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Hidden Lake - Hanging Garden Trail
3 Photosets

2012-08-14  
2010-07-21  
2010-07-21  
mini location map2010-07-21
50 by photographer avatartibber
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Hidden Lake - Hanging Garden TrailWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2010
tibber
Hiking3.00 Miles 803 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.50 mph
803 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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desertgirl
After having a nice breakfast, doing some last thot shopping and checking out of the Rising Sun, it was off to Logan Pass so that we could take one more hike off of my "always wanted to do" list. However, we had to stop along St Mary Lake to take photos of Wild Goose Island. It was beautiful. Then up to Logan Pass after a short construction stop.

Before heading up to the TH: Angela to Ambika, "Do you think we should take our trekking poles?" Ambika "no we shouldn't need them".
The trail was covered 75% in snow. As we continue to maintain our grip on the snow Angela says to Ambika, "I think the poles would have helped." ;) Ambika replies, "I thot it was a boardwalk all the way".
We only got to walk on very few exposed pieces of the boardwalk. Once we got just behind the Logan Pass Visitor Center on the paved part of the trail, one could see a lot more snow than land. We quickly forgot about that as a couple squirrels were having aggressive playtime out in the meadow among the Glacier Lilys and Pink Mountain Heather. The squirrels were quite hysterical.

As we continued up on to some of the snow, you couldn't help but be awed by the Garden Wall and Continental Divide mountains; such an incredible view. We also saw a trio of ravens in front of us circling and landing and goofing around in-between a rock ledge. Up a little ways were some snowboarders taking advantage of the snow covered slope. A couple young men passed us and we saw that they had ice axes. We would later see them climbing the south slope of Mt Clements.

We walked gingerly along the trail, mostly on the snow. This wasn't an easy feat as we had already hiked 20 miles in the last two days including crossing 20 snow fields on the Highline the day before. There was quite a bit of people traffic too and while it is annoying, I'm just glad the folks were out enjoying such a glorious day in such a magnificent place.

We finally got to the top of the first hill only to be greeted by nothing but a snow trail until the top of the next hill. In fact, the track split in two but it seemed most were taking the high road up and the low road back. We took the high road coming and going. It was a little tougher crossing on this as it would get a bit slanted and as the sun warmed the snow, it got just a bit more slippery. I thot for sure at the top of the next hill the Overlook was "close" but Scout was having none of it.

As we got near to the lake (hence Hidden Lake) we couldn't see there seemed to be some more vegetation and with that came more wildlife. We saw some mountain goats and a deer in the brush. We also some fellows carrying their skis off to the south of us. Not sure at all where they were headed. There were so many distractions it was hard to focus on one topic at a time.

After maneuvering around a downhill slope to avoid sliding down on our bottoms, we soon arrived at the Overlook and I finally got to see the Hidden Lake. You know I've seen so many pictures of this and Iceberg Lake and yearned to visit them both for so long...and now I got to see them both almost back to back. So I guess the old adage applies here: "It's never too late to start hiking". We sat here and enjoyed our leftover steak and potatoes before making the return trip.

On the way down we were greeted by more mountain goats and of course, lots more people. We did go off trail ON THE SNOW to try and get a better photo of the reflection in the pond. We gingerly continued to make our way down and then finally it happened. Ambika slid down on her tush. She had her big camera backpack so I was surprised she didn't go down earlier. Well then I help her up and not a minute or so later, down I go and then Ambika hits the deck again too. Some other people saw this and thot it was rather entertaining. So I took a picture of Ambika to commemorate the event. Fortunately, we stayed upright the rest of the way.

Back near the bottom we were treated to a hoary marmot show. He looked like he was just watching all of us. His front legs were spread eagle for awhile: it was so funny. And then to the other side of this, another hoary marmot and her little one were carrying on. And the wildlife show is still not done as we can see in the distance across the GTTSR, a bunch of Big Horn Mountain sheep. We put our stuff in the car, check out the Visitors Center and then before we leave the lot, we walk across the road to get some up close and personal pictures of the sheep. This one sheep was sitting not too far from us. It was amazing.

But the day didn't end there as we drove to Avalanche Gorge on the GTTSR. All of a sudden the skies let loose with rain and a little hail interspersed too. We ended up pulling over below Haystack Falls and decided to have our lunch to wait out the storm (as we wanted to get some good photos of Haystack Falls). Once the rain subsided, Ambika took out her tripod and got some most excellent pictures of this totally cool falls. And then it was on to The Trail of the Cedars.

I also did the Hike Description for this hike.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_-GMXPTcxc
Flora
Flora
Mountain Heather
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
HAZ Member
tibber's
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