I'm taking a little break from the Lewis and Clark circuit and spending some time on the east side of Glacier National Park. The main reason I'm here is that I've always wanted to hike up to Grinnell Glacier. It's normally an 11-mile round trip hike with a 1600-foot elevation gain.
However, you can cut several miles off that length by taking 2 boat rides across 2 lakes. The boats leave from Many Glacier Hotel. This is a shot of us getting on the 2nd boat at Lake Josephine.
Once you get off the second boat (the arrow is pointing to the dock), you hike around the end of the lake, over the little bridge, and then start climbing. (And climbing, and climbing...)
Our goal is behind that first mountain, somewhere near the red arrow.
The scenery was probably the prettiest I've ever seen, and wildflowers of all kinds were everywhere.
This is my favorite - called Beargrass.
And why is it called Beargrass? Meriwether Lewis collected a specimen in 1806 and called it beargrass, but no one knows why. Deer, elk, and bighorn sheep savor the flowers, but bears don't. (See - I managed to get in a Lewis and Clark reference!)
At one point on the trail, you have to walk through a waterfall.
This cute little hoary marmot was working the waterfall, posing perfectly above Grinnell Lake.
Then, he came over and sat down beside me. Whoa! Look at those teeth!
Funny, I didn't see him on the way down. I guess he knows nobody has any food left then...
The trail went on and on and on, and I started wondering "What was I thinking?" Near the top, a lot of the trail was covered by snow.
Here the trail had to be marked with little red flags.
But finally, I made it! It was difficult to tell exactly where the glacier was. It appeared to be under a frozen lake and may be easier to see later in the season.
Anyway, I got there, was happy, and it was all downhill from here. This shows the whole glacier, 5 pictures put together. If you want to see it, you better hurry up. All the glaciers in the park are expected to be gone by 2030, only 20 years from now.