking Mount Aeneas in the Jewel Basin, Montana


Just for fun, this is a video I put together of the funny things Scott said on some of our hikes in Glacier National Park. Enjoy. :)