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The Highline Trail - Garden Wall
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mini location map2021-08-12
32 by photographer avatartibber
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The Highline Trail - Garden WallWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2021
Hiking7.70 Miles 654 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   5 Hrs   28 Mns   1.89 mph
654 ft AEG   1 Hour   24 Mns Break
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Sadly our time at the Chalet had to end.  There was nothing but blue sky today.  It's amazing the difference in the beauty of the photos during overcast or partly cloudy sky vs all blue sky; nonetheless it was still another incredible day in Glacier National Park hiking on a very nice, but somewhat crowded trail for nearly 8 miles.

We did get to hike in the shade for the first three miles so that was nice.  The view toward Heavens Peak and the Chalet were crystal clear and beautiful.  The Fireweed was blooming in many areas.  We did spot a couple bucks in the meadow below us.  Our views toward Lake McDonald were outstanding as coming from this direction, you don't have to look to the side but forward.  Beyond the lake the smoke haze was building up again after a couple days of it being gone.  I don't know if I mentioned that Montana usually has around 70,000 acres burn in the summer but this year it is 700,000 :o  and it's still burning, though less intensely as the temps cool.

A little further up the trail was the animal show as we saw a cute baby marmot and two Big Horn Sheep. Just before we topped out this last hill in the shade, we noticed people on their phones.  Tina needed to verify her Covid-test appt in Cut Bank so she was able to call to confirm (required for her to get back to Canada).  I took a photo and texted it to some people.  So we now call this, cell phone hill :lol: (there is little to no coverage in most parts of the Park).  Next we waited for a grouse to finish drinking from one of the little drainages.

After climbing the last couple inclines, stepping aside for lots of people traffic, we arrived at Haystack Butte which one could call the Grand Central Hiking Station of Glacier National Park as there are people everywhere.  We arrived a little after 11:30 so we had a snack which was biscuits we had made at the Chalet and huckleberry jam, yum!  From where we were sitting I saw some people from Room 8 hiking so I yelled hello over to them.  I snapped a couple photos of their group as they started their descent of Haystack Butte.

While sitting there, Tina saw Matt (another Glacier Chatter), a fellow we were going to meet up with to hike out.  He was up hiking in the BOB and had planned to hike out part of the trail with us.  We hung out for awhile, the weather was so nice. After finishing our snack, we started down the switchback of Haystack Butte.  From here we hiked in and out of tree-lined trail, past some water drainages and cascades and still stepping aside as we encountered more people traffic which gets even more interesting once you approach the cliff; especially with the narrowness of the trail.

We finally made it to the hysteria of Logan Pass with all the vehicles and people everywhere. I do have to say, I like the hike south better in the first third or so from the Chalet but I much prefer hiking north from Logan Pass on the first half. And ideally, broken clouds is the preferable photographic condition.

We headed down to pick up Tonto 3 at the Rising Sun and then to St Mary Lodge for a late lunch. Next we drove via Hiwy 49 (Looking Glass Road by Two Medicine) over to East Glacier where we had rooms booked. Tina and I prepped for our three day backpack and then we all headed over to Serrano's🌮 for a very late dinner (an hour wait even at 7PM). Food and drink was exceptional as usual. We got our drinks just in time as at 8, the Reservation was in booze shut-down for their 3 day sober up holiday.

2 part video:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
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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