Today we drove from the St Regis campground, which is right next to a highway, to Glacier National Park West Glacier entrance. Here we faced the decision of what hikes to choose with the aim of meeting at St Mary’s Visitor Center at 7:00 pm. Originally I chose John’s Lake Loop, Hidden Lake Trail and stopping at Jackson Glacier Overlook.
First off I will say that the shuttle here does not run often enough because we were almost an hour in before we got onto a bus. When we reached the stop for John’s Lake Loop we found we would have to walk on the road with the cars to get to the trailhead. So we abandoned the trail and did the Trail of the Cedars. A short trail which took us about 20 mins, which was shorter than our wait for the shuttle. The trail lead us through some beautiful trees and a lovely flowing glacial stream.
Then we made our way to Hidden Lake which was half covered by snow. Along this trail we saw so many mountain goats. The trail reminded me of Skyline
Trail at Mt Rainier just better marked, less technical and shorter. The view was pretty amazing though.
Our final stop was not worth stopping at so we were going to head back to the shuttle stop when we managed to get a lady to offer to drive us to the visitor center. This was the only time I have ever accepted a ride from a stranger and she was so nice even stopping at different points to let us take photos and she told us a lot about the area. I felt like she was a better guide than our actual guide.
On our way to Glacier National Park we drove by Flathead Lake which was really impressive even though we didn’t get a real chance to stop by. At the convenience store I read about this blog called Hike 734 in Flathead Beacon. This guy hiked every trail inside Glacier National Park over 5 months and has now written a guide. I was surprised the visitor center didn’t have a copy.