The Highline Trail

One of the most popular hikes in Glacier National Park is the Highline Trail. You access the trailhead from the Logan Pass Visitor Center area. The trail is 15.2 miles long and gains over 1,900 feet of elevation, so it is pretty strenuous if you hike the whole trail. If you want to shorten the hike, you can hike to Haystack Pass (3.6 miles) and back (about 7 miles round trip.)

Near the first part of the trail you reach the ledge on the Garden Wall that hangs high above the Going to the Sun Road. If you have a fear of heights, this part may be tough. The ledge is only 4-6 feet wide and drops off about 100 feet on one side. There is a cable attached to the wall that you can hold on to. We saw some little kids that were very scared on this part.

After this part, the views start to get amazing. If you do not get on the Highline Trail early, prepare to see crowds. The Logan Pass parking lot gets packed too. It fills by 10am most mornings in July and August! We saw less than 10 people on the trail in the morning and had to let many people pass us on the way back. That tends to slow you down, so plan plenty of time.

We had two mountain goats blocking the trail at one point! A ranger came along and had to shake a plastic bag at them to move them off of the trail. It was not wide enough to get by them otherwise. One day soon, Craig and I hope to hike the Highline Trail to the Granite Park Chalet built in 1914.  

 

 

Two New Books

I am reading two new books that I thought you all might enjoy. Here is the description for The Hour of Land:

“America’s national parks are breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why more than 300 million people visit the parks each year. Now Terry Tempest Williams, the author of the environmental classic Refuge and the beloved memoir When Women Were Birds, returns with The Hour of Land, a literary celebration of our national parks, an exploration of what they mean to us and what we mean to them.

From the Grand Tetons in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas and more, Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of Land is a meditation and a manifesto on why wild lands matter to the soul of America.”

Under the Stars is both funny and interesting so far. It is a history of camping. Here is the book description:

“The definitive book on camping in America. . . . A passionate, witty, and deeply engaging examination of why humans venture into the wild.”―Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

From the Sierras to the Adirondacks and the Everglades, Dan White travels the nation to experience firsthand―and sometimes face first―how the American wilderness transformed from the devil’s playground into a source of adventure, relaxation, and renewal.

Whether he’s camping nude in cougar country, being attacked by wildlife while “glamping,” or crashing a girls-only adventure for urban teens, Dan White seeks to animate the evolution of outdoor recreation. In the process, he demonstrates how the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, Roosevelt, and Muir―along with visionaries such as Adirondack Murray, Horace Kephart, and Juliette Gordon Low―helped blaze a trail from Transcendentalism to Leave No Trace.

Wide-ranging in research, enthusiasm, and geography, Under the Stars reveals a vast population of nature seekers, a country still in love with its wild places.”

Check them out of the library like I did or look for them at the book store or on Amazon!

Grinnell Glacier Hike

If you visit Glacier National Park, the Grinnell Glacier hike is a must do! It is a moderately strenuous 11.6 mile round trip with over 1,800 feet of elevation gain. You can cut out 3.4 miles of the hike by taking two classic wood boats across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephene. Book them way ahead to get a spot. The hike opens fully towards the end of July. Otherwise, you may not be able to go all the way due to snow. Check the NPS site for updates.

Craig and I went on the ranger led hike and had a great time. It was tough climbing the first part of the hike, and we were glad to have poles going up and back down. Our ranger David stopped every so often to give the group a rest and to give slower hikers a chance to catch up. We learned a lot about the geology of the park, saw three glaciers, amazing wildflowers, walked through waterfalls, saw wildlife like Bighorn Sheep and 1.5 billion year old Stromatolites.

Take plenty of water on the hike and wear a hat and good hiking shoes/boots. You may want to order a box lunch from your hotel the night before and take a small soft-sided cooler with you. There is a picnic area along the way with benches and pretty clean pit toilets. It is a hard hike, but so worth the effort. It is probably my favorite hike I have done so far. It is hard to show how enormous Grinnell Glacier is with pictures. It is also amazing to see how far it has receded. Please go and experience it while you still can! 

Here is a great site for hiking Glacier. This site gives you details on the Grinnell Glacier hike. 

Summer Road Trip


Hi everyone! We are heading towards the end of our summer road trip. Jackson, WY is next. We have been posting a lot of pictures on our Facebook page and Instagram feed, so check them out. Soon I will be posting more about walks, sights, hikes, the hotels and meals. 


We have been having a blast and can not wait to do this full time. We want to walk and hike every day. Whenever we saw an Airstream in the parks we were happy.