The Dragon's Tail


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After checking out Bozeman and Missoula the road continued up the Rocky Mountains. National park number two on the trail north, Glacier National Park, partnered with Canada's Waterton National Park in the early 1900s to create the renowned Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Today, the two parks, which connect at the USA-Canada border, collaborate on conservation initiatives and wildlife preservation.

On the way to the park we camped near Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi (by surface area). The Flathead region is famous for cherry farming and the fresh Flathead cherries were plentiful, as their roadside stands dotted the highway. The conifer covered rolling hills, islands and mountains outlining the lake were reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest. 

Locked away in towering, jagged peaks, Glacier National Park is like a secret garden, with emerald green walls and endless waterfalls flowing into the sky blue rivers and deep glaciated lakes of the valley below. The drive up Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass, on the continental divide, is inspiring. A constant flow of glacier water streams through the sedimentary rock at the Weeping Wall. According to Bozeman's Rocky Mountain Museum, "some of the oldest sedimentary rocks in the entire Northern Rocky Mountain region are found in the Lewis Range of Glacier National Park and fossils of some of Earth's earliest life forms have been discovered there."

The snowfields above Logan Pass draw hikers to enjoy a three mile trail up through a grassy pass and down to Hidden Lake. Sunstroked mountain goats saunter along the boardwalk path and escape the day's heat in the patches of snow. A bighorn ram put on a show as he stood strong and stern protecting his ground. A park ranger noted this was a rare site to see.

Closed a mile and a half up the way for bear danger, the Hidden Lake trail was a short escape. For a longer day and the more adventurous, a rocky and snow-covered climb to the southeast of the Hidden Lake trail brings you through a saddle and alongside Reynolds Mountain, high above Hidden Lake. Walk along a steep mountain goat trail further southeast and over another saddle to reach the beginning of Dragon's Tail, a high ridgeline dividing the Hidden Lake area from the Sperry Glacier area.

Words can't describe the views from Dragon's Tail. It was incredible. Even a sweltering 90 degree afternoon couldn't shake that view. Pictures were taken, in every direction. At some point or another, we both remarked, "this is why we came here." We chatted. Ate some Flathead cherries. There was some silence. We soaked up the day and we hiked down, not really wanting to leave our perch atop the park.

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See more photos from Glacier and the trip here. (And we'll try to post more when we have more Wi-Fi!)

1 comment

  1. Beautiful pictures! Love the animal shots.

    ReplyDelete

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