Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Avalanche Creek - 08/29/12

Today we took two shuttle busses to reach our destination at Avalanche Creek. We picked up the first bus at the Saint Mary Visitor Center. This is a large bus that takes passengers from the Visitor Center to several popular destinations on the east side of Glacier National Park, with its end point at Logan Pass. This is ride is about a one-hour trip. At Logan Pass passengers transfer to a smaller Sprint bus to get to several popular destinations on the west side of Glacier National Park. The road is very narrow with very tight turns on the west side of Logan Pass, so the smaller bus is required to navigate the tight turns. This trip takes about one hour and thirty minutes, in part due to the road construction that is in progress on the west side of Glacier.

Avalanche Creek is a very popular scenic area for hikers. We hiked the Trail of the Cedars trail that took us through an old-growth cedar-hemlock forest along Avalanche Creek. We had a picnic lunch by the creek using some large boulders as our picnic seats.. The size of these tall, large diameter trees spread out through the forest was a scenic wonder to behold. The carpet of pine needles underfoot provided a nicely cushioned walking path for the hikers. We spent about 1-1/2 hours hiking and then had to hurry back to the bus stop area in order to catch the last bus on the west side of the mountain that would take us up to the bus transfer point at Logan Pass.

When we arrived at Logan Pass we spent about thirty minutes waiting on the arrival of the bus that would take us down the east side of the mountain to the Saint Mary Visitor Center. It was a beautiful warm sunny day at an elevation of almost 7,000 feet, so we just basked in the sun admiring the view of the surrounding mountain vistas.

In summary, we had spent our day traveling, having spent 4-1/2 hours on the shuttle busses, and 1-1/2 hours hiking through nature. Such is life in the mountains of Glacier National Park.

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