On the second day of our time in Glacier, we headed across from the West Entrance to the East. Unfortunately for us, it was too early in the season for Logan’s Pass to be open, so we had to do a longer driver — all the way around the southern entrance of the park, and then back up north again. It did mean that we got to pass by the Continental Divide, though, and made for some spectacular scenes as we neared the mountains.
The East Entrance is clearly the more famous of the two entrances. Though Lake MacDonald is in the east, the glaciers, Iceberg Lake, and all of the famous mountain peaks are more clear on the eastern side. We were incredibly lucky to have this day be clear blue skies, though the air was still a bit chilly.
We first began a hike that guaranteed to bring us to waterfalls — my father’s absolute favorite things to see. Much of the forest had burned in a huge fire. The upside to the burned trees was that i meant that our entire hike had views of blue skies and towering cliffs above.
There were plenty of waterfalls, as promised. The trails were crowded for my experiences with national parks, but were far from a bustling amusement park. It was pleasant to see people ahead of us. Plus, after our scare with a bear just the day before, I was incredibly happy to have backup in case another one showed up!
There’s no doubt in my mind that Glacier was the most impressive national park that I’ve been to. The Pacific Shore of Olympic National Park was also beautiful, but it didn’t inspire the same awe as the towering, jagged, snow-capped peaks of Glacier. These are the purple mountain majestic she that are extolled as being part of the wild American heritage.
Sadly, Glacier is a nine hour drive from Minot — close enough that I feel like I need to go back at least once while I’m stationed here, but far enough away that it makes for a daunting trip — and definitely not a weekend excursion.
Then again. . .how can you possibly argue with that view?