Glacier National Park, Where Ground Squirrels Have No Shame

Before we traveled to Yellowstone we visited Glacier National Park. It wasn’t a park I’d heard a lot about before we had some friends go there on their cross country trip last year, but I knew it was supposed to be one of the most beautiful places in the country. It did not disappoint.

Well it might have disappointed just a tiny bit, but not on looks. Glacier is aptly named, even in mid May it was still covered in snow for the most part. Some of the lakes were still frozen, and we actually heard an avalanche while hiking. Because of this, we couldn’t drive the Going-To-the-Sun Road. Apparently this famous road opens fully at the end of June (at the earliest). Below is a photo of the road plowing progress while we were there.

(photo from the Glacier National Park flickr page)

What we could drive of the road was around the lake and it was absolutely stunning.

As you can see from the photos, when we arrived the lake was like glass so the reflection was crystal clear.

My Mom didn’t think they were real when we showed them to her. The park was unsurprisingly not crowded, which was a nice way to see the limited amount that was available. In the two days we were there we did do two hikes. The first was a hike to Avalanche Lake. We actually had to walk through snow to get there from an avalanche and then heard an avalanche on the way back. Over doing it a bit I think.

The lake was amazing. Mountains filled with snow around it and this wide, shallow, and very clear body of water underneath.

The hike there was through trees, so it was pretty crazy to come out of them and see this. There were also a lot of waterfalls going down the rocky mountains (without snow on them). This was cool because every time that we’ve gone to parks in California it’s been a drought so all of the waterfalls are either drips or dried up.

There were plenty of logs to sit on around the lake, so I took advantage of that.

One of the waterfalls we stopped to see and A. skipping a rock on the very active river.

We took another short hike after Avalanche lake that wasn’t too exciting except for the weird trees and the fact that we got pretty nervous about bears.

There are signs everywhere in Glacier and Yellowstone about bears. Even when you buy your pass they give you a pamphlet that’s just about bears. They advise you not to hike without bear mace or in a large group. We disregarded this at Glacier, but since we saw about 19 bears in Yellowstone, we opted not to hike there. Seriously. Bears.

The last hike we did in Glacier was the longest I’ve ever hiked, somehow A. got me to do a 7 mile hike that included a long piece of it up hill (climbed a damn mountain) and then some pretty deep snow at the top.

This is me at the top. I am exhausted and it was cold.

A view from the top. I think that’s how I made it, the whole hike was in the open so you could see beautiful views the entire way.

A. on the way down. I don’t have good knees so the way down was actually pretty bad for me. It took me two days to be able to walk without pain afterwards. This is why there is a photo of A. on the way down, and not me, I wouldn’t have been smiling. Unless it was during the part where we came across two ground squirrels doing it on the middle of the path. That was hilarious. It involved a lot of tail twirling and when we finally decided to keep going and they didn’t stop while they moved off the trail and into the bushes.

Last of all, here’s another photo of the lake. We actually drove to the other side of glacier, but that was completely covered in snow and you couldn’t do much without snow shoes other than watch ground squirrels run around.

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