Saturday, Sept. 14th we got up early and headed to the East entrance of Glacier. I had booked a 9:00 reservation on the boats which would take us from Many Glacier Hotel, over the Swiftcurrent Lake, up a little path, and then over Lake Josephine, and at the end of that path we’d start our hike.
This would shave four miles off the hike up to Grinnell Glacier. The reason we started on the far west side of the park and then drove all the way to the east side two days later is because when i started doing more research about Glacier I suddenly decided that we couldn’t miss climbing up to the Grinnell Glacier. The boats departing from Many Glacier stopped running on Sept. 15th, and by the time I booked our reservations it was booked up on that day, so instead I got them for the 14th. I’d already booked an air b&b starting on Sept. 12th, but i decided to book an air b&b near Many Glacier, and figured that we’d have to eat the cost of having two different places at once.
But the owner of the west-side air b&b refunded me for the first nights, so we didn’t have to pay for two places at once. but we (kevin) had to do morning driving, from the far west side of glacier to the east side, then back to the west side, and at the end of the trip, back to the east.
but it wasn’t terrible, and it all worked out.
back to the 14th –
We left our tiny Babb ari b&b at 7:30 because our reservation said we needed to get to the parking lot at the hotel early in order to find a space.
it was a chilly and incredibly windy morning, and this is the view of Lake Sherburne which paralleled the road as we drove toward the park.
We arrived at the Many Glacier Hotel in plenty of time and were almost blown over by the strong wind when we opened the car doors. It was also raining a little.
The hotel, built by the Great Northern Railway in 1914-15, was huge and impressive and sits on Swiftcurrent Lake, a spectacular setting. Here’s the view from the balcony.
We stood in line to get our tickets – there were gobs of people hoping to get stand-by tickets and I was glad we had reservations. We then had plenty of time to look around the lobby before boarding.
The lobby was fully of many photos from long ago and i wish i’d spent more time looking at them. but before we left i was too keyed up, and by the time we got back from our hike i just wanted to sit down.
We were first in line to board the first boat – you can see it there in the distance. the water was quite turbulent.
We had a great view from the first seat on the boat.
the lake was so choppy! Here’s most of the hotel, the biggest one in the park.
Here’s the dock at the destination for the first boat – when the young woman steering turned the boat, we tilted waaaay over and her stool clattered to the floor. she was surprised at the waves and said it hadn’t been that windy all year.
we all dismebarked and marched over a little hill to get on the second boat, headed over Lake Josephine. There’s Grinnell Glacier in the distance, with the waterfall flowing down from it.
the boat deposited us on the shore and headed back to pick up more people.
Everybody on the boat got off to hike; some of them hiked to Grinnell Lake, a short hike with little elevation. But i think most people were there to hike up to Grinnell Glacier.
Here’s a very short video of our boat rides.
Next, up to the Glacier we went!