Saturday, October 15, 2016

Glacier National Park, Part Two


In Glacier National Park, Part One--click here to read that post--I showed you the "Many Glacier" section of the park, located on the north eastern end, and not connected to the rest of the park by the "Going-to-the-Sun Road."  We had overcast stormy weather that first day of our visit, but when we started out for the park early on our second day, a short drive from the Belton Chalet located in West Glacier, Montana, we happily had beautiful weather!


When we entered Glacier National Park from the western entrance we were immediately greeted by a dense forest on each side of the road.


Whenever we visit a national park, we make it a point to visit one of the visitors centers to gather information.  We were surprised when a ranger in the Apgar Visitor Center told us in conversation when she found out we were visiting from Denver that she considered the Trail Ridge Road, in Rocky Mountain Park, one of the most stupendous and dangerous drives she ever did in a national park. That increased our confidence that we would be able to drive the Going To the Sun Road in Glacier without any worry or difficulty.


If you click on the photo above to enlarge it, you can see a map of Glacier National Park, and the area where the Going-to-the-Sun Road travels.


We passed the beginnings of Lake McDonald. Lake McDonald is the direct result of glacial carving. At ten miles long and nearly 500 feet deep and is the largest lake in the park.


We stopped for a visit to the beautiful and rustic Lake McDonald Lodge.  Notice one of the iconic red buses that offer narrated tours of the park if you do not wish to drive. There is a fleet of 33 vintage buses dating back to 1930, considered to be the oldest touring fleet of vehicles anywhere in the world!


There was much to look at and admire in the Lake McDonald Lodge.  Constructed in 1913-14, the lodge is the largest lodging facility on the lake and was built to resemble a rustic hunting lodge with Swiss influenced architecture.


When you pass through the lodge to the rear exit you see McDonald Creek that runs beside it...


....that empties into Lake McDonald.



It was serene and peaceful in the early morning hour we visited.


There were colorful rocks and pebbles along Lake McDonald shore.



 Soon a lone fisher woman came to try her luck at catching trout. 


Back on the road, we were again surrounded by the deep coniferous forest.


When we saw a parking area for the Trail of the Cedars trail we stopped so that we could enjoy these magnificent trees!  If you click on the collage above to enlarge it, you can read that many of these trees are hundreds of years old and see the trail map. This trail is a flat easy one mile trail that most people can navigate with ease and is wheelchair accessible.


I love forests, and was excited to begin our walk here.


Immediately I could see the forest floor was green and lush with ferns....


....and mosses.


As my husband and I walked along the trail we stopped often to admire the many unusual and mysterious looking features in this ancient forest.



Moss, lichens, burls, ferns, berries, and plants around every corner!


The Lake McDonald Valley is situated on the eastern edge of the maritime climate of the Pacific Northwest, and so it marks the extreme eastern limits for western hemlocks and red cedars. The trees can grow to one hundred feet in height and many are over 500 years old!



There was a crystal clear waterfall at Avalanche Gorge along the trail.



My husband climbed up to the top area of the falls to take this photo.


All along the trail were placards describing the different varieties of tress that were in the forest. Please click on each photo to enlarge them to read the descriptions.






There were quite a few downed trees in some areas, as the result of severe winter storms.


The Avalanche Lake Trail head can be accessed in this area but regretfully we decided we would take this trail on another day, as we were anxious to return to our drive through the park. Each time we tried to find parking at the Trail of the Cedar Parking lot on the days of our visits afterward, we could not find one parking spot so we never did return to this trail. Glacier national park broke records this summer for the number of people visiting it, so parking in many areas along Going-to-the-Sun Road was more difficult to find.


We continued on the Trail of Cedars as it lead off the boardwalk and onto a dirt trail...


...and eventually back to the road and parking lot.


We could see glimpses of glaciers on mountain tops in the distance and were excited to get back in our car to drive towards them....


...and more amazing scenery!

Come back next post and I'll continue our drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road in part three of Glacier National Park!


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54 comments:

Lady Fi said...

Amazing and beautiful scenery!

Mersad said...

A wonderful road trip into the mountains. Nature up there is amazing to look at and I'm sure being there is thousand times better.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, Glacier is a beautiful park. I love the lake and mountains. I remember letting my hubby drive on the Going to the Sun road, it made me nervous. Great post and wonderful series of photos. Have a great day and week ahead!

Linda W. said...

Glacier National Park is so amazing! Glad you had good weather your second day for your hike and drive.

happywonderer.com said...

Wonderful Pat. I really appreciate how they name the trees on those placards. I've been on walks before where I wish I knew the types of trees.

Vee said...

Amazing scenery, but what intrigued me most were those ancient burls on the trees. Have never seen any that looked like that.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful trip, Pat. The scenery is just gorgeous.

Barb said...

Pat, your forest photos are wonderful. Those ancient trees are amazing. I also love the beautiful rocks at the lakeside.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Fantastic post. I have travelled the Going To The Sun highway,but it's been many years ago.You show beautiful scenes.

Felicia said...

beautiful. wish i could go back again.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

So beautiful ... the grand views and the closer ones at your feet... (those colorful rocks at the creek shore were beautiful).... and I loved the green lushness along the boardwalk. And the Highway drive is truly amazing and your photos do it justice....

riitta k said...

What a azing views of Lake McDonald with mountains at the background. So peaceful and serene.

Photo(Geo)grapher said...

What a beautiful place to explore it. I like mountain landscapes. Lovely photos

Maggie said...

Stunning scenery every way you turn there is something to wonder at, your storytelling is delightful and made me feel as if I was walking alongside you breathing in that wonderfully crisp fresh air.
Happy Mosaic Monday,
Maggie

Snap said...

When I read one of your posts, I feel like I'm right there with you. We need more forests! Have a great week.

Taken For Granted said...

Wonderful photos of Glacier National Park. Those 1930s red busses are not quite as old as they look. About fifteen years ago they were completely rebuilt by Ford Motor Company with new, modern chassis, so all the mechanical equipment, like brakes and suspension are modern. They are completely safe while retaining a classic look.

Alexa T said...

And so lovely lake and the trail of cedars, also forest aspects... So amazing views! Thank you for sharing!

LV said...

Definitely a trip to remember. Such a lovely area.

Tamar SB said...

How gorgeous! What natural beauty.

Pamela Gordon said...

I would enjoy this so much. What beautiful scenery and I love all the variety of trees and the mossy areas. Thanks for sharing Pat!

jeannettestgermain said...

America the beautiful - whether it's South or North! No wonder I have been mesmerized all this time with this country! The very favorite shot you took is for me the water with all the mosses! Many thanks for sharing this with ALL SEASONS - now I want to get back to traveling:):)
Have a happy week!

jeannettestgermain said...

America the beautiful - whether it's South or North! No wonder I have been mesmerized all this time with this country! The very favorite shot you took is for me the water with all the mosses! Many thanks for sharing this with ALL SEASONS - now I want to get back to traveling:):)
Have a happy week!

Photo Cache said...

Thanks for the virtual tour. The national parks are truly beautiful.

Worth a Thousand Words

Sylvia said...

Pat, My favorite photos are the mosses and the trees. Sylvia D.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

The landscape and lodge look amazing!

Lorrie said...

I can almost smell the fresh forest air from your photos. What a beautiful part of the world.

Rambling Woods said...

Our national parks are such a treasure.... I really enjoyed the information and photos... Michelle

likeschocolate said...

Lovely!

Linda said...

I'd love to spend time in that forest! The lodge looks marvelous too.

Rhonda Albom said...

Lake McDonald Lodge looks classic. I like your collection of burl photos.

Fun60 said...

That's a beautiful scenic park. Thanks for the tour.

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

Very nice! Feels so bad when you cannot find a parking spot in a park. Want to see the Going to the Sun Road photos. I want to see how "scary" it is.

baili said...

really enjoyed this wonderful series of beautiful photos .
this park is really worth visiting

Marie C said...

Stunning woodland and lake photos! And I love the Lodge! Wow...what an amazing place to visit!

podso said...

Your photos truly are amazing. What beautiful scenery. It's nice to see it through your eyes, a chance to visit somewhere I haven't been.

Molly said...

So beautiful

Mollyxxx

Debbie Roberts - Debs Random Writings said...

Hi Pat, what beautiful photographs. The Glacier National Park looks like somewhere I'd love to visit. I love the old vintage buses, perfect for enjoying the surroundings without having to drive.

I hope the fisherwoman managed to catch her trout!

Popped over from Through My Lens.

xx

bettyl-NZ said...

Wow! There's so much to see in this park. The shapes of the trees are really incredible and I love the rocks and water, too.

Jim said...

Great shots

Jan Robinson said...

I would love to be walking along the dirt track with the cedars towering above and breathing in the fresh forest smell.

Dancin Fool said...

What a fantastic spot!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Looks like an amazing place... and it's long been a place I want to visit! Thanks for taking us along on this wonderful tour.

Kristy LifenReflection said...

It looks like a one of a kind adventure! Thank you for sharing this beautiful tour in the Colors of Autumn!

NC Sue said...

Absolutely marvelous - what a lovely location, and beautiful photos.
Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/10/springtime-memories.html

Kreete said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos and a very scenic national park! Loving the crystal clear waterfall too! Thanks for sharing!

diane b said...

This is a beautiful national Park. The trees are amazing and the ferns and mosses are beautiful. Bad news about the parking problems.

Corinne Vail said...

Beautiful photographs! I just love Glacier National Park, it is one of my favorites, especially the drive through Going to the Sun. Thanks for bringing us back there!

Lauren on Location said...

Glacier National Park is one of my parent's favorites! They always rave about it. Hoping to get there one day soon! Looks beautiful :D

Jann Olson said...

Great post! I would like to return to Glacier and spend more time there. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Van B. said...

Lake Mc Donald looks so stunning! And the pictures of the surrounding forests make me want to go on a hike right now!

The Gathering Place said...

Looks like a great place to hike!

Splendid Little Stars said...

spectacular!

Jarek said...

Beautiful scenes and photos.

indah nuria Savitri said...

The more I see it the more I want to go there :)