Hiking up to Grinnell Glacier!

by grace on October 15, 2019

Before our trip I was looking around on tripadvisor forums and “grinnell Glacier” kept popping up and I suddenly felt it was important that we try the hike up to the Glacier. I posted a question, asking if the hike would be too difficult for two midwesterners only used to about 581 feet above sea level.

I got lots of detailed answers, everybody agreeing that it was a must-see destination, plus the glacier will probably be gone in ten years. Some said we’d probably do ok, and somebody wisely said we could attempt the hike but if it got to be too much we could always turn back. excellent point!

So because I’m naturally nervous and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make it, I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before we went.

Once we got off the final boat to head for the path I had calmed down. The funny thing is that two older couples got off the boat when we did, but we didn’t see them the rest of the day til they were on the return boat with us – they’d managed to quickly scale the mountain and we never spotted them.

The other funny thing is that i had some painful plantar fasciitis pain in one of my feet prior to the trip, but it gotten better, and I bought special insoles. But near the end of our hike I told Kevin that my feet hurt; he said that his were fine.

But by the time we went on a second hike in Glacier, I looked inside my boots and realized I’d taken the insoles out to put into different shoes, so I’d taken that entire rigorous hike with no insoles at all!

Here’s the first signpost, at about 10:00.

It was flat for a little bit.

I had to take this picture because this wooly worm is one of the only animals we saw on our trip! i’d never seen one with prickly things on both ends – that must somehow help with the serious winters.

This is how far we’d gone in a half hour.

There were a fair amount of others walking the trail, and we got somebody to take our picture more than once.

11:45, making good time!

Bighorn sheep, can you spot them? One is up in the top right, the other two are just below center. I had to zoom in a lot to see them; we only knew they were there because people hiking down kept telling us.

12:15, and we’re so high up that looking at this picture it’s hard to imagine that we were really way up there.

Shortly thereafter, i looked at the trail down below us, amazed at how far we’d gone.

We ran into this really nice older guy, a ranger named Ed, who took our picture. if you watch the video, i say that he was on bear patrol – that’s because somebody had reported seeing a bear sometime earlier in the week.

There were no bears that day, but another day we ran into a young woman who said that she’d seen the ranger (she didn’t notice his badge reading ED), and he’d been shepherding people around on a ridge or something because there was a bear right there!

The view down to the lower lakes. This is at 12:50.

I thought these fluffy plants were so interesting, and kevin and i both thought they were like something out of dr. seuss.

So, this is the sign for the glacier. but this sign was at a rest stop that included a pit toilet and some logs dotted around where people were eating. Since this sign said it was the Glacier, i assumed we had arrived at the glacier, and didn’t take the opportunity to avail myself of the pit toilet.

unfortunately, the glacier itself was another 35 minutes away. so yeah, should have stopped.

I’d hoped to make this hike into one post, but there’s one more after this one, when we’re at the glacier itself. so spectacular. but i’ll always remember that that’s where i had to go to the bathroom so bad!

here’s a fairly short video of the hike up to this point.

ok then,

mrs. h.

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