Monday, Sept. 16th, our 13th anniversary! We celebrated by going on a lovely hike, up to Apgar Lookout.

it’s funny that our hike two days before had been so chilly and windy. today, we fairly quickly zipped off our zipoff pants and comfortably hiked in shorts. we left at the crack of about 11:00 in the morning, and the hike was about seven miles round trip, with an elevation of 1,956 ft, according to my fitbit.

Apgar Lookout sits at 5,236 ft.

the start of the hike was one of the closest from the place we were staying, which was good. there were already a handful of cars in the parking lot when we got there.

At this spot we’d hiked almost two hours. it seemed pretty easy compared to the Grinnell hike. Plus it was fun to hike in such glorious weather.

Most of the trees hadn’t started turning color, but this one had.

Almost to the top!

When we reached the peak we sat down for a nice lunch of tuna and crackers and peanut butter and crackers, and kevin had brought dried ice cream sandwiches! the sandwich wasn’t bad, and it was funny to be eating an ice cream sandwich way up on a mountaintop.

that’s Lake McDonald down below – we’d seen it on Friday when stopped at the Lake McDonald Lodge on our way to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and we’d see it a few more times later.

We were able to walk up on the lookout; i wish i’d taken a photo of the structure. Here’s the info i just read about it:

The original lookout was constructed in 1929, but burned down only two weeks after its completion. It was immediately replaced with the current two-story wood frame structure on the premises today. Although no longer in use, the fire tower is considered an historical structure, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also at the site is a TV transmitter tower that’s currently being used by a Kalispell television station with a special use permit to operate within Glacier National Park.

The village, mountain, fire tower and trail are all named after Milo Apgar, who was among the first permanent families to settle on Lake McDonald in the early 1890s. Mr. Apgar built homes and cabins for tourists in this area, which would later become Apgar Village.

There’s a fancy golf course down there, but there’s also that thing…I took a picture in order to remember it, and to look it up, but i can’t find out what it could be. Kevin says maybe it’s some kind of wastewater treatment plant. Clearly it’s top-secret since i can’t find any info on it.

There were quite a few cute little fir trees like this on the trail.

There were also many burned trees from the huge Roberts Fire in 2003.

During that fire, at one point the fire was so intense that flames reached a height of 500 feet along Howe Ridge (towards the north of Lake McDonald). 2003 was the final year of a five-year drought, and became one of the worst fire seasons in Glacier National Park history. During that summer more than 136,000 acres burned within the park boundaries. That represents 13% of the park! (i got that info from a hiking glacier website).

This tree looked almost silver.

Here’s Kevin close to the end of the trail. We’d spent about five hours hiking, including a good amount of time hanging out at the top.

A fantastic hike, and on our way back to Apgar Village we saw this guy fly-fishing in the Flathead River.

Here’s a short video of our hike.

Next posting, our grand anniversary dinner that evening in Apgar Village!

ok then,

mrs. g.h.