A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hikes in Glacier National Park

Here's the second installment of our Glacier National Park series.

While neither John nor myself are crazy enough to do extended day-long hikes, we do enjoy short hikes in the national parks we visit. While we were in Glacier, we had the opportunity to do a few short, but scenic hikes/walks.

The first hike of our trip was also the most strenuous: Apikuni Falls. John had read some hiking map and said that it was just 1 mile roundtrip, with nearly 800 feet in elevation gained. He actually misread the map, in that it was actually 1 mile each way, but the elevation gain was really a bit of a killer.
Being it was our first hike, we were overly prepared in terms of bear prevention. We had always heard that you should have bells on to warn away the bears, and so appropriately enough, we acquired 6 Christmas bells on rope necklaces from the Bear Family. Below, John models his bells.
We were the only ones on the trail with bells, so later we asked the rangers about it. And, contrary to popular belief, the bells actually don't do that much good to alert the bears. As the ranger said, humans normally don't make bell sounds so that doesn't really help the bears out. Instead, they urge you to use your voice while talking/singing, as well as clapping, etc. So after the first hike, we put the bells away.
The hike up to Apikuni Falls was quite pretty, and we came across some lovely flora and butterflies.
It appeared as though a rock slide had covered up part of the traditional trail to the falls, with the new trail being a bit more tricky, especially with one patch of poorly placed snow right on an incline.
But we made it and the falls were quite lovely, and well worth the work to get there.
Our second hike was a quick stop on the way back from Two Medicine Lake: Running Eagle Falls.
These falls were named after an actual woman indian warrior.
The walk out to the falls was short and sweet. What I found to be the nicest part was that there were no other people out at the falls. 
I could definitely see how it could be a busy place on a warmer/sunnier day, but we enjoyed having the place to ourselves.
Another walk we did was the Trail of the Cedars. This is also where we saw the Harlequin Duck.
This was a boardwalk walk around a basically Pacific Northwest rainforest. It was very moist with lots of moss and crazy trees.
I liked all of the moss on the rocks - very picturesque.
Cool tree stump along the Trail of the Cedars.
Tree with white moss/lichens on the Trail of the Cedars.
Our final hike of the trip was appropriately the hike to John's Lake. John was adequately excited.
The one difficult part about this hike was that the trail was deserted and it really appeared to be prime bear territory.  As a result, we did not dawdle at the lake when we got there, but quickly headed back.
We did not buy any bear spray for this trip (it was an expensive $60/bottle - but we probably could have found some cheaper on Amazon if we'd planned ahead), but we decided that when we visit again, it would be worthwhile to buy some. Even if we don't use it (hopefully not), it might give us a bit more piece of mind while out hiking so that we could enjoy ourselves a bit more.

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

The landscape is incredible! Interesting about the bells! I have never heard of using bells in bear country and it does not surprise me that the rangers thought that they would not be effective.
It would be a bit miserable on a scenic hike to have to be constantly worrying about bears. I would think that the $60 spray would be well worth the piece of mind. And if you did have a run in with a mean bear at least you would have a defence of sorts.

Sukey Dukey said...

No picture of John's Lake?

El Gaucho said...

Jennifer - yes it wasn't the most relaxing hike due to being on edge about the possibility of bears.

Sue - No we skedaddled away from John's lake pretty quickly due to aforementioned bears. I like it better that way, no matter how awesome it was it surely couldn't have lived up to the grandeur of its name.