Monday, October 24, 2016

Glacier National Park, Part 3, Hanging GardenTrail to Hidden Lake Overlook



When my husband and I visited Glacier National Park this past August, we were astounded by its natural beauty!  We spent many hours driving along its Going-to-the-Sun road to admire all its scenery, but we also wanted to do a hike during our visit, as the park contains over 700 miles of hiking trails. Happily, we were able to find a parking spot at Logan Pass one afternoon, where we were to embark on the Hanging Garden Trail to Hidden Lake. Logan Pass is on the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park and at 6,646 feet elevation is the highest point on the Going-to-the-Sun road. We had tried two other times to park in the Logan Pass parking lot during our park visit without success. The American National Parks were very popular destinations this summer, and many parks broke attendance records, including Glacier National Park.

If you click on to enlarge the photo collage above you can see the trail map of the hike we were going to take.  It was 1.5 miles long with an elevation gain of 460 feet.  The official name of the trail is Hidden Lake Hanging Garden Trail, and you will soon see why!


All photos will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on


The beginning of the trail consists of boardwalks that rise along in height with steps as needed. Hikers are asked to stay on the boardwalks to preserve the alpine meadows.


As you can see there is an abundance of wildflowers in this area, so many concentrated in these alpine meadows that they have been aptly nicknamed the "hanging gardens."


Between the surrounding mountain views and the profuse array of wild flowers along the trail I found myself stopping often, while hiking, to take photos.


The fluffy white flower in the upper right of this photo collage is Western Pasqueflower--Linda W corrected me as to what this unusual flower is-thank you, Linda!  I was hoping it might have been Bear Grass, but I believe we visited a little late in the season to see that flower blooming. Bear Grass is a native plant to Glacier National Park and is found only in Northwestern North America. It does not grow every year in the park, and sometimes there can be several years between cycles before it is seen again.  It looks similar to the Western Pasqueflower as that it is white and grows on a long stem and is made up of many tiny flowers as a fluffy head. 


We continued the hike...looking forward....


...and back, so as not to miss an amazing view!


Beauty was everywhere we looked.


We climbed higher and higher....


...and eventually the trail turned form boardwalk to natural terrain.


We could hear and see the gushing water of melting glaciers all around us! The water was icy cold. If you'd like to see a short video of this melting glacier you can see it on my Mille Fiori Favoriti facebook page on this link, or on my Mille Fiori Favoriti Instagram on this link.


Click to enlarge the photo above to see the waterfalls and streams of the melting glaciers.


Looking back, we could no longer see Logan Pass in the distance.


There were more gorgeous views ahead.


We spied a white mountain goat in the distance.


We then spotted quite a few more along the trail, one of which climbed onto some glacier ice to cool off.  The mountain goat is the animal symbol of Glacier National Park.


Climbing higher with more spectacular mountain glacier views!


We now encountered some bighorn sheep.  A trio ran right in front of us on the trail and then ran off into the woods.


Finally, we saw the Hidden Lake ahead!


We stood on the overlook platform, with many other hikers who made the journey, one of whom kindly offered to take our photo. It felt wonderful to have been able to see this magnificent panoramic view of the lake. The trail continued further towards the lake, with a descent of 800 feet, but since it was late afternoon we did not go further.


A placard at the overlook tells the sad story of how the Earth's warming trend is not only melting the glaciers at an alarming rate but also allowing the forest to grow higher, which will in turn effect the alpine balance of the environment.


After we turned around, and began to descend the trail, we could soon see the Logan Pass parking lot again far in the distance.


We heard the squeak of a large yellow bellied marmot before we had a view of him, sunning himself upon a rock....


...as well as many smaller rodent type animals scurrying around.


We passed by the Logan Pass Visitors Center, but because of the late hour of the day we did not go inside.  Hanging Garden Trail to Hidden Lake was one of the highlights of our visit to Glacier National park and I'd highly encourage all visitors to walk this trail and enjoy all the fabulous views and flowers along the way!


We returned on the Going-to-the-Sun road to continue seeing the sights in Glacier National Park--more of the spectacular beauty of this park to come in the next post.

Glacier National park, Part One, Many Glacier, can be found on this link
Glacier National Park, Part Two, Trail of the Cedars, can be found on this link.


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48 comments:

Marja said...

Stunning photos of a beautiful area The lake is so beautiful and all these gorgeous animals. Love the boardwalk with the majestic mountains on the background. I am just back from a visit to the glaciers as well.
Are they melting rapidly in your part of the world as well?
Thanks for taking me on this trip

Maggie said...

What a fabulous hike through amazing scenery, the boardwalk is the ideal solution to preserve the alpine meadows.
The animals up there must be very hardy to survive.
Happy Mosaic Monday.

riitta k said...

Man must feel so tiny and humble in that immense scenery. Gorgeous views, I have never experienced such beauty!

Snap said...

Spectacular! What fun you are having on your "wild" west adventures! And what fun I'm having reading about them. Have a fun filled week!

Linda W. said...

I've hiked that very trail the last time I was in Glacier. It's a wonderful hike with so much too see. By the way, that fluffy white flower in your photo collage is not beargrass, but the Western Pasqueflower, commonly known to me as "hippy on a stick." :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You had some breathtaking views on your trip to Glacier Park, Pat. We took our kids there many years and I remember the views -and all the cars - on "going to the sun" road. Still, I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

happywonderer.com said...

Amazing views and beauty for sure Pat. Your photos just draw you in. Have a great week.

Lady Fi said...

Wow - stunning views! Love the boardwalks.

Felicia said...

How gorgeous. we did not hike this when we were there and how I wish we had.

Ida said...

It's been at least 40 years since I visited Glacier Park. Your photos brought back some great memories. Although the boardwalk was not there at that time. I think it would be awesome to hike on that. - Loved that you saw Mountain Goats and Bighorn Sheep, they are very cool looking animals. The views were stunning.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Pat what a great hike you and your husband were able to take in this magnificent park! It's really a shame that the glaciers are disappearing. We went to Glacier Bay in Alaska and learned the same destiny for them. How sad that our grandchildren's grandchildren may never view such beauty. I really enjoyed seeing the bighorn sheep and the marmot--so neat. ♥

NC Sue said...

Wow!
Amazing photos of a lovely trek.
Thanks for sharing with us at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/10/along-way.html

Fun60 said...

Scenery doesn't get much better than that. Absolutely stunning.

Gaelyn said...

A gorgeous park that I really need to visit before the glaciers are gone. And such a breathtaking trail.

Michelle said...

Really gorgeous shots of this park. I also appreciated those lovely wildflowers!

Andrea said...

OMG, looking at your photos and visualizing all of the subjects i wanted to photograph make me feel that i have been deprived of so much for so long! But there are people like us who cannot just let our wishes materialize in this lifetime. Oh how i pray for a miracle. Thanks for the tour though.

Ruth Hiebert said...

That trail looks amazing.The views are breathtaking.

Barb said...

Pat, the wildflowers seemed to be at peak when you were visiting. It's good they're preserving the ecology of the meadows with the boardwalks. I liked seeng the glaciers - the goats and sheep were an added bonus!

Lorrie said...

What an amazing boardwalk hike! The scenery is stunning. I've driven through the Rockies since childhood and am so saddened by the disappearance of the glaciers. The wildflowers are beautiful along the trail you walked.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

The views are just breathtakingly beautiful! I'd love to visit there. Maybe some day! I like how the trail is part boardwalk. Thanks, Pat, for sharing these gorgeous scenes with us!

Denise inVA said...

Jaw dropping scenery Pat, absolutely magnificent.

Jeanne said...

Hello Pat, it is late but after a busy day and falling asleep watching TV I wanted to answer my comments on Blue Monday. Thank you again for your birthday wishes. It was a birthday blessing to be with my darling daughter and sisters.

This part of the park is beautiful. We did not visit there.I wish we did after seeing your wonderful photos. I have mentioned The hike of the "WALL OF WILDFLOWERS." Did you take that hike? It too was a beautiful hike with amazing terrain. A small fury animal ran right over my feet on the trail. Kind of like a ground hog. The Hidden Lake is wonderful and so blue.

Happy Blue Monday.
Hugs,
Jeanne

Villrose said...

Spectacular! And lovely animals :)

jeannettestgermain said...

Wow, this is a prka I would like to visit! Stunning beauty. I wonder if it already cold at this altitude, but I see the sun shining (that helps). And this array of wild flowers - incredible. Love especially those little plumes:)
Many thanks for sharing your route with ALL SEASONS -much appreciated! And thank you for your comment about your grandkids:):)
Have a happy week.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

How beautiful it is there and your photos have captured it all perfectly!

The Gathering Place said...

I think I need to put Glacier National Park on my bucket list. It looks stunning. Thanks for sharing your photos of a beautiful area.

Photo(Geo)grapher said...

That's a beautiful place. Love your shots.
Greetings

Molly said...

What beautiful scenery

mollyxxx

Jeanna said...

All that and mountain goats and bighorn sheep too! Beautiful shots, I love that a place with all those hiking trails exists. Thank you for sharing this.

Mandy 'n' Justin said...

Beautiful images! 700 miles of hikeable trails is a lot! How did you decide which trails to hike? … I love seeing those mountains next to the meadows! So pretty!

LV said...

You did a marvelous job on these breathtaking sights.

Splendid Little Stars said...

beautiful photos! I love Glacier National Park! I've been there twice. This is one of its fabulous hikes.

Tamar SB said...

How amazing is that! So gorgeous!

Jim said...

Beautiful scenery.
Sydney – City and Suburbs

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

An outstanding national treasure, I would love to visit this park. I've been enjoying photos of it for several years. Your shots are great and varied. I love them all.

Lisa Kerner said...

Oh, you got to see the wild flowers. That is a dream of mine. This trail is beautiful. I cannot wait to go back for a visit to hike it. We did do the Virginia Falls hike, it was so pretty.

Lisa @ LTTL

Lisa Healy said...

I can't believe how many people were out on that trail - it was like a traffic jam! This NP is on my list - now I can't wait to get there and see it!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Absolutely stunning! Looks like a great (and challenging) hike. Amazing home may animals you not only saw but were able to photograph. I totally want to go there!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Stunning photography ... the big views, the flowers at your feet, and the wonderful animals...thank you for noticing it all and for sharing ....you are a great tour guide.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Such breathtaking pictures! Glacier National Park is high on my Bucket List :)

I hope you have a good Halloween :)

Sharon Wagner said...

What scenery! And what a glorious day to hike. When we were there it was sleeting and miserable. Thanks for the great ghost story comment over on my creative writing blog!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, wonderful scenic views of Glacier Nat'l Park. The hike looks awesome. I love all the critters. The goats, sheep and marmots are wonderful sightings. Wonderful collection of photos. Thanks for sharing your trip! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

Gemma Wiseman said...

An incredible, breath-taking place. So scenic. The boardwalks are strategically placed and seem to blend into the environment. And love the white mountain goats.

Michelle Leslie said...

Oh my word, those views take your breath away. So incredibly beautiful and the boardwalk is a perfect solution for saving and preserving the meadows. I really think they need to start thinking about doing the same in the Drakensberg. So many of the plant species on our mountain have been listed in the Red Data Book of threatened plants that we need to start making a plan.

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

Would love to do this trail! Amazed at the amount of wildlife you saw.

Mary K.- The Boondocks Blog said...

Pat that was quite a climb. You must have been walking for hours. And yet it was so worth it. Such hidden beauty in the lake. And even the walk leading up to the lake was breathtaking.

Stacey said...

I really enjoy seeing your adventures. My husband is still in the work all the time mode. I look forward to the time when we can relax more together.

indah nuria Savitri said...

It's super beautiful! I wish I could visit this place soon..