Glacier NP 2008

Day One: Aug. 28, 2008
Our route would take us through Butte, MT and to Helena for the night.
In Butte we stopped at Quarry Brewing to sample the local brew and stretch our legs.

Well the bar was cool, but their beer is an acquired taste.   The only beer I could stomach was the blonde; the rest had the same odd taste.   I left there with heartburn, and the only other beer that gives me heartburn is Bud Light.   Recommendation:   DON’T STOP!

From Butte we traveled to Helena and ate at the Brewhouse Pub and Grill.

Krista and I have eaten here before, and again we were not disappointed.   They serve beer from Lewis and Clark Brewing Company, and I really enjoy their Back Country Scottish Ale!   Recommendation:    WORTH THE STOP!!!

We were planning on staying the night at the Cromwell Dixon Campground located off of Highway 12 at MacDonald Pass, but it was closed due to ‘Hazard Trees’ so we stayed in the day use area for the night.

Day Two: Aug. 29, 2008
From MacDonald Pass we headed straight for Glacier.

This was some beautiful country.   Salmon Lake and Seeley Lake are very cool.   One day we will have a house there!!!

We didn’t snap too many photos through this stretch as we wanted to hurry to the campground to get a good spot.   We ended up staying on Hungry Horse Reservoir at the Murry Bay Campground and despite the holiday weekend, the campground was only 30% full.   This is a great spot to camp.   You are protected from the wind and there are lots of trees for shade.   The campground is slightly over one hours drive to West Glacier, but we all thought it was worth it.

After camp was setup, we all went down to the water for a little swim.   Since you probably don’t want to see me in a bathing suit, I will spare you the horror.   One day you will thank me, I promise.   After the swim, we all relaxed and enjoyed Patrick’s Korean Bar-B-Q Beef and the sunset.

Day Three: Aug. 30, 2008
We headed into Glacier NP for the day.   Our first stop was Lake McDonald Lodged.

After visiting the gift shop, we hopped on board the tour boat for a tour of the lake.

The tour was nice and we learned a great deal about the history of the park.   I could have done without all of the ‘Whitey screwed up everything’ comments, but it was only an hour long.   Recommendation:   Worth the money!

Next on our agenda was the Going to the Sun Road.   This was very neat!   It only took us 1 hour to travel from Lake McDonald to St. Mary and the views were great!
I am not sure if the gas prices are keeping people from traveling, but much to my surprise, the traffic and crowds were next to nothing.

Along the way, we stopped and snapped a few pictures.

We stopped just short of the pass to walk out to the over look.   As we started walking, the ground squirrels came running up, begging for food.

As we started up the path, we heard people commenting about mountain goats being nearby.   We never expected them to be ON THE TRAIL.   Krista walked by as one jumped on to the trail.

This was really neat, and an experience we will all remember

After driving over the pass, we headed for St. Mary.   Here is a view looking at St. Mary Lake.

There we were surprised to find such a different landscape from West Glacier. Here you can see the campground at St. Mary.   I am glad we did not stay here.   Not too much to look at.

Well after checking out the campground, we set off to find a place to take a shower.   We found the showers at Johnson's Campground very refreshing.  Thinking it wouldn't be too much longer; we decided to take the highway around the park on our way back to camp.   This proved to be an increase of 1 hour.

Day Four: Aug. 31, 2008
Sunday we decided we were going to spend some more time on the west side of the park.   The sky was overcast and the weather called for rain down low and snow at the pass.   We headed back to the Going to the Sun road to do some more sight seeing.   We stopped and hiked the 'Trail of the Cedars' just east of Lake McDonald.   This is a very cool area of old cedar trees.

The paved path was easy to walk on and took us to some falls along Avalanche Creek.

After eating lunch at the nearby day use area, we headed back up to Logan Pass.   The view had changed quite a bit since the day before as we began to drive into the clouds.

There was road construction on the road, and we were forced to stop and wait for traffic to drive down through a one lane section where the construction was taking place.   Krista and Michele decided to kick their shoes off and get comfortable.   Of course this meant putting their feet in our faces.

It began snowing on us as we traveled higher and higher.   Logan Pass is around 6,200 feet in elevation and we were defiantly in the clouds at this point.   The visitor center is probably not worth the stop, but I did get out and do some walking around on some of the paved trails that take off from the building.   The clouds made the visibility low, but it was very neat none the less.

We then headed back down the road to camp where Patrick prepared dutch oven chicken topped with prosciutto and saffron rice.   For desert he prepared dutch oven peach cobbler.   Again what a great way to finish off the day!

Day Five: Sept. 1, 2008
Unfortunately we had to travel home.   Monday saw us packing up the gear and heading out.   Traveling the FS road away from the campground took some time as it has some major potholes and is severally wash-boarded in spots.   By noon we had made it to Woods Bay, MT where we stopped at Flathead Lake Brewing to again sample some of the local brew.

What a friendly bunch with some great beer.   I picked up a growler of their Brown Ale and we were back on the road.   We stopped in Missoula for a late lunch and in Dillon to shop at the Patagonia Outlet Store (40% off sale!!!) before making it home around 9:45.


Living Overland, Toyota Cruisers & Trucks
Beau Johnston is an engineer, writer, and photographer who is dedicated to proving you can find a balance between work and life. He is the Co-Founder and Publisher of Living Overland and a member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. When he isn't working, you can find him exploring National Parks, fly fishing, and camping with his wife (Krista) and their two dogs.


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