I had done this hike back on the same day in 2005 and insisted that my cousin take it with me this year. We wanted to do the guided tour but somehow we missed it only to find them catching up with us at the Lake. We started at around 8:40 AM with a chill in the air.
The biggest difference this year was the flow of the water. The Park had a late spring snow and in fact the Going to the Sun Road had just opened a week or so ago; although this side (the west side) opens quite a bit earlier. Anyway, because of the velocity of the water, it wasn't as pretty as when it has that deep turquoise color. Also the time of day effected the quality of the picture taking as we were hiking toward the sun.
There weren't too many hikers on the trail until we started heading back and that's when we encountered quite a few. I did notice some elderly hikers that were having trouble... you just don't realize how rolling the 1000 ft. altitude change can be. I hope that some of the hiking groups with the elderly took a few breaks.
It was very cloudy as we reached the lake. We sat there for about 45 minutes and enjoyed the lake, fauna and flora. The waterfalls were everywhere in every size and there was still quite a bit of snow on the mountains. We visited with the Park Interpretive Ranger that had finally made it here. Eventually the clouds started to roll away so that I could get some sunnier pictures.
We made our way back to the Gorge in an hour and headed on to the Walk of the Cedars toward the road. In 2005 this part was closed for repairs. It surely had some unique topography as well. The Cedars are indeed incredible. And then it was off to lunch at Lake McDonald Lodge for lunch where we enjoyed Huckleberry Daquiris, yum.
A campfire must be extinguished by drowning it with water, stirring with a shovel, and repeating that process until the campfire is cold to the touch. A campfire is still a danger if it has any trace of heat, and must not be left or abandoned. Wildfires can begin by abandoned campfires that rebuild heat on windy days and then blowing embers ignite surrounding grasses and brush.