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Looking Glass Road MT 89 / 49-Kiowa Loop
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mini location map2014-07-18
45 by photographer avatartibber
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Looking Glass Road MT 89 / 49-Kiowa LoopNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Scenic Drive avatar Jul 18 2014
Scenic Drive30.70 Miles
Scenic Drive30.70 Miles   1 Hour      30.70 mph
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Traveling around the park to get from hike to hike is usually always pretty if not necessarily easy. One of the most scenic other than Going to the Sun Road is what I call the Kiowa Loop (you can make a loop out of this IE St Mary 89 onto Kiowa Loop, back on Hwy 2 to Browning and onto the 89 to St Mary or vis versa). On July 19, I would get my does of MT-49 albeit with so much wind I about got blown off the road while taking pictures.

But first you have to start the drive on the 89 from St Mary. It was a blustery day but that doesn't always stop the camera from working so I got out a couple times to get some pictures as I had time to kill before my 12:30 hike in the Two Medicine area.

The paintbrush were really putting a show on this summer :) so I found a nice set to photograph despite the cold. And then of course, there is the stop above the meadow that usually provides nice foreground for the mountains in back but NOT today as the smoke was so incredibly thick from the west coast fires. At least I could get some photos of the meadow and its flowers. It was still cold and very windy so it was hard to stay out too long.

Next it was onto MT49 (Looking Glass Road); always an exciting drive to see what shape the road was in and the scenery. I think I only made one stop on the way up. This drive is great on the way back to make stops so no need to hit every pullout now. I got out of the car and it was calm but then the wind came with a fury just like it did at the meadow stop. I kept filming anyway : rambo : even though I was at the edge of the road. It was smoky too so the far visibility to the west was not that great. However, it was so green.

I finally wound around to the Two Medicine Lake side where I always like to get a couple photos of the lake and the mountains. It was windy and now I could really smell the smoke. I continued on my way as I like to photograph and film the very long garden at Glacier Park Lodge; it didn't disappoint. Other than the light and smoke interfered with the clarity of the photos and video.

Next it was on to East Glacier to get one of those Grizzly Rolls I had read about on at the Gear and Bakery shop and to get fuel. Well I get the roll but forgot about the fuel as I was driving past the Lodge so I had to turn around to get fuel. And then on to Two Medicine for my hike. I wasn't sure if they would have the hike considering the weather but we did :DANCE: as it was in a somewhat secluded area.

After the hike I headed back up Two Medicine Road to MT 49 and got treated to some amazing light :A1: on the Two Medicine mountains before tackling the rest of the drive. I don't know why I didn't stop at any of the pullouts on the way back other than I think I was hungry. The weather to the west looked tenuous for the rest of the drive onto 89 and back to St Mary all the way to Two Sisters this side of Babb.

Day 3 at the park was an afternoon bust since I didn't get to do my Highline Trail hike but I did go into St Mary at the 89 to pick up some stuff from the store. I also took the time to photograph the hanging flower baskets, a usual staple for Glacier Park Inc properties but not Xanterra. The hanging baskets are always a favorite of my mom's so I got some pictures for her; even though she would never see them :( .

Anyway, if you ever get the chance to drive these roads, you should. Other than the slower traffic and sometimes a lot of it; it's worth the time especially the MT-49 as it's a trip in and of itself. Here are some videos to accompany the trip log:
Rising Sun to Two Medicine via the 89, 49 and 2 Medicine Rd:
Two Medicine to the Rising Sun via the same roads:
and if you like beautiful gardens - from Glacier Park Lodge:
Silky lupine
HAZ Food
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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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