Saturday, September 6, 2008

2008_September 5 - Hike to Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

View from the end of Swift Current Lake - Fresh snow on the mountaintops from yesterday's flurries.
This hike is started by taking a boat first across Swift Water Lake, connecting to a second boat crossing Lake Josephine, followed by a 7 mile round trip hike climbing 2,500 feet through the sub-alpine, then well into teh Alpine zone.
We start climbing right above Josephine Lake.
This hike is filled with wildlife. There are Grisley bears on the beach near the start. We need to call out around corners and in the willow thickets to be sure not to surprise anyone. We keep alert above and below the trail, and are rewarded with views of big horn sheep, and far above, like a few thousand feet, reclusive mountain goats.

The trail is actually a series of ledges that lead up the escarpment between Lake Josephine and the glacier. Here it is fairly wide, with some vegetation, and plenty of sheep and bear droppings. Other places, it becomes much narrower.

Looking back down the glacier carved valley - all the way out to Sherborne lake - where the road stops in the winter season.

This magnificent falls - Crystal Cascade fals at least 1,000 feet down the sedimentary rock face. There is no granite here, but sporadic limestone deposits which form overhangs and small cave formations. Most of the high caves are occupied by wildlife, so we don't go exploring.

Bear Grass in bloom. There is also vast fields of aster, indian paintbrush, penstiman, and pockets of arnica. Unlike the Sierras, there is no lupine in bloom.

The tail remains of Grinnell Glacier. Actually this morrain abd drainage pool below the glacier is now called upper Grinnell Lake. The fresh white is evidence of recent calving this summer.

Big horn sheep were all around us at the higher elevations. At one point a pair pranced in front of Diane on the trail.

This picture give some sense of te trail on the ledges. The goats and sheep are comfortabe on the steep grasy parts. Better footing than me!

This pair of asters was growing right out of a crack in the iron rich rock.

These buses are still used to ferry tourists around the various attractions in the Gacier National Park. In good weather the top rolls off completely.

Resting my tired dogs under the awning in a light drizzle once we got back to camp.


Azoreano Náufrago said...


NaC said...

What beautiful country. You must be having such a great time. Casp