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Gunsight Pass Trail
4 Photosets

mini location map2012-08-06
33 by photographer avatartibber
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Gunsight Pass TrailWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2012
Hiking6.50 Miles 3,360 AEG
Hiking6.50 Miles   3 Hrs   50 Mns   2.29 mph
3,360 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
1st trip
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This hike was a change of plans due to the heat (high 80s) and length of our previous thot to return via the Gunsight Trail we had come in on. So rather than hike 13.5 miles back to our car, we decided to hike down the 3300 or so feet of the Sperry Trail and then shuttle back to the car at the Gunsight TH.

We had a nice breakfast with the Houston couple Ambika and I had met at Many Glacier Lodge a couple days before, packed up our gear and started our hike down from this beautiful setting at Sperry Chalet. Of course, we had to take some pics of the goats and a marmot before the hike could begin ;) . About 1/2 mile down, we stopped at Sprague Creek to look up at the Feather Woman Falls which we had crossed under the previous day. It is such a LONG waterfall and so pretty.

We would be hiking in the shade for the first little bit and then hike mostly in the forest for the rest of our trip down. Guru caught a fleeting glance at a wolverine but we missed it. We would encounter a few hikers heading up the trail and some would pass us on the way down as well as the horse train with passengers. We stopped with a few miles left for a break and sat on one of the large logs along the trail. BRUCE ALERT: Here we indulged in our left over baked potatoes that we had packed all the way up the Gunsight Trl. Let me tell you, that is an awesome snack as we had all the fixings too :) .

You could hear the creek on and off so that was pleasant. There is one area where you get to cross over the creek on a bridge where the area before it was very nice. Here there is an intersection with a couple different hike options. We, however, were headed down to GTTSR. It seemed we hit a couple false bottoms too, who knew?! I had heard of false summits but this was my first encounter with false bottoms.

Like most of the trails I've hiked in Glacier Park, this trail was quite nice. The tree cover helped too as it could get warm at times. I was glad we were hiking down. The grade is decent so it's not too hard on your knees. At the bottom you start getting in the cedar forest. It was pretty and smelled good too.

Once at the road it wasn't clear where the shuttle stopped. We eventually decided to walk down to Lake McDonald Lodge where we discovered that the shuttle was across from the store. We waited for about 15 minutes for the big bus. :wrt: It takes you to the Avalanche stop where you change buses. We heard there had been an accident on the GTTSR so the buses were all delayed but several would be arriving at once which was a good thing since there was a bit of a line (though we were toward the front). Once you get to Logan Pass you have to switch buses again and we were able to snag the last few seats on the bus that was just pulling out to head down the east side.

Video of the paragraphs below:
(oh, except for the Red Jammer stop.)
We made it back to our car and headed back up to Logan Pass where we walked around for a bit. It's not quite the same with very little snow and the wildflowers weren't as plentiful as had been the last few years. Nor was there any Big Horn Sheep that you normally see on the North side of GTTSR from the Visitors Center. We did see a couple ravens making themselves at home by opening the saddles and bags of the motorbikes parked in the lot. I was filming the action but decided I better shoo the birds.

On our way down the west side of the Pass we pulled over to the Logan Pass Overlook. This was new construction that they had been working on last year. We walked out to the viewing area where we saw some goats and a marmot but the show was by the waterfall behind us as there were a couple families of goats hanging out :D . I did get some video of that as well as pics.

Eventually we finally made it to the Village Inn at Apgar (at the end of Lake McDonald) but not before a stop at the Red Jammer Restaurant in the McDonald Lodge complex. I had a Bison Bratwurst (was expecting elk) and Ambika and Guru split a pizza (which we would finish off at Bowman Lake the next day). We also had huckleberry beer, wine and soda followed by huckleberry icecream. Life is so good! :y:

Video of our hike down the Sperry Trail:
Mountain Goat
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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.
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