Email to college buddy who has agreed to travel to Glacier with me:
Dave, ball-park ideas to maximize our time without rushing…Highline Trail and Grinnell Glacier Hike are GNP’s most popular hikes (partially because while challenging they are not too strenuous for most people), but i’m intrigued by Ptarmigan Trail – it looks amazing, and strenuous. Important to note that any trail at any time can be closed due to bear activity.
Fri: Arrive 2pm-ish, p/u rental car at airport, grocery store (cooler, food, etc), enter GNP, stop at Lake McDonald shoreline to gawk at the splendor, drive 50 miles East on Going-To-The-Sun Road, maybe a brief stop here or there to whet your appetite, check in at Rising Sun (probably close to 5pm), 100 meter walk to dinner at Two Dog Flats (at Rising Sun), drive back up to Logan Pass, hike Hidden Lake Trail (3 miles, 500 ft elevation…easy hike), hang out at Logan Pass for wildlife viewing, return to Rising Sun, drive to Two Dog Flats (not the restaurant) for more wildlife spotting, drive two miles back to room, dessert(?) from Camp Store.
Sat: Day-break visit (1-mile drive) to St Mary Lake overlook for sunrise, breakfast Two Dog Flats, an hour or so of free time to wait for 10am Red Bus Tour (6-hr Crown of The Continent tour with lunch on own at Lake McDonald Lodge), tour concludes at Rising Sun approx 4:15pm, relax, dinner at St Mary (6 miles east) or Two Dog Flats, back up to Logan Pass for wildlife viewing and maybe a partial hike (1/2 mile out and back – spectacular view) on Highline Trail, return to Rising Sun.
Sun: Grinnell Glacier Hike or Highline Trail Hike. Both hikes are approx 11 miles long. Highline Trail is one way with a free shuttle to return to car at Logan Pass. Grinnell Glacier trailhead is at Many Glacier Lodge (approx 45-min drive from Rising Sun). We’d have early breakfast 7am-ish and attempt to be parked and walking between 8-830am. Figure 8 hrs+- for the hike. Dinner and evening are open.
Mon: Hike whichever hike above we didn’t do on Sunday. Also, distinct possibility to substitute Ptarmigan Trail (looks amazing) as this day’s hike. The Park employees can advise us which they would choose. Dinner and evening open.
Tues: Return you to Kalispel airport. 😭
PS. open to any ideas or wishes you have.
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