After packing up our stuff and heading over to East Glacier, we went into the Two Medicine entrance of the park and had a little snack lunch in our car. it was chilly and windy.
We hiked on the Running Eagle Falls nature trail and quickly arrived at the falls. beautiful! It was an accessible walk, only a half mile, which means that there were many people on the path who were just out for a stroll. it’s nice that people who can’t/don’t want to do hiking can still see something so lovely. But also funny to see people not dressed at all for hiking.
When we’d gone to dinner Thursday night our new friend Elizabeth gave us a great map that included every single one of glacier’s day hikes. A guy named Jake Bramante hiked all 734 miles of trails in 2011 and created an awesome map which also included lists of hikes broken down by how long they are and how much he liked them. Of the 88 hikes he rated this one #23.
We didn’t spend a lot of time at the falls, and continued down the road to Two Medicine Lake. There we started along the trail to Aster Park Overlook.
We first passed meadows and a pond and saw this interestingly-twisted tree.
Here’s one of the ponds with the mountains in the distance.
Aster Falls, yet another great waterfall.
We reached the top in about an hour; the total hike was a little over four miles and it didn’t feel like much of a strain at all. The elevation gain was 837 feet, not bad. see the snow on top of the mountain? According to my map, this could be Rising Wolf Mountain. Or maybe Sinopah mountain? Studying the map on google maps, i can’t figure it out. whatever mountain it was, it was quite spectacular. And that’s Two Medicine lake down below, where we’d started.
This hike is rated #59 on our day hike map, although i think it should have been rated higher. Mountains, maybe a glacier, lake, lots of scenery…
Two older couples were up there on the mountain and one of the guys came and talked to us. He was friendly, and i think they were celebrating an anniversary? They left after a while and we had the peak to ourselves for a little bit.
I commented on how quickly we’d made it up the mountain and kevin said that’s because i was going at a much faster pace. he said i’d been setting the pace all this time, and had clearly improved. So i guess that means that if he’d hiked by himself he’d have gone faster. but then again, it wouldn’t have been as fun for him…
As we started back down we came across this lovely sight. I really need to start printing out some of these photos but i’m not sure where i’ll find room to hang any of them.
I talk about this spot in the video below; can you see how the trees have been chewed away at the bases? beavers!
On the video i speculated about where the beaver house might be, but when we walked a little bit i spotted it.
We got back to the car and were driving out of the park and for some reason i was yammering on about how people were always reporting on bear sightings, or hoping to see a bear, or whatever bear bear bear blah blah blah. i said “who cares if we see a bear?” and then i said that at least we’d seen cows; there had been a cow crossing sign on another road, and i pointed to the cow crossing sign up ahead and then said “and there’s a cow now!”
BUT IT WAS A BEAR! ambling across the road, minding his own business.
it was maybe 200 feet in front of us? i don’t know how many feet…but kevin stopped the car and i thrust my phone into his hands because the bear had wandered off into the shrubbery on his side of the road.
this is the first photo he took.
Yeah, i know, the bear wasn’t exactly visible. That little bit of black on the left edge of the clump of bushes is mr. bear.
But this picture isn’t bad!
If you watch the video you’ll get a brief glimpse of the bear as it saunters off into the woods.
It’s so funny to me because i had just been blathering on about how I didn’t care about seeing a bear, and then when we saw it i was so excited.
I was pleased we saw it from the car instead of running into it as we were hiking on a trail.
And it was a great way to end our hiking adventures in Glacier.
We had a lovely evening on Saturday, pictures to follow…