Saturday, August 31, 2013

Columbia Falls, MT (Glacier National Park)

I stayed in Columbia Falls, Montana July 9 – 22.    This was about 20 minutes from Glacier National Park.  My first full day out, I headed out early in the morning to explore the west side of Glacier NP.  I made several stops in the car before getting to Logan’s Pass, the location of a short hike I took.

Lake McDonald early in the morning --

McDonald Creek Valley -

Going to the Sun road cuts through Glacier National Park. Due to snow and some construction, the road did not open until  June 21 this year.  A couple of years ago it did not open until July 13 due to the heavy snow.   It is quite a road and in some places seems like there is not enough room for 2 cars to pass.  There were a couple of tunnels on the road and great views everywhere --

My first hike in Glacier was just a short hike in the Logan’s Pass area.  I took so much time getting up to Logan’s Pass that I only walked around for about an hour.

There are waterfalls everywhere along the road.  Some of them are named waterfalls, such as Bird Woman Falls which you drive over --

Others are not named (or I didn’t find the names) and may just be here because of snow melt --

I took this picture from my car and wouldn’t you know a car would go by me just as I was taking the picture from my moving car so I couldn’t take another! But I liked the picture anyway!!

One day I hiked to St. Mary and Virginia Falls, this is one of the easier hikes in the park – about 4 miles round trip. 

St Mary Falls -

While St. Mary and Virginia Falls are the destinations, the cascades, smaller waterfalls and views between the 2 main falls were beautiful.

Virginia Falls -

I found a nice resting spot between the 2 tiers of this falls and enjoyed watching the American Dippers fly around and then dive into the water.  A very interesting bird, but they never sat still long enough for a good photo. 

On the hike back to the trailhead, I passed St. Mary’s Falls again and enjoyed the falls and blue water again.

I saw a few wildflowers on this trail and at some of the stops I made on Going to the Sun road. I am not sure what the wildflower below is, I think it’s in the lily family.

I enjoyed McDonald Creek many times, sometimes from the road or overlooks and a few times from short walks.

1 comment:

  1. Spectacular! This is one area I definitely want to visit next summer. Thanks for pointing out the good spots.