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Elizabeth Lake Day, MT
mini location map2019-07-08
32 by photographer avatartibber
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Elizabeth Lake Day, MT 
Elizabeth Lake Day, MT
Backpack avatar Jul 08 2019
Backpack3.45 Miles 493 AEG
Backpack3.45 Miles
493 ft AEG
1st trip
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July 8th, Day Two of Six: Elizabeth Lake Foot (ELF) to Elizabeth Lake Head (ELH) with the thought of day-hiking up to Helen Lake. We took our time getting ready for our short hike up to Elizabeth Lake Foot. Our main hope is that it wouldn't be as buggy as it was here at the foot. Even when I was taking pictures of the lake on this sunny beautiful morning, you could see the skeeters in the video. I had my bug net on. We took only the food we would need for the day and morning and left the rest in the Bear Box with a note that we would be returning the following morning to retrieve it.

While we were having breakfast, the service dog we heard came running into the Food Court area. We were quite surprised that the dog was allowed to roam free but I guess that's better than being leashed up as bear bait and left at the tent site. The Glacier Guide fellow was in the process of making a very nice breakfast for his charges. We visited with all of them a bit more. A couple also passed through on their way back from Helen Lake campground. Only one of the Helen campsites was open due to snow cover and the bridge was washed out as well.

We finally loaded up and started on the trail. It's so nice to be able to hike next to the lake in the open for the most part altho you do go thru some forest. Right off the bat there is lots of Sitka Valerian and a big patch of Blue Stickseed; the biggest patch I had ever seen. And of course, high above you is Natoas Peak and the beautiful intensely blue water of Elizabeth Lake on the other side of you. (Elizabeth Lake named for one of Ranger Joe Cosley's girlfriends, Helen is one of the others; we would be below Sue the next day).

There were lots of wildflowers along the way, some I had not ever seen before. And as you look far to your left you can see the Ptarmigan Trail below Seward Mountain that leads to the Ptarmigan Tunnel which was slated to be opened July 12th. A crew would be heading up tomorrow to camp up there and blast it open. And now we would be hiking right on the beach for a bit and then back into the forest, back on the beach and our last trek thru the forest to the campground. As we were hiking on the beach I wondered if people had ever encountered a bear here as that would be an interesting scenario :scared: .

Once at camp we started looking for the food bar. We were looking high and did a couple circles before we finally saw it. It was a tall one! We were very careful not to wrap our skinny rope as retrieving it from there would not be an option. We went and set up our tents after looking at a couple different options that would accommodate both of our tents nicely. We had lunch and loaded up what we would need for our day hike to see Helen.

It was a little warm as we continued hiking thru somewhat high Thimbleberry Brush. We got to the one section that was absolutely people high and decided we just weren't in the mood to fight the brush for 2 1/2 miles and decided to head back to camp and spend the afternoon at Elizabeth Lake beach. We were also pretty tired from the previous day's hike. So we went back to camp, had some way too limey Margaritas from Packit Gourmet. While we were making our margaritas we got a brief glance at a very surprised marten that was coming across the little foot bridge. We then headed to the beach that was about 1/3rd of a mile to get you out of the forest.

Here we set up our camp chairs and enjoyed the beauty of the lake and the mountains. Plus there were some incredible waterfalls behind us that I got some great video of as the water tumbled down Natoas. It really was a glorious day :y: to spend here altho missing Helen Lake was definitely a disappointment but we just weren't up to it today. Not sure what time we headed back to make dinner. The weather was starting to close in on us after the dinner hour. I don't know what time our camp mates finally arrived. It seemed to take them awhile to set up their tents. I gave Tina a blow by blow play of their progress. I'm not sure they got to eat dinner before the rain started and never stopped. I filmed a little of the pitter patter on my tent, read a little and seemed to once again, fall fast to sleep in Glacier dream land.

Hike to Elizabeth Lake Head, a very beautiful hike: [ youtube video ]
around Elizabeth Lake Foot area and a little rain at the end of the day: [ youtube video ]
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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