Jul 18, 2010 at 10:16 pm #1261326
@davecLocale: The West Slope
The inevitable video: http://vimeo.com/13442041 which if anything does a worse job than usual of capturing the zeitgeist. Alas.
I also put up some river-specific beta over at packrafting.org. Easy to find.
July is just a freaking top notch time to visit Glacier National Park. The transition between winter and summer happens with authority, and the whole place just comes alive in the process. It has to, given that by early September it'll be snowing again. The only disadvantages are cold feet from snow and stream crossings, mosquitos (mainly in the evening), and some campsites still being closed as they transition from winter to summer.
I'd never hiked from the The Loop to Fifty Mountain over Flattop, and it might be better than the Highline Trail along the same stretch. Huge views, but plenty of intimate scenery as well, and crazy flowers. The hanging valley, lakes and bog north of the Flattop camp had me wondering if I had just walked into Yellowstone, and looking in the mud for bison tracks. Fifty Mountain remains a killer spot, and even though the meadow north of there was a snowfield this year rather than arun with flowers, it was still cool. The drop down into Waterton Valley is just tremendous, it really lets you sit with and feel the scale of the place.
Lake Janet had not been my first choice of campsites, but it was quite nice, a cozy little pine grove by a beautiful stream. No huge views like Francis or Hawksbill further up valley, but a more intimate portrait of the park. Brown's Pass and the drop down to Bowman Creek are also very nice, and the head of Bowman and the camp there looked good. The camp has a nice latrine. I haven't been hiking much lately, so by the last 5 miles of Bowman my feet were hurting, which no doubt coloured my experience, but I recall it being rather boring and the trail a bit futher from the lake than one might like. The original plan was to go down to Kintla, but I don't have the fitness for that mileage right now.
The floating along the North Fork of the Flathead was gorgeous. Being 15 miles from the truck, with sore feet, then blowing up a packraft and floating down with almost no effort in three hours made me feel exceedingly clever.
In short, go to Glacier. It is good.Jul 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm #1630228
Eugene SmithBPL Member
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Man, perfect little gem of a video David, thanks for sharing. I can't fathom how brief your summers are up there, the fact that snow is on the horizon must surely kick you into gear. Looking forward to more of your upcoming adventures surfacing.Jul 19, 2010 at 1:28 am #1630254
Andy BernerBPL Member
I wish I had a bigger back yardJul 19, 2010 at 4:51 am #1630268
David NollBPL Member
@dpnollLocale: Maroon Bells
That went great with a cup of coffee.Jul 19, 2010 at 6:21 am #1630278
Ryan TuckerBPL Member
fantastic.Jul 19, 2010 at 9:51 am #1630322
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Dave, you get extra points for doing this sweet multi-sport trip in one of my favorite wild places.
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