Glacier National Park is one of those beautiful places that you have to see in your lifetime before its gone... And in reality, the glaciers will be gone in just a few years due to global warming. So you're probably thinking what made me pick this national park over others to spend a week long vacation here with all the grizzly bears and big horn sheep? (And nope, I'm not wrestling them!) My mind was actually made up while on top of Observation Point in Zion National Park in Utah. During my lunch break, I ran into an older couple in their late 60's that just reached the viewpoint. They were passionate nature hikers and after a lengthy discussion about all the majestic places they've seen, they said one of the most beautiful parks they've hiked was Glacier in Montana. For them, it was the combination of mountains, glaciers, abundant wildlife and the rugged landscape that made it so special. My mind was then made up. The must-sees we're Glacier and Zion... Luckily, the HOAGIES will try to do both parks in 2013!
Glacier National Park is where everything bright and strong and never tamed comes together on high: wolves, white-tailed ptarmigan, storms that hit the Great Divide like tsunamis with golden eagles surfing the wind waves, twisted trees 200 years old but scarcely tall enough to hide a bighorn sheep, impatient wildflowers shoving through snow to unfurl their colors, alpenglow on ancient ice, and great silver-tipped bears. Hiking trails allow those who venture on them to steal glimpses of the heart of this majestic wilderness and its abundant wildlife, including bears, elk, moose and bighorn sheep.
The Montana refuge is part of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park—1,800 square miles of what naturalist John Muir called “The best care-killing scenery on the continent." Multihued summits—whittled by ancient glaciers into walls and horns—rise abruptly from gently rolling plains. Some 762 lakes, dozens of glaciers, and innumerable waterfalls glisten in forested valleys. A scenic highway crosses the park, making much of its beauty accessible to the casual visitor. More than 700 miles of trails await hikers and horseback riders.
Landscapes so big and open and rugged that they stretch your soul. Craggy peaks jutting into the sky and the resident mountain goats to match. A gravity defying two-lane road named, appropriately enough, the Going-to-the-Sun Road. With wildflowers, alpine vistas and waterfalls along the way, this will be an experience that you won’t forget.
I'm coming to Montana to enjoy the scenery, so we'll definitely take the time to experience it while hiking... Most of the hikes I'll be doing will be between 10-18 mile day hikes. It would be a shame to rush through everything!
Please only RSVP if you are serious about attending! Anybody that has a history of high maintenance, flaking or bad attendance will be moved off this event unless I get a call from you... Veteran and regular members will get preference. If I'm going to be hanging out with you in the woods for 9 days, I should not have a secret desire to strangle you because you want to hike in flip flops and cover yourself in bacon grease so the grizzlies can eat us...
Tentative Schedule: (Subject To Change)
Day 1: (July 19)
- Closest airport is Kalispell. We'll rent a car and drive to the park. (45 minutes)
- Looking at campground and cabin options. (Leaning towards cabins since we can party at night, without being bothered by rangers or bears!)
Days 2-8: (July 20-27)
- 8 Days to explore and hike as much of the park as we can!
- I already have a list of the top hikes in the area that I wanted to do. Hikes are mostly intermediate-strenuous. (10-18 miles with[masked] elevation gain) I'll send an email to everyone with the list of hikes and information.
Day 9: (July 28)
YELLOWSTONE SIDE TRIP:
The plan is to spend 8 days here, hiking every single trail in the park that we can and maybe make a stop at Yellowstone for even more exploring if we have time.
You will be responsible for your own airfare!! Please indicate in your RSVP if you have a confirmed ticket. Prices range from $700-$800 as of now.
Campgrounds or cabins. The prices look great to rent cabins for 10-12 people so far... We might be looking at just $200 each person for 8-9 nights split between all of us. After I buy my ticket, I will work on the lodging and update this event. On a side note, there is a good possibility of coming here again with a small group for a long backpacking trip the next year after... :)
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