Glacier National Park

Welcome to Montana

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Glacier National Park is located in the U.S State of Montana, on the Canada-United States border with the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Glacier National Park definitly fits well its name. I hardly imagine how cold is it during the winter! Brrrrrrr I’m already cold ๐Ÿ˜…โ„

โ˜ก Glacier National Park is also known to have a black bear and grizzly habitat. It’s EXTREMELY important for hikers to make a lot of noise, carry bear spray and hike in groups. Trails can be closed due to bear activity . It’s a better idea to check with a ranger on the status of a trail before proceeding on any hike in the park.

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We spent 4 days there in September and for good reason, total of square miles 1,583 split in 5 areas :

  • Lake McDonald
  • Many Glacier
  • North Fork & Goat Haunt
  • St. Mary
  • Two Medicine

Interesting facts :

  • Total number of lakes : 762
  • Number of named lakes : 131
  • Largest lake : Lake McDonald at 9.4 miles long, 1.5 miles wide, 464 feet deep
  • Number of mountains : 175
  • Highest mountain : Mt Cleveland at 10,448 ft / 3,190 m

 

Of course, 4 days was not enough to explore the entire park. We did the boat tour at Lake Mcdonald, and some hikes at Many Glacier and St. Mary.

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My favorite hike so far was Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint located at Many Glacier area. A stunning view all along the hike. Starting with Swifcurrent Lake and Josephine Lake, then on your way up to an amazing view of Grinnell Lake and ending at Upper Grinnell Lake. Absolutely breath taking.

10.6 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 1,600 ft

Trailhead : Grinnell Glacier Trailhead or Many Glacier Hotel

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In the same area, we did Iceberg Lake. Known for its Icebergs, but unfortunatly we didn’t see any of them. Apparently, it still wasn’t cold enough ๐Ÿ˜…

9.6 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 1,200 ft

Trailhead : Iceberg Ptarmigan Trailhead

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The boat tour at Lake McDonald was pretty cool and relaxing (it was a surprise for my boyfriend’s birthday ๐Ÿ’) We walked around the lake a little bit, enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and admired the incredible and famous color of the pebbles. For information, boat tours start between the end of May and the end of June and are over between beginning and the end of September depending on the tour : Lake McDonald, St. Mary Lake, Two Medicine Lake or Many Glacier. Prices are from $13.75 to $27.50 for an adult.

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If you enter the St. Mary area at the East entrance, you can enjoy the view of St. Mary Lake from the famous “Going to the sun road”. We chose to do Hidden Lake Overlook. It’s an easy but busy trail. It’s up to you to admire the lake from the overlook or keep walking to the bottom. It was our last day after we did Iceberg Lake and we still had to drive back to Seattle during the night, which is a 9h drive. So we decided to stay at the top. What a view ! Totally happy to end the trip like this ๐Ÿ˜

2.8 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 460 ft

Trailhead : Logan Pass Visitor Center

*Additional 2.4 miles out and back further to Hidden Lake, dropping 780 ft from the overlook

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Crater Lake in Winter


It’s winter! โ„

Crater Lake is a National Park localised in Oregon and one of the most beautiful. It’s the deepest lake in the USA with a depth of 1943 feet. The water’s intense blue color will take your breath away, especially during the summer.

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What to expect during winter ?

A lot of snow of course. Temperatures are very low. When we arrived around 6am the temperature was -16ยฐF and it can be worse (my camelback froze in barely 5min… who couldn’t drink anymore ? I’ll let you guess ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‰, little tip : blow into the water tube until the water return in the camelback) Most of the park is closed due to the snow but the access to the lake is still possible by the South Entrance that leads to the Rim Village, check out the road conditions. 1 day is enough to explore around. 

When skies are clear, excellent views of Crater Lake. During storms, the lake is usually obscured by clouds. From late November through early March, the lake is typically visible only about 50% of the time.

Winter Road Closure

The park’s North Entrance Road is closed for the winter. The 30-mile Rim Drive around the lake is also closed, which is too bad cause most of the amazing overlooks are on the Rim Drive like Watchman Overlook and Watchman Peak.

You can enter the park through the West Entrance or the South Entrance on Hwy 62. The 7-mile road from Hwy 62 to Rim Village is also open year-round, although the last 3 miles (from Park HQ to Rim Village) are sometimes closed for days or weeks due to periods of heavy snow. We came by the South Entrance and the road was openned. To find out if the road to Rim Village is open you can call the visitor center at 541-594-3100 or check out the website.

 

Hiking 

All hiking trails are buried under snow. Cross-country skis or snowshoes are recommended. This is how you will be able to explore around the lake and reach my favorite overlook called Watchman overlook. Unfortunately we didn’t have snowshoes, it was sometimes hard to walk in the snow and made us too exhausted to reach this overlook (I have to confess we drove all night and probably slept 2h each, ๐Ÿ˜…) but we had a great time and could enjoy a really amazing view of the lake

Snowshoe rentals are available at the Rim Village Gift Shop when the road to Rim Village is open.

 

Road Trip from Seattle

When we went there in September the North Entrance was opened, it was about 6h drive. This time we had to enter by the South Entrance, which is 8h drive.

Like usual, we drove at night to arrive early in the morning on Saturday. We spent the day until the Sunset. That allowed us to spend Sunday on our way back around Mt Hood cause I really wanted to explore this place.

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Continue reading “Crater Lake in Winter”

Bamboo Sunglasses

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I have discovered Tree Tribe on Instagram. They make natural bamboo sunglasses  (that float!)  and each pair purchased they plant 10 trees in less fortunate communities that flourish off the resources the trees add.

I just tried them and I fell in love. I love the simple design, they are light and provide full protection UVA/UVB rays.  You have different lens colors and different models. Pick out the ones you like ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Click here and use “MYHEARTS” for 10% off and help to plant 10 trees

๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ