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Running Eagle Falls Nature Trail
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mini location map2021-07-18
10 by photographer avatarddgrunning
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Running Eagle Falls Nature TrailNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 18 2021
ddgrunning
Hiking1.83 Miles 285 AEG
Hiking1.83 Miles   1 Hour   7 Mns   1.89 mph
285 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Day one in Glacier NP. Actually, this was planned as a travel day, but since we arrived a little early, and since it was light till nearly 10 pm, and since we didn't have other planned hikes in the Two Medicine area of the park, we decided to stop by this easy and rewarding hike on our way to our home for the night a bit further up the road near Babb, MT.

Unfortunately, our arrival in Glacier coincided with most of Idaho and Montana being on fire (something like 40 wildfires combined) :cry: :x ](*,). As we traveled through Idaho and Montana, I kept hoping that the smoky haze would let up, but no such luck, and it seemed that all of the smoke descended on Glacier. As a result, all of the distant mountain views were reduced to grayish outlines. The up-close views remained beautiful, but visibility for extended distances was limited. I was frankly pretty depressed by the situation and joked that we would get to see Glacier through cataracts .... :( , I hoped that the valleys would clear out as the week wore on. :pray:

Anyway, Running Eagle Falls nature trail is a popular hike in the area, based on its lack of difficulty and a neat waterfall as the payoff at the end. It was also a nice intro to hiking in Glacier, which features some amazingly well-groomed trail and many trails featuring thick leafy undergrowth through which the path often cuts a narrow swath. This turned out to be common on many of the trails we hiked and reminded me somewhat of the wild grape field between Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls in Havasupai.

Only the lower portion of the falls were running, but they were beautiful, and the clear, cold water running powerfully down the rocky falls was impressive to watch.

On the way back, we stopped to skip some rocks in the creek and then made our return via the nature trail loop, which educated us as to some of the flora in the park.

After finishing the hike, we drove up to Babb and then decided to scope out the trailhead at our hiking destination for the following day in Many Glacier and catch the sunset at Many Glacier Hotel.

The road is under construction and is currently dirt travel from Babb to the park entry. Beyond that, a nice new road has been installed.

We watched the sunset from the Hotel over Swiftcurrent Lake. The smoky haze obscured views, but also created a unique, red sunset effect. Although not what we had hoped in terms of views, it was still quite mesmerizing in its own way.

While at the hotel, we also found out that the trail for our planned hike the next day (to Grinnell Glacier) had been closed due to a visitor leaving a backpack on the trail, which was confiscated by a visiting bear. According to the ranger, that is one of the more serious encounters--more serious than a typical bear encounter on the trail--since the bear was "rewarded" with food and thus is more likely to return.

As a result, we changed our plans and moved up Iceberg Lake/Ptarmigan Tunnel on the agenda, and crossed our fingers that Grinnell Glacier trail would reopen later in the week (which it did. :y: ).
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