Our first full day in Glacier we lounge a bit until 11:30 AM and then pack the car for Going to the Sun Road. We’ve been talking about this for weeks, and we are not disappointed. Going to the Sun cuts across the Glacier for approximately 44 miles, but we can only go 14 miles before it is closed due to snow and avalanche warnings (in June, I must remind you).
But that is okay, because it literally takes us 4 hours to drive the round trip – as we stop about every 10 minutes for another photo opt. Honestly, it is kind of overwhelming: As we drive to Logan Pass (our turn around point) there are mountain peaks being reflected off of St Mary Lake to our left, and to our right a snow peaked glacier that towers above us. I’m trying to capture video and pictures and just be there and I can’t. So eventually I stop using my phone and decide to be here. I’m in Glacier, damn’t. I want to make sure I have memories of this, not just photos.
At one of our stops, Murr and I wonder why St Mary Lake looks turquoise from afar but so clear once you are standing at the edge. She decides to do her traditional handstand at Goose Island. At Logan Pass we get out to do a little hike, thinking we can find one of the many falls, but the trail is crowded and it is already 3 PM. So we head home to eat a light dinner, have a glass of wine and watch the sunset on our first day.
The next two days are all about hiking: Monday we do a roundtrip of 4 miles from Sunrift Gorge to St Mary Falls, passing Barring Falls en-route. The trail is incredible: At time we are right along the lake, then weaving our way through burnt out forest, then almost back up to the road where we can see Virginia Falls (tomorrow’s destination) in the distance. There is a crowd at St Marys Fall – people enjoying a late lunch in the sun, families with their kids climbing the rock formations, couples grabbing selfies off the bridge. Some guy chats up a group of girls, asking them to video him as he jumps from a short outcropping into the pool at the bottom of the falls.
Tuesday we park at the shuttle stop for St Mary Falls. This trail drops us quickly back to St. Mary Falls, but we blast through as our destination is Virginia Falls. We hike along a river (I assume Virginia?) passing lesser falls along the way. Then we get to the bottom of Virginia Falls – and is totally worth the hike. Water cascades over the falls, filling the entire gorge we are in with mist. We do our requisite selfie, then take the final leg of the trail right to the bottom. It’s cold and so misty I we can’t even see if our pictures come out. But again, I realize the point is to be here.
And we are.
I took a ton of pictures, so here are some random shots of our hike and drive! Enjoy!