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.  

 

 

Natural Places Nearby

Once you have a plan for the future it can be hard to wait. Craig and I have to be patient and save a little more money before we feel comfortable heading out on the road. That is why we gave ourselves until next fall. This also gives us more time to plan things out and search for a nice truck and RV. While we are saving and planning, we are spending as much time as we can in the open spaces and land near us.

We like to bird watch, so we have been going to several of the Mass Audubon Sanctuaries near us. Like the National Park Service, they are celebrating 100 years this year. We love to walk the paths in the woods and near the marshes. Every time we visit, we see something new. Yesterday two deer were bedding down right next to where we were walking. A hawk was being chased away by several birds and we also saw three snakes.  I have been posting pictures to our Instagram feed.

We have also been volunteering at the Essex County Greenbelt and the Trustees of Reservations. The Trustees are celebrating 125 years this year. It is nice to learn more about the wildlife around us, work and hike our trails and give some of our time back to the community. We enjoy being part of the events and are finding we are spending less money on other outings. We got to take a wilderness first aid class and plan on taking a longer one in the fall or next spring.  

We are also walking 3-10 miles every time we get out there. This makes a big difference when we hike on our trips. We are able to walk all day and enjoy our time in the National Parks. One more month until our big Glacier/Yellowstone/Grand Teton summer trip. We are really looking forward to it!