When we left Couer d’Alene, we initially thought we would break the trip to Glacier National Park up a bit. However, during the drive we decided to keep going all the way to Glacier so we would have our entire day Sunday to explore the park. To break up the drive, we stopped off at a marina to check out some sailboats.
We luckily had friends in the area with room for us at their boondocking spot so we joined them our first night until it was time to move inside the park for our reservation. The boondocking spot was awesome (and had a great sunset), but since we were there over Labor Day Weekend we were happy to have a reservation inside the park so we didn’t have to fight traffic getting in and out all weekend.
Exploring Glacier – Logan Pass Area
Our first day exploring, we took lunch into the park and fittingly ate at Lunch Creek before walking up to Logan Pass to hike to Hidden Lake. The parking lot at Logan Pass is pretty much impossible to find a spot in. With the covid restrictions, there are no shuttles and the Going to the Sun Road is blocked off on the eastern side. So, all traffic is congested and everyone wants to be at Logan Pass.
The hike to Hidden Lake was worth it. It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed the hike. We even hiked alongside a mountain goat for a while! The craziest thing though – when we got back from the hike we started seeing headlines about a grizzly chasing hikers inside the park. Turns out, it was on that same trail!!! We missed the bear by a few hours – thankfully. Also, no one was hurt.
Another afternoon we met back up with our friends for a whiskey tasting followed by a drink at Belton Chalet. After the drink, we all met inside the park to watch the sunset over Lake McDonald. It is really nice having friends in the area to meet up with and explore!
The sunset over the lake was so nice so we decided to put our kayak in for a sunset paddle the next several nights. We enjoyed amazing sunsets with dinner picnics out on the water. We even had a separate set of friends visit the area later in the week and they joined us for a kayak excursion too!
Glacier National Park Hikes
The next weekend, we got back out in the park to do some more hiking. On Saturday we did a few smaller hikes to St. Mary’s and Virginia Falls. The trail wasn’t bad at all and the waterfalls were very pretty. The big hike we did in the park was the Highline Trail to Grinnell Glacier.
The route we did to get to Grinnell Glacier is the Highline Trail from Logan Pass to the Loop. Normally there are shuttles that run between the two points so it makes it relatively easy to leave your car one place and start your hike in the other. Since there are no shuttles (covid) that means we have to do something I’ve (Leigh) never done before – hitchhike! We were picked up pretty quickly and the guy that gave us a ride was really nice so it all worked out!
The trail was absolutely breathtaking and we really enjoyed this hike. I really recommend doing the loop instead of an out and back like many others we met on the trial. The stretch up to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook was definitely a challenge! The views were totally worth it (as always), but man – that was a strenuous section!
On our way back to the Jeep we saw a lot of wildlife and not much else. We pretty much had the trail to ourselves which was nice. At one point a deer jumped right in front of us across the trail! It spooked us but was really cool to see. We went for one last sunset kayak trip after the long hike and it was the perfect way to end our visit to Glacier National Park. We definitely will plan a return trip when the entire park is open!