Monday, August 27, 2012

Logan Pass - 08/27/12

In 2007, Glacier National Park began operation of a free shuttle service with access to many popular destinations along the Going-To-The-Sun Road. The transit system provides two-way service between Apgar Village and the Saint Mary Visitor Center from July 1 to September 3. Logan Pass is the bus transfer point between the two shuttle bus routes: Apgar Village to Logan Pass and Saint Mary to Logan Pass.

Our plan for today is to hike the Hidden Lake trail. The entrance to this trail is located by the Visitors Center at Logan Pass. We took advantage of the free shuttle bus service to Logan Pass which is located 17 miles from the Saint Mary Campground.

The Hidden Lake trail is now a strenuous 1.5-mile hike up an elevated mountain trail for us senior citizens. Our last hike on this trail was in 1996 and I can tell you it was an effortless hike for us at that time in our lives. Part of the trail is a boardwalk with many steps and the remainder of the trail is gravel covered. It is not uncommon to see many people huffing and puffing and taking frequent breaks.

We finally reached the Hidden Lake nestled within the valley floor below us. The lake is fed from the snow melt still visible high up on the mountains surrounding the valley. We saw three mountain goats peacefully grazing along the trail beside us about 20 feet away. It was the perfect time and place for us to have our picinic lunch and view mother nature in all of her glory.

The trail continuing beyond the Hidden Lake area was closed due to Grizzly bear activity on that portion of the trail, so further travel on the trail was not an option on this day.

We continued back down the Hidden Lake trail and found another trail that took us south through an area with a considerable amount of snow pack. It was a bit tricky traversing the snow pack at what seemed to us the steep angle of the slope of the mountain. Our hiking boots provided us excellent traction, so all went well. But it was well worth the effort. We were above the timberline and were surrounded by magnificent mountain vistas above us and lush green forrests below us. On our return trip a mountain goat nonchalantly crossed the trail about 10 feet in front of us and continued on his way. A fitting end to our day of hiking at Logan Pass.

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