Angela hadn't done the Redrock Falls hike before, so we figured it was a great way to spend the day. Our original plan had been to hike out to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook, but the trail was closed due to bear activity (evidently a grizzly sow and her two yearling cubs had decided it was their trail). Redrock was described in a guide that Angela had printed out as 'the easiest hike in Glacier NP'. That alone had my husband sold on it. Little did we know we'd be hiking it again in a couple of days...but I get ahead of myself here.
The beginning of this trail is a smooth, level hike - ever so slightly gaining elevation. First we passed the spur trail that lead to Fishercap Lake, we decided to catch that one on the way home. Views of Mount Grinnell and Mount Wilbur keep you company as you pass in and out of thick pine and birch groves, flower-filled meadows and unexpected rock outcroppings. We were reminded to keep looking up by periodic sightings of ephemeral waterfalls triggered by the substantial melt off. It was a fun stretch of hiking.
We reached the shores of Redrock Lake, where you can see the falls on the far side. I decided that it was an opportune time to take care of a little restroom issue, so I ducked off the trail and walked along the lake shore a few feet looking for another entrance to the woods. Just as I thought I'd hit paydirt, I look up and see this juvenile bull moose about 100 yards away from me. "Gary" I call, "It's a moose!"
Well, Mr. Wendy comes to see the moose, then Angela, then just about half of the tourist population of the whole park. The moose keeps walking slowly toward me along the shore of the lake - his eyes on me the entire way. When he got to a spot about 35 yards away, he stopped and just stared at me. It occurred to me that my opening in the bush may be his trail up out of the lakeshore. Rather than continue a face-off, I backed away and returned to the trail, all the while folks all around are snapping photos in a frenzy.
Still needing to take care of that business I spoke of, I crossed the trail to the far side, climbed up the hill a ways, and found myself a new and acceptable spot. Well, wouldn't you know, just as I am concluding matters I hear 'Wendy, Wendy, the moose is coming your way!' i pop up from behind my bush to see, not a moose (he'd already gone into the bushes just up the trail) but about 20 tourists, all of whom thought my sudden appearance was about the funniest thing they'd ever seen. Great. I think Angela even got a picture of it. Even better.
The moose incident behind us (no pun intended), we headed on to the falls. I have to admit, I wasn't blown over by Redrock Falls. Perhaps it was the moose sighting that had left me feeling a bit sheepish, but I thought the falls were just sorta jumbled and chaotic - not to mention crawling with people. The sunny day had brought out the droves, and everyone seemed to be competing to find a lunch spot that was closer to the falls themselves than the next. This meant it was very hard to get in there and get a photo of the spot that wasn't full of brightly colored T-shirts and pasty white limbs.
We hiked up above the falls a short way to find a little solitude, and after some ducking and scrambling, we managed to find a perch on the red rocks that was far enough from the crowds but still within earshot of the falls. We had a delightful view of the mountains and lake, though, so it was just fine.
While we were making our way back to the trail, we ran into a gentleman that told us that a better picture of the falls was to be had from along the lakeshore, rather than the trail. He told us that if you followed the shore, you'd be able to hop right back on the trail. Well, I don't know if we just didn't understand his instructions, or if he didn't know what he was talking about, because after we'd headed that way a bit (taking photos as we went), we realized that we were now surrounded on three sides by the lake - in order to get right back on the trail from here we'd have needed to swim like mooses (mice?).
The little peninsula was lovely, however, with amazing views and a unique perspective of the lake. We shot it up good with our cameras then bush-whacked back to the trail. After all that excitement, it's not surprising that Mr. Wendy (also known on this trip as Mr.Grumpy-Broken-Toe-Boy) started to get a bit irritated. I don't think he spoke a single word the entire trip back.
On our way, we did manage to stop off at Fishercap Lake, which is a lovely spot. If I were a fishing type person, it would look to me like a slice of heaven: isolated but not hard to get to, and crystal clear blue waters. Mr. Wendy was not taken, however, and we tromped back to the trailhead.
Angela and I weren't ready to be done with adventure just yet, but Gary certainly was. So, we drove back to the Many Glacier Lodge hoping to find something to please everyone...