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1.1 k triplogs
Aug 31 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Sidewinder Trail - Sonoran Perserve NPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 31 2021
tibber
Hiking2.85 Miles 321 AEG
Hiking2.85 Miles      56 Mns   3.05 mph
321 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Got up later than I intended. Today's gauge was cloud cover so off I went. There weren't many at the TH and I saw about 1/2 dozen hikers and a few lizards. It's green and lots of what I call yard weeds out there. I wasn't sure if I could do the peak but it seemed a bit cooler up there so I completed it. On the way down, the sun came out altho not full bore which slowed my momentum. Hiking south I caught a breeze.

At the TH and a couple other places I saw these really pretty, but flighty, miniature yellow butterflies. I tried to capture them with my Pany camera and got a few shots.

WATCH: 2.76 miles. Avg bpm 126, max 164. (9% at Zone 5, 44% Zone 4, 45% Zone 3) burning 341 calories. Starting temp 82.3 and 58% humidity finishing at 9:02AM and 85 degrees with 54% humidity
_____________________
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.
Aug 29 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Lookout Mtn Circumference Trail #308Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2021
tibber
Hiking1.79 Miles 247 AEG
Hiking1.79 Miles      43 Mns   2.50 mph
247 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Yes, I know, pretty pathetic but it was humid out there and it's my first local hike in over a month. I actually woke up an hour earlier and Alexa told me it was 89 and 46% humidity so I went back to bed. Then when I got up again I asked and the results were the same but this time I noticed some light cloud cover so thot, what the heck. I should have stuck with my first inclination as it was a tough one for me :sweat: and I felt like I was in slow motion but I made it.

Like you all have been saying, it is lusciously green and I saw two plants I don't recall seeing before. I saw about 1/2 dozen hikers. I couldn't finish the full loop :( .

Yesterday I drove up on the freeway looking for an AZ Poppy picture and got a few that I've included with my photos. I am, of course, working away on my Montana photos and videos but it's a time consuming process along with unpacking from a 24 day trip.

By the way, does anyone know the secret of getting grasshoppers out of your grill and their splatter off the front of my car? Tonto 3 is not happy with me. Gentle scrubbing hasn't worked too well so is there a cleaning agent I can use to make it easier? As to getting them out of the grill I've been hand-picking so far. I self-washed Tonto 3 up in Flagstaff but even with that sprayer, I couldn't get all the grasshoppers out (picked them up at the farm; heavy grasshopper year). I actually took Tonto 3 thru a regular car wash after and finally got almost the remaining dirt off. And now I remember one of the negatives of living on the farm.


WATCH: 1.76 miles. 130 avg bpm, 151 high. (16% at Level 5, 58% at Level 4 (anaerobic) and 24% ad Level 3 (aerobic) burning 281 calories) Starting temp 87.8 and 41% humidity finishing at 8:49AM
_____________________
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.
Aug 23 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Queens - Navajo Combo Loop, UT 
Queens - Navajo Combo Loop, UT
 
Hiking avatar Aug 23 2021
tibber
Hiking3.73 Miles 795 AEG
Hiking3.73 Miles   2 Hrs   19 Mns   1.82 mph
795 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Writing trip report on 10-15-2021

Still working my way home I put Bryce on my list of things to see as I've never been there before.  I've always wanted to go when there is snow but, what the heck, it was on my way.  I ended up taking two nites to make it back from Montana and Hatch would be my second and final layover.  I had stayed in Pocatello the nite before so I was able to get to the Park in the early afternoon.  I stopped at the Red Canyon/Dixie Forest VC and did a quick tour before finishing my drive to Bryce.  I stopped at the Lodge to go and find a map and route to choose for a little hike.  The rangers were set up outside so I made an inquiry and the ranger suggested this loop.  Good choice on his part altho he was a little bit arrogant based on our short conversation.

I drove the wrong way so ended up at the Fairyland Loop overview and took a few pictures before heading to the Sunrise Point TH.  Here I also went to the overview first to take a look-see.  I helped some people get a picture they wanted of themselves with just the right background before I headed on my way.  Don't take the Horse Trail as that appears to be an option.  The trail is wide and of course, the scenery is unbelievable in person.  Luckily it was never too crowded which is good so that I could do a lot of filming.  By the way, did you know: Hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) exist on every continent, but here is the largest concentration found anywhere on Earth.

There was one little area that wasn't clear as to which way to go and I backtracked a bit.  I was surprised to go through some people tunnels.  After one of them there is the option to take the dead end trail to the Queen's Garden.  I didn't realize the Queen was in residence in this vicinity.  I went back to the tunnel and continued on the trail into the more shaded and treed area.  You could see where the flash floods had cut through some of the landscape.  The hoodoos are less prevalent down here.
You wander in the lower realm for a bit before beginning your ascent slowly between the canyon walls of the Navajo Loop.  Altho, technically Bryce is not a canyon as it was caused by headward erosion that excavated large amphitheater-shaped features in the Cenozoic-aged rocks of the Paunsaugunt Plateau that exposed delicate and colorful pinnacles called hoodoos that are up to 200 feet high.

It is quite shaded here.  You have the opportunity to check out the twin bridges before you begin the very tight switchback ascent.  Once I was on top and filming, I asked the people below to say hello to youtube; I am always surprised how many people oblige.  It really is an impressive area and even once you're done with the switchbacks you get blown away by huge windows in the rock and Thor's Hammer.  The colors and hoodoos are truly astonishing. I was having a wonderful afternoon and ended up talking with a fellow from Texas that was having a fabulous time as well.  It's nice to see so many smiles. 

It's just too bad so many of these people were hiking this loop the wrong way as it is definitely best to go clockwise from Sunrise Point.  My phone quit filming as it had no more room from all of the previous media of my Montana trip so I had to switch to my camera which doesn't have a great stabilizer; plus I didn't realize the lens had a very slight spot on it, fortunately not too bad though.  (FYI Wall Street was closed per previous storms that had come through)

Sunset Point, of course, had some great views.  I really should have stuck around for sunset but alas, I needed to get to my motel in Hatch in order to get dinner as I wasn't sure how late places would be open around here.  I think I got to Hatch Station within about 1/2 hour.  It's a great little place with a store, restaurant and motel.  The price was $60; the least I paid to stay anywhere.  The owners have had it for a few years and they snowbird in the Valley so are closed for winter.  The room is small but very clean and remote heat/ac control which was a surprise; especially when I tried to change the channel as I would get it mixed up with the tv remote.

Four videos including the stop and drive through Red Canyon:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]

WATCH: 3.06 from actual start of loop at Sunrise Point 125 avg bpm, max 160. 8409 high, 7774 low burning 758 calories. Starting temp 78.8 and 16% humidity finishing at 5:49PM.
_____________________
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.
Aug 15 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
No Name Lake to Two Medicine, MT 
No Name Lake to Two Medicine, MT
 
Hiking avatar Aug 15 2021
tibber
Hiking5.04 Miles 603 AEG
Hiking5.04 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   2.09 mph
603 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I don't remember when we all heard the bristling of the bushes but we all jumped a bit. We think it was a moose though as we saw one at a distance when we departed camp. It was a VERY smokey morning so the pictures and video would be interesting.

We still had some more downhill to go. I don't know if I mentioned in my previous log but I do in the video; we did have a ranger check our permit on the trail yesterday. Anyway, it was a nice morning and almost the first thing I got to do was eat some huckleberries when we were back on the main trail. There were a couple little drainage crossings; it's always surprising how clearly you can hear water, even if it's a small amount. A couple of these areas had some nice trail work too. They have such pretty rocks to work with.

We did encounter a grouse, just like we have during 3/4 of our hikes up here this summer. If you look back which is somewhat easy to do with some of the switchbacks, you get smokey views of Mount Rockwell which still had some nice big patches of snow. Eventually you're heading due east for awhile and the scene opens up wide with smokey views toward Two Medicine Lake. During my hike here in 2013 it was raining so I didn't get clear views either.

After about 1 1/2 miles we reached the junction with the North Shore/South Shore. We now only had 3 1/3rd miles left of our ten days at Glacier Park. As we continued along the north shore of Two Medicine Lake you get to, once again, somewhat enjoy the smokey views. We did see the Sinopah (boat) as it was taking passengers to the dock at the South Shore. When you look back you can see why they called Pumpelly a pillar as it sure looks that way from this angle.

The trail goes in and out of forest and we started seeing quite a few more people now... and another grouse. It was in this area that Wendy and I saw the bear cub up at tree in 2018 but no bear evidence today. In this area, of course, there is more thimbleberry and huckleberry to enjoy. We took a group selfie at the bridge before finishing the walk to the parking lot next to Pray Lake.

We said our "goodbyes" at the parking lot and I headed over to Two Medicine Lodge to pick up a huckleberry beer. However, they only sold six packs so I got a Huckleberry soda instead. I walked around a bit at the lake as I had time to kill before driving to Great Falls; seemed like such an anti-climatic end. I had a killer backpack trip (19.5 miles) and felt very strong throughout. I love backpacking in Glacier :y: and have had good luck so far with conditions.

[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]

WATCH: 4.9 miles (6114 high, 5303 low) 117 avg bpm, 145 max burning 835 calories (.81 ascent, 1.82 descent) Not sure when it got the weather report but it said, 65.8 degrees with 49% humidity finishing at 10:34AM.

Fauna
Fauna
Dusky Grouse
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
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.
Aug 14 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Oldman Lake to No Name Lake, MT 
Oldman Lake to No Name Lake, MT
 
Hiking avatar Aug 14 2021
tibber
Hiking7.52 Miles 1,749 AEG
Hiking7.52 Miles   6 Hrs   29 Mns   1.44 mph
1,749 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
After a restful nite and a good breakfast, we had a big climb ahead of us. We started going about 7:45AM on a lovely morning. We walked through the silver trees for a bit before we came to a clearing where the side of the mountain about smacks you in the face as you look nearly straight up to where the Pass is. We all know there are switchbacks are involved and thank the switchback Lord for them before we proceed. We will be going up about 750 feet in a mile. And once we're at the pass, we'll still have another 500 feet to the Pitamakan Overlook in about 1/2 mile.

Fortunately, this is one of the more beautiful "ups" :) one will ever hike I think. Almost as pretty as the hike to Triple Divide Pass in the valley to the north of us. As you go higher your view of the lake gets larger. And the geology and flora along the way is entertaining. When you start heading east, of course, you have a smoky view of the Dry Fork Valley. The smoke was getting pretty intense which made for a fiery sun rising into the air. And even though it's sad to see all the silver (dead) trees, it is rather artistic as we look down at the area around Oldman (Old Man) Lake.

I started counting the switchbacks, the first five were itsy bitsy. One of them I thot I was filming but I wasn't; probably number seven, "come eleven", as it was long at 1/4 mile with 300 feet of gain and not that easy. You can see number seven on the topo map. Number eight, "don't be late", actually had a bit of a downhill which didn't please us cuz our objective is UP. However, it was slightly longer than seven at 1/3 of a mile with 100 foot of gain including the downhill. Switchbacks 9 and 10 were fairly short before 11 took its time getting us to the Pass.

When Wendy (@writelots) and I were here in 2018, we did not come to this area where you almost come out at the top of the Pass. Well, the view down to the lakes is stunning; just too bad it was smoky. But still the colors of the lakes below you is impressive :D . We took the obligatory pictures before finishing off the last of this part of the hike to the signs that direct you to Cut Bank Pass, Morningstar Lake and Pitamakan Overlook. We decided to take a break where Wendy and I sat in 2018 with a view down to Oldman Lake as the views to the north were loaded with smoke. Needless to say, I was glad I got to see the Cut Bank Valley in all its glory [ photoset ] .

We saw quite a few hikers and talked with a few. One of them was hiking with an artificial leg and they were doing the whole loop as a day hike. We finally decided to tackle the last of the up along the north side of Mount Morgan. It's a narrow trail for the angle, but despite the scree-look, it'd not too slippery. There are a few flowers here and there sticking out of the rocks that I tried to document. I kept plugging ahead as the others were behind me as I was having one of those "killin' it" days and felt strong a : rambo : s I had since yesterday.

We joined up with three of the hikers we had met at the Pass and talked with them for a bit before heading on as it was a bit on the windy side which is quite normal for this area. We would be lucky that today, doing this traverse from the Overlook to Dawson Pass wasn't overwhelming with what can seem like gale force winds except when you got up on the viewpoints and saddles along the way. This part of the hike is notorious for crazy winds and many have turned back.

Sadly the smoke would interfere with any kind of distant views. In fact, it took me awhile to find the beautiful Nyack Lakes way below us in the Nyack Valley. I almost wondered if they had dried up but eventually I found them and did some zooms. I saw some big snow patches to the NW but it was so smoky, my camera wouldn't focus :o . Even the normally spectacular views to the south were shrouded in smoke as I could barely make out Mount St Nicholas.

It's quite the trek across the west side of Mount Morgan; longer than you think. You get up on two different saddles that give you some normally fantastic views down to Oldman Lake but once again, the smoke :( . One didn't linger long on these saddles because of the wind which you would think would blow the smoke out; just too much of it. Across the way is Mount Phillips looms large above the Nyack Valley. There is still a large snowfield on its side that once was Lupher Glacier. These snow masses always get my attention. Soon we were at Dawson Pass where all of a sudden the wind almost stopped; but it was just a tease as we made our way up and over the small hill before heading down a couple switchbacks to the head of the Bighorn Basin.

We stopped and had lunch within the shelter of some short rock walls that had been built so that was nice. There was still quite a bit of people traffic, at least I thot so. The last time I was here was 2013 when I took a ranger-guided hike with the notorious Ranger Pat Hagan who snowboot skied down a snowfield [ photo ] . (FYI - Wendy and I ran into Ranger Hagan in 2018 on our hike back from Upper Two Medicine and we also saw him on this trip but at Two Medicine Ranger Station a couple days prior).

As we started again we noticed a few hikers heading over to summit Mount Helen. Looks like a fairly easy summit but pretty narrow traverse to it. Now, we had to go down about 1700 feet in 2 1/4 miles. It was smoky here too which really obstructed the views into the valley below us that included Two Medicine and No Name Lake. As we made our way down this rather steep trail in places, I constantly questioned how I got up this in 2013 as it's not very forgiving.

There were spurts of wildflowers from time to time and even saw a butterfly. As you get closer to the bottom the trees start getting much taller and then the huckleberry-lined trail begins in earnest. However, I was still full from lunch so didn't imbibe :o . We eventually made it to the leg where I was put in charge of picking the campsite, there are three. After investigating them all, the best one was closes to the food prep area and not too far from the privy.

When I tried to set up my tent, I had a little difficulty with the shock cord but was still able to get it to work. We were able to just chill for the afternoon and kept waiting for others to join us but we had the place to ourselves which is surprising as it's not too far from a TH and a relatively easy backpack. The smoke interfered with our view of the lake so that was disappointing. There was lots of elderberry in the area and we were told there had been some bear in the 'hood and once again, we didn't see anything furry until the next morning.

Videos:
Oldman Lake to Pitamakan Pass [ youtube video ]
Pitamakan Pass to Dawson Pass [ youtube video ]
Dawson Pass to No Name Lake [ youtube video ]

WATCH: 6.96 miles (lowest elevation 6000, highest 8265) in 8,265 feet (1.79 up, 2.59 down). Avg bpm 115, max 148 with 26% in Zone 4, 43% in Zone 3, 21% in Zone 2) burning 2003 calories. Temperature shows as 65.8 degrees with 49% humidity finishing at 2:41PM.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
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.
Aug 13 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Pitamakan Pass Trail to Oldman Lake, MT 
Pitamakan Pass Trail to Oldman Lake, MT
 
Backpack avatar Aug 13 2021
tibber
Backpack7.03 Miles 2,187 AEG
Backpack7.03 Miles   5 Hrs   21 Mns   1.71 mph
2,187 ft AEG   1 Hour   14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Day 1 of 3: This was supposed to be our second backpack of our Glacier Park stay but weather precluded the first one to Gunsight Lake. (We ended up hiking 6 days in a row, 3 of them pre-planned.) I would meet Tina and Laura (another glacierchatter) at the Two Medicine Ranger Station as Tina had to run to Cut Bank to get her Covid-travel test in order to get back into Canada on the 15th. So we got a late start on what was to be a slightly warm day for the Park. We parked our cars at the campground and were lucky to find the last two spots in this area. The loop we were getting ready to do is also very popular with day hikers and doing it counterclockwise from Pray Lake is considered the easier route.

We geared up and headed across the Two Medicine River pedestrian bridge and would be taking the right (north) fork to skirt around the base of Rising Wolf Mountain. This would be all new territory for me until the Pass itself where Wendy and I were in 2018 on a day hike. This is also part of the CDT.

We would be walking in and out of shade and up and down a couple little hills before the landscape opened up as we swung west with Spot Mountain in the distance to the NNE. Soon we would be crossing and hiking next to the Dry Fork that spills into Two Medicine Creek to the east. Just a little past where we walked across the bridge over the dry Dry Fork (however, it was running up higher as we headed west), we saw another hiker and looking at the map, there is another trail that takes you back to the Two Medicine Entrance Station 2.6 miles from here called, you guessed it, the "Dry Fork Trail". We took a break a little ways after a wet drainage that was coming from a small lake above us to the north (between Spot and Red Mountains). It had some great flora along its banks :) .

We continued our trek up the Dry Fork valley. It was mostly open until the last mile or so where you gained in elevation. In the hazy distance you could see Flinsch Peak and Mount Morgan. I could also see the wet portion of the Dry Fork off to my left (SW) so I would do some occasional zooming to get a closer look. We would cross a couple more drainages and started to see some day hikers from time to time. We also saw a couple of grouse that weren't sure if they wanted to stay on the trail or not so we waited for them to decide before proceeding.

In the far distance I could see water falls. I thot they were flowing from Young Man Lake or Boy Lake but after further Rx, I think it was Lake 6182 below Rising Wolf. The water eventually flows into the Dry Fork. Wish it wasn't so hazy as the zoomed pictures didn't turn out that well. As we entered into the forest permanently the trail crew had built these very nice steps and it seemed from here, Huckleberry Heaven began :y: . Yes, I had to pull over to imbibe. Some other hikers saw us and asked if they were huckleberries. I would be surprised to find how few people knew about these lush berries but I guess that's not a bad thing as it leaves more for me and the bears :D .

Shortly we would encounter two people that had stayed at the Chalet and that we had met about a mile from Ahern Pass two days ago. We exchanged phone numbers as she wants to do some hiking in AZ. They are very good hikers from Maryland. That's what I love about Glacier as this happens more often than not you run into people you know. As we got nearer the junction to the campground, we were told by some hikers that there was a bear and cub around. But as usual, we would see neither hide nor hair of her but we did keep an eye out. Also in this area you start to see lots of silver trees. The short side path down to the lake travels through a ghostly forest of dead whitebark pines, the result of white pine blister rust, a fungal disease that was accidentally introduced from Europe around 1900.

We did have to take our time on this hike as Laura hasn't been out backpacking for quite some time so she had to get her sea legs. She is quite the hiker/backpacker and has been all over the park. We used her large MSR 10L Water Gravity Filter so that would save us a few trips to fetch water for our trip. On our hike down to get water at Oldman (Old Man) Lake, two people had just come out from their swim. We kept our eye out for Momma Bear and I can see why she would use this as her entrance to the lake as it's steep and rugged around the edges.

Soon a big group of guys came in to the food prep area. They were being led by a Glacier Guide. They were very tired as they had come from Upper Two Medicine. They were Ivy League college buddies that had united for this trip. They were a lot younger than they looked which surprised me. Tina and I made our tries at the bear pole food hang. Tina nailed it and I once again, wrapped my string again but we were able to get it undone without too much effort.

After cocktails and dinner, we went up to our very nice campsite and hung out sitting in our chairs. It was a lovely evening, perfect weather.


3 videos:
[ youtube 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.
Aug 12 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
The Highline Trail - Garden WallWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2021
tibber
Hiking7.70 Miles 654 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   5 Hrs   28 Mns   1.89 mph
654 ft AEG   1 Hour   24 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
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.
1 archive
Aug 11 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Ahern Pass via Chalet, MT 
Ahern Pass via Chalet, MT
 
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2021
tibber
Hiking9.88 Miles 1,291 AEG
Hiking9.88 Miles   8 Hrs   9 Mns   1.46 mph
1,291 ft AEG   1 Hour   24 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Well my phone couldn't hold up with all the filming I was doing and keep up with the power so the stats are from my watch except to the Overlook which was around 5 miles. I tried to upload the .gpx route from my watch but it kept wanting to upload the Avalanche Hike even though the map showed this hike. Anyway, this was our geology tour that got off to a late start and less 6 participants that didn't show up to the Chalet. Well that was our gain as we would have Jeff Kuhn https://clu-in.org/conf/itrc/bios/jkuhn.htm all to ourselves except for one of the Chalet hosts that would join us at the Algal Reef where we had lunch.

Luckily it was a beautiful day though windy. You first hike over the lava rocks and formations near the Chalet. And Jeff went right into let me show you and tell you mode which was great. His wealth of knowledge is so beyond the pale. He's been at this for a long time starting out as an employee at Many Glacier Lodge 20 years ago or more. As we got near the intersection with the Chalet campground, he pointed out the now missing ranger cabin that had been taken out by an ice flow. Wendy, Gary and I accidentally ended up at this cabin in 2011 as we had walked too far to get water so I included footage from that video in this one.

As you round the corner you say goodbye to Heaven's Peak and hello to Longfellow and the rest of the Livingston Range. Below you is the flat slabs of the Purcell lava flow which surrounds this area. There was also a HUGE double fire near this area in 2003 http://www.glacierparkfoundation.org/In ... 004Win.pdf that ended up being called the Robert Megaplex Fire as several fires joined together and burned around 107,000 acres. You can see where the line was. I was here when the Trapper part of the fire had started. High above you is the Rainbow Ridge rock cliffs. It is pretty long.

As we walk a little further, we get to the crux of this hike, rocks. Much of the rockery in the park is argillite in various colors and due to various processes that occurred. I found myself reading a whole bunch on Glacier Park geology as I was making my videos. Each time I go to the Park, I learn just a little more. It's like each time I go to a photography workshop, more of what I learn actually sinks in. When I post up my photos, I will add links to further knowledge about this most incredible geology.

What makes Glacier's geology unique is though it is a young place, much of the older rock is in the top layers so they actually know a lot more about the area because of that. I just found this outstanding webiste about Glacier Park's geology that was made in 2019. If you have any curiosity at all, this will address it in a very simple way. Once on the site scroll down to activate the pages: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/ind ... bfda5ddcdd Glacier is a lot like the Grand Canyon too because of all the different layers (though obviously not as colorful as the Canyon). One of the things we had to learn to distinguish was the white striping being calcite vs quartz depending on where it was. The thing to remember about Glacier is it was under a sea and thus a lot of the rock you see reflects that. And, the volcanic activity took place under water... at least that's my understanding.

We did see some nice antlered-deer down the hillside. We were hiking far below the west flank of Swiftcurrent Mountain and under overcast skies but that made the colors really stand out in some cases. Every so often we would stop and Jeff would share his knowledge while the rest of the time we would be gawking at the scenery, mostly the mountains to the north as both Tina and I have hiked in the Lewis Range and over to Boulder Pass. We hiked up a hill to where the remaining trees were white now though much of the hillside was barren from the fire and it didn't look like anything was growing back.

As we gradually came around a long corner we were standing above a very barren flat lava (Purcell) bed far below us. If you look at the route via satellite and zoom in a little you can really see the geology of the area including probable sea and/or glacial action. We eventually come to drop into the Ahern Drift area that both Tina and I have always heard so much about as it doesn't get clear of snow until August most years. In fact, Jeff showed us the route they had to take a week earlier to get around the snow cover on the trail.

It was awesome to hike along the Purcell Sill as it's usually high up (that black band you usually see in the high part of certain mountains around the park). Jeff explained the sill to us as we walked by the part that was limestone that was now a low-grade marble. I tried to include some of his remarks in the videos so if you like this stuff, you'll have to tune in. Even better, you should go and sign up for one of his workshops at the Granite Park Chalet next summer.

Next up was the Algal Reef... say what? Yep, there is this reef of Stromatolites (fossilized algae) in the Ahern Drift area. All of this was at the bottom of the shallow Belt Sea. Stromatolites are already cool let alone a reef of them; after all, they are 1.5 BILLION years old. We had our lunch here amongst them. I brot Wendy's reconstituted refried bean recipe with 1/2 corn/flour tortillas I found at the super market in Polson. We had salsa too. It was very good and filling. Oh, one of the Chalet hosts joined us (can't remember his name but he's 19 and very fast hiker).

Next it was to get to the Pass but first we hiked over three spring debris rock flows that had come off of Iceberg Peak. They cause pretty significant devastation, like an avalanche. Jeff said it took the trail crews a bit to clear the trail thru the debris. I was hoping around the last corner would be the Pass and it was.

We ran into a Glacier guide and two other backpackers that had come from Fifty Mountain b/c site (would love to go there one of these times; it was one of our choices this year but we got Gunsight and Pitamakan/Dawson Pass). They were taking a break at Ahern Creek. From here we would head up to the Overlook. After visiting with them for a moment we headed up not knowing there was a mama grizzly and her cubs watching us. We found this out later when we ran into them at the Chalet later.

The 400 foot climb in 1/2 mile wasn't too bad and the trail was decent. We really had no idea what was awaiting us but after all, it is Glacier Park. The wind was blasting us as we got closer to the side of Iceberg Peak's flank and then just over the horizon was the ever beautiful glacial blue Helen Lake; but not to be out done, to your left was Ahern Glacier with its 1700 foot waterfalls tumbling down it's steep eastern side. We climbed up the south slope of Iceberg Peak to get a better view of Ahern Glacier. Yep, :y: is all I can say!

We went back to the Overlook while Jeff went down the hill a bit. He said you used to be able to climb onto the snow right below us and hike down the valley. There's no snow there now but I did find a video from 2012 that showed the snow right there altho I don't know what time of year it was. [ youtube video ] Anyway, it's pretty cool as a small group of Bighorn Sheep walk onto the snow field. We did notice some eagles flying above us and one of them knabbed something. We also noticed some Bighorn Sheep higher up the side of Ahern Peak.

We hiked down the pass and started heading back. I had to change to my camera for videos which I don't like using anymore because of the lack of stabilization that my phone has. It was amazing that we could see Heaven's Peak from here so I zoomed in as the light was making the snow all shiny. There was a bumble bee working on some asters by the creek too. As we got around another corner I zoomed into a cave which just seemed to contain rocks.

When we got closer to the area where we had lunch at the Algal Reef, I zoomed into the glaciers across the way in the Livingston Range. Next up were a pair of marmots playing around so I got a little movie and pics. The one knew I was filming as it looked right at me. Near this area we came upon some layered rocks that were like sandpaper in texture. We continued hiking next to the Sill now and noticed some quartz which was created by a process of the rocks melding. We stopped again to notice the flat and large Purcell lava bed below us.

The way the light was shining you could see lots of huckleberry bushes that were going into their fall color mode. There was a whole hillside of them :D but not many along the trail to eat. Soon we spotted the resident eagle Greg flying around the top of Swiftcurrent Mountain's edge. There were patches of Fireweed that were also calling out for our attention as we walked through the field of waning Wild Chives.

Later we would see a couple Rocky Mountain Goats high up on the rock side of Swiftcurrent Mountain. I had to do pretty full zooming but got a few good pictures of them. Near here, when you looked back you got great zoomed views of several peaks of the Lewis range including Cathedral, Kipp and Stoney Indian Peaks. The sun was out now with broken clouds so it was real pretty as we rounded the corner and got our first look at the Chalet. What's impressive from here is that you can see the lava bed that is on this side of the Chalet. I really didn't notice it on the hike out. I got an awesome picture.

During this ten mile hike we only saw 5 hikers, two of them from the Chalet that we saw at our lunch spot. Interestingly, we would run into them again when we did our backpacking trip in Two Medicine Valley the day after next. We got back to the Chalet, late for our scheduled dinner time but they let us in the kitchen anyway. We were ready to take the tour again it was so great! And of course, we were lucky and had an awesome weather day.

Videos going:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
Videos coming back:
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]
[ youtube video ]

WATCH: 9.88 miles (probably a tad more) 7411 feet. 116 avg bpm with max of 161 burning 2698 calories (2.9 miles up to 7411 feet, 3.21 miles down to 6730 feet). Starting temp was 65.8 degrees at 49% humidity (have no idea how or where the phone picked this up since we had no service up there) finishing at 5:18PM.
Geology
Geology
Stromatolites
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.
Aug 10 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
The Highline Trail - Garden WallWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Aug 10 2021
tibber
Hiking7.88 Miles 1,416 AEG
Hiking7.88 Miles   5 Hrs   6 Mns   1.74 mph
1,416 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Finally we get to go to one of our original plans for our ten day Glacier Park foray. We stayed at a Rising Sun cottage, our fourth different place in four nights. We had left Tina's car up at Logan Pass so this AM we parked Tonto 3 safely in the lot at the Rising Sun store and went to wait for the shuttle. The shuttle was packed and you take it as far as Sun Point to get on a bigger shuttle that was also packed; we were just glad we didn't have to wait.
Fortunately it was a nice day as we took out on the Highline Trail for our two nite stay at the Granite Park Chalet, my third time there (2011, 2018 (both times with Wendy and this year).


We were lucky the trail was open :) as they had closed it the day before for a rock slide; the trail crew cleared it that day. We encountered one hiker coming back that was holding on to the makeshift rail and using his hand to hide his eyes from the steep drop off. The trail really is plenty wide but if you're afraid of heights... Anyway, I got him on video as I was filming at the time and he was, at least, smiling.

It had rained recently so there was plenty of flowing water thus the trail could get slippery in places. There was still plenty of flora to keep your attention but not as much as I've seen the previous three times I've hiked the trail. The sky was hazing up again due to the lingering fire activity both in California, Oregon and Montana (and one fire on the west side of the Park).

There was continuous human traffic which took awhile to get used to; I'm sure they felt the same about us. Of course we had our bigger packs on so people would inquire if we were backpacking or going to the Chalet. Needless to say, many folks were quite jealous, as I would be of them if they were staying there too. A lot of folks would ask how we got get reservations and other questions. We would always try to answer them. FYI: when reservations open mid-January you go online and hope for the best. We have learned that signing up for two nites increases your chances of getting a reservation and/or signing up for a workshop. We signed up for the Ahern Pass Geology workshop. In fact, this year, we also got our Sperry Chalet reservation but we couldn't do both.

The sky was overcast for our whole hike which was wonderful as in 2018 Wendy and I baked our way to the Chalet as it was pretty toasty. I snapped some pics of the conga line going up the very long Haystack Butte switchback. We had also heard there was a grizzly and sows just below the switchback so the line had stopped for a bit. At Haystack Butte which is almost 1/2 way, we stopped to have a snack. We saw three people climbing up the side of the Garden Wall; had no idea where they were going.

And now we have a little more climbing and a few more down and ups before you get to the great visual of almost all of McDonald Lake. We saw a grouse close to the trail and I got a chance to get some good pictures. There were a couple of them here. There were very large patches of Fireweed from time to time that really stood out in the muted light.

There's this one last corner you get around and you can now see Swiftcurrent Mountain in the distance with the Lookout on top. And just a little further, you get your first glimpse of the Chalet which is one of those looks so close but is far away yet. However, the trail is pretty much easy peasy from here. And as we started heading north, we saw some Big Horns and Mountain Sheep up on the side of the Garden Wall. I think someone pointed them out to us which was also the case for much of the wildlife we would see. We would also share this same knowledge with others. I did have to do some major zooming but got some decent photos.

As we walked through a particularly beautiful and colorful rocky section, a Golden-Mantled Squirrel (looks like a chipmunk) wanted to be a youtube star :D so I obliged as it scampered on top of some flat rocks right next to the trail. And as I said previously, with the overcast day, the colors of the Glacier Park rocks stood out even more. We spotted another Big Horn on the side of the wall and later saw a deer in between the trees on the downside. The trail to/from the Grinnell Overlook was its usual conveyor belt of people. I still haven't done that and would really like to. Sadly, a hiker fell to her death from the overlook a few weeks later :( .

We did encounter what I thot were hutterites and talked with them for a moment. They were actually from Indiana and were Amish; I should have known by the straw hats -- the rest of their garb was hutterite-like. One of the girls was struggling as they had come up the 2600 foot 4 mile Loop Trail so I suspect they didn't go much further. We would see more of them at the Chalet; one with a baby.

The Chalet had lots of visitors that were using the restrooms. You could buy water and food at the Chalet but couldn't stay inside if you weren't a guest. We got our room number 16 in the Annex; I had stayed in Room 15 in 2011. You have to listen to their spiel and they handed us off between hosts. We made up our beds and then put in for our kitchen time. Before we went to get water, I asked other guests if anyone needed water as I figured as long as I was carrying one jug, I could carry another. There were these older folks that took me up on the offer.

We made the trek down to get some water about 1/4 mile away and filled the jugs and water bladders. The water would not need to be filtered which was nice. I wanted to make sure we got enough water so as not to have to make the trek again. It was very windy when we were outside as would be the case for a lot of our time here in Glacier Park... well for my Montana trip in general.

At 7:30 they have a coffee hour where they provide the water and a speaker, which in this case would be our guide for tomorrow's workshop. He comes up for a week or so and does geology workshops for the Chalet guests. You also meet the hosts. Afterward I just walked around trying to get sunset pictures and luckily I wasn't disappointed :y: . We didn't stay at the main Chalet too much longer after that except to get more blankets as it would be a chilly nite and there is no electricity thus no heat.


Three videos:
Part 1 [ youtube video ]
Part 2 [ youtube video ]
Part 3 [ youtube video ]

WATCH: 7.46 miles in 5 hours 7589 feet with 114 avg bpm, 148 max (48% at zone 3, 26% at zone 2) burning 1592 calories. Beginning temp 65.8, mostly cloudy with 49% humidity finishing at 2:38PM.
Geology
Geology
Stromatolites
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
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.
Aug 09 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Avalanche Lake GNPWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Aug 09 2021
tibber
Hiking5.35 Miles 896 AEG
Hiking5.35 Miles   3 Hrs   2 Mns   2.01 mph
896 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Day Two of our Plan B hikes due to canceled backpack to Gunsight Lake. We checked out of our motel at St Mary and took both cars up to the Pass as we would leave one for our hike out from the Chalet and Highline Trail in a couple days. The drive up Going to the Sun Road (GTTSR) started out nicely enough but as I got closer to Sun Point TH, the clouds got lower and lower. Eventually I would be driving in the clouds and if it weren't for the signs, a person would not know where to turn to get into Logan Pass VC parking area. Tina said she just followed the shuttle bus.

We left her car which normally would have been challenging as the lot fills by 7AM but today, being in the clouds and all, there wouldn't be much hiking from here; thus plenty of parking spots. We were glad this wasn't the day for our reservation at the Chalet. As we headed down the west side we were still in the clouds so were wondering if we were going to be able to hike. As we got a little lower, we came out of the clouds that were now hovering above us. We had to do a couple loops to find a parking spot and fortunately, we got one that was close to the TH. (I don't know why they couldn't have opened up the campground for additional parking but I guess it was a way to try and control the crowds). We ate our leftovers from the Cattle Baron Club before gearing up for our hike.


It would pretty much stay overcast for the hike and it was slightly humid. The Trail of the Cedars is impressive as always (last time I hiked this was 2010). It's a boardwalk which allows one to gawk to your heart's content.
After stopping at the restroom we headed up the trail with the throngs of people and I mean throngs :o . We had been hearing about the massive crowds on these shorter trails but it was a whole other thing to be hiking as part of it; never an alone moment. The last time I hiked this was with cousin Connie in 2008.

The Gorge was flowing vigorously; I assume the rain of the last day contributed to that. The water is that luscious glacial blue color and contrasting against the green moss and red rock, it's an impressive site and hard to take your eyes off of. We gradually made our way up the trail admiring the surroundings of the very tall trees that had some moss on them. The lack of light caused interesting scenes as well. There were three very large downed trees that we hiked right next to so you could really appreciate their massiveness.

We passed by an avalanche area where there were trees snapped in half. There must have also been some sort of water runoff that was slightly separated from the gorge area where there were downed and broken trees and extra water in little pools; maybe from where Hidden Creek comes into Avalanche Creek. We finally reached the lake. So many humans here that we really didn't stay long. Plus the lighting was difficult to deal with as far as getting photos. However, I got my fair share with lots of waterfall shots :) including a good zoomed movie (wish I had taken a couple more as it turned out very cool). The lake color wasn't as glacial blue due to the rains we'd been having.

On the way back, the traffic continued so at times it felt like bumper pool. A lot more of the children were now being carried. Nonetheless, it's still a pretty hike even on the way down as you notice different things. I hung out at the Gorge for a bit while Tina hit the restroom. We continued back on the Trail of the Cedars to the still full parking area.

The drive back to the east side was completely different than the drive up as the sun was now out. I took some video and it turned out pretty good(Video 3). We had lunch again at The Park Cafe in St Mary. I had the best Huckleberry Milkshake I've ever had, OMG! We checked into the Rising Sun and started preparing for our next three days up on the Highline Trail.

Videos: drive from St Mary, start of hike Trail of Cedars/Avalanche [ youtube video ]
Avalanche Lake Hike [ youtube video ]
Hike back and drive to St Mary [ youtube video ]

Watch: from Restroom 4.42 miles in 2:43 (lowest elev 3475, highest 4041) avg bpm 117 with max 151 burning 905 calories. Starting temp 65.8 and 49% humidity, mostly cloudy finishing at 3:18PM
Named place
Named place
Goat Mountain Monument Falls
_____________________
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.
Aug 08 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Running Eagle Falls Nature TrailNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Aug 08 2021
tibber
Hiking0.71 Miles 128 AEG
Hiking0.71 Miles      51 Mns   0.95 mph
128 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
This was our other choice to hike in light of NOT being on our Gunsight Lake backpack and hiking up to Jackson Glacier and/or Gunsight Pass. It had rained most of the nite so we were grateful to have our small room at St Mary Lodge. It was still raining off and on in the AM but we thot we would give the Two Medicine Valley a look-see; even if we just hung out at the Lodge there (a store now). When we started our drive, this didn't look good either as our visibility was extremely limited but we continued on in spite of driving in clouds off and on.

As we got above Lower Two Medicine Lake, there seemed to be an opening and only low clouds giving us hope we would get to do some hiking around Two Medicine Lake. We got to the parking area and were able to find a spot. We had a nice lunch at the store including a great tomato soup and we split a sandwich.

The weather was foreboding so we decided to stick close to the lake area. We headed toward Pray Lake and walked around for .75 miles according to my watch. The clouds stayed low but I was able to get some pictures of the flora and a couple waterfalls were visible. There were some trees that had thick layers of moss on their branches that were showing very brightly in this light.

On our way out of the area, we decided to stop and see if Ranger Pat Hagen was about so we stopped at the Ranger Station. (I had done two hikes with him in 2013 and 2014 so it was a bit ago; oh and Wendy and I saw him in 2018 coming back from Upper Two Medicine Lake) He was there and came out to meet us. He remembered Tina but not me :( . Nonetheless, we had a nice conversation before others started coming up and asking questions so we left.

There were only a couple parking spots left at the Running Eagle/Trick Falls hike TH. The main entrance was closed off for some reason so you had to go a little past there to get into the hiking area. We got to the Falls fairly quickly. Only the lower Falls was flowing. On the way back we decided to stay close to the River which was a good decision :) as we were rewarded with lots of late blooming flowers and watching a group of American Dippers; apparently training the younger ones to hop the river (according to a bird watcher we encountered). They are noisy but I did get some good video of them as they moved up the river.

Temp was 51.7 degrees and 94% humidity with rain shower (we didn't get any though) finishing at 2:23PM (not sure where google was getting the weather from but it would have been St Mary or Browning.)

We were lucky to have good weather for both of those little hikes. The sky had lots of puffy clouds as we made our drive back to St Mary so we got to see the prairie and the lake. However, about an hour later the rain started coming and going. We checked into our room at Red Eagle Motel (nice place but stay upstairs as the walls and floors are thin).

Next up: Cattle Baron Supper Club, we hoped... as they had a water issue in Babb and we weren't sure if it would be resolved but according to their FB page, it was a go. However, when we got there, they weren't open yet as they were still waiting for the water pressure to come up. So we waited in the car for awhile and eventually got in line to go in once we got the thumbs up from one of the employees.

While waiting in line for about 20 minutes I talked to a Blackfeet about how to pronounce Piegan among other things including how covid had effected the reservation. She was a teacher and her husband who normally does construction was doing horse-work for a guiding company. They had a reservation for 11 including her parents, children and a cousin. She told me what to order, Bob's Specialty, and fortunately, I got my order in before their group ordered :lol: . The food was superb as always. I don't know what they cook those steaks on or in but the flavor is awesome.


Video: [ youtube video ] drive to Two Medicine and hike around Two Medicine are
Video: [ youtube video ] includes drive Running Eagle hike and drive from Two Medicine Valley
Fauna
Fauna
American Dipper
Named place
Named place
Lower Two Medicine Lake Pray Lake
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.
1 archive
Aug 07 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Jackson Overlook TH Reynolds Creek Campground, MT 
Jackson Overlook TH Reynolds Creek Campground, MT
 
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2021
tibber
Hiking2.75 Miles 722 AEG
Hiking2.75 Miles   2 Hrs   6 Mns   1.65 mph
722 ft AEG      26 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
And so the Glacier hiking finally begins. HOWEVER, this was Plan B as we were supposed to be backpacking to Gunsight Lake for a couple nites but Mother Nature had other plans. The day before we had to scramble for lodging for two nites and we consider ourselves lucky to have found a room at two different places without costing a fortune. The one fellow at St Mary Lodge quoted us a price for a room and when we winced, he said how much would you pay and we ended up taking the very small room as he came down about $50. This was a much better choice than having to stay at the campground in our tents, our last option; especially in light of the weather that came.

We had booked our first nite a the cabins at Johnson's and FYI, it is a very nice cabin with an awesome view. Sadly Johnson's restaurant didn't have "dine in" so we ended up at Two Sisters where we didn't have the best food per the normal fare we've had there in the past. So we had time to kill trying to play with the weather and we came up with two hikes for the 7th.

Before starting the hike we stopped at St Mary's VC to get a couple of our Shuttle bracelets as you can validate 72 hours before your travel. Our next concern was would we find parking at the Overlook TH and luckily we got a spot (we would have had to go back and catch the shuttle if we couldn't find parking).


On to the hike which started off with us going the wrong way to a dead end after coming down the steps but it was not far and easily corrected. You end up going down through the forest for most of this hike and it is a bit steep in places. The vegetation is quite high as we had been hearing. The weather was good with overcast skies and the wind wasn't blowing as hard here.

The first stop is Deadwood Falls which I remember really liking when I was last here with Ambika and Guru in 2010. There was a family sitting on the rocks as Tina and I surveyed the Falls and I tested my slo-mo function on my phone camera for some of the cascades. There was this one beautiful pool the water had created over the eons and it was absolutely fabulous... the colors :y: .

After getting our fill of this scene we continued down Reynolds Creek. Here we had encountered some additional hikers that were coming back from Gunsight Lake. There is a swinging plank bridge to cross; looks pretty newly rebuilt based on the color of the wood. Tina was going to try and cross without touching the sides and made it to the 3/4 mark before having to touch. Two years ago we saw a Glacier Guide with a fully loaded backpack cross the swinging bridge at Cosley at almost a full run it seemed; very impressive.

We headed over to the campground. We saw a few guests, took a short snack break and then headed back. Several CDTers make the wrong turn coming out of this camp and have to backtrack. You have to go back across the bridge to line up with the CDT. The park should maybe consider putting signage there.

Everyone talks about that hill climbing out but we seemed to do just fine with it for some reason. Of course, we didn't have our overnite packs. I started eating thimbleberries on the way up so maybe that's why the up didn't seem too bad. I did that with Wendy when we were going up to Brown's Pass; we berried our way up.

I'd say we encountered maybe ten hikers or so on this part. When we got back on top, the lot was pretty full still as is per normal at this park.

On our way back to St Mary we got caught in a bear jam, ranger was there too and a couple people were on the side of the road watching the activity. I had a pretty decent angle but still had to use almost full zoom. I did get some good pics and a few movies before the jam moved. We got a real good look at how a grizzly eats the huckleberries off the bush and you can kind of see that in the video.

We stopped at St Mary's Park Cafe that hasn't had a good reputation of late but we had a wonderful meal. I had a grilled cheese and bison chili followed by the best huckleberry pie I think I've ever had AND huckleberry ice cream. Technically, my trip could be considered complete now :lol: . Our next stop would be the Beaver Pond Loop I last did as a ranger-guided trip in early July 2013 after the 100th Romain Homestead Family Reunion.


1) video from the hike [ youtube video ]
2) short Huckleberry Grizzly Bear video [ youtube video ] if you don't want to watch the video from the hike

Here are the videos for the drive in on Going to the Sun Road the previous day. The weather was much better, though it was smoky:
McDonald Lake to Logan Pass [ youtube video ]
Logan Pass to St Mary [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Deadwood Falls
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.
Aug 07 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Beaver Pond Loop GNPNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Aug 07 2021
tibber
Hiking3.56 Miles 458 AEG
Hiking3.56 Miles   1 Hour   42 Mns   2.11 mph
458 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
This was our second hike for the day and we hoped the weather would hold out. I last did this hike in July 2013 after the Romain Homestead 100th Reunion. I did it as a ranger-guided hike since I was by myself. However, the last 1/2 I lagged behind and more or less hiked on my own and somehow I managed to have a 3 part video. There were lots of wildflowers and the topography was very interesting.

Anyway, after our wonderful lunch at the Park Cafe in St Mary, we drove up to a packed parking lot. This is also the TH for Red Eagle Lake. The first stop is the Ranger Office/Cabin and Barn built in 1913. They are impressive structures I think. And then it's up through the thimbleberry and Cow's Parsnips to the forest, much of it dead. For the rest of this part of the hike heading west, you head in and out of various kinds of forests and into and out of meadows with expansive views to the west and north.

We had heard from some other hikers that there was a moose at the pond but we never saw it. However, we did see some bear scat which there would be no shortage of during all of our hiking. The wind was also blowing and in one area where the aspen were growing pretty nicely now, it created an eerie sound.

The meadows weren't as full of flowers as it is in early summer altho there was still some flowers that were blooming and others getting ready for fall. We came upon the pond. It still has that one dead big tree on its side that I saw in 2013. I couldn't see any beaver activity or remnants of such. We decided to hike along the use trail next to the pond as we proceeded west.

Eventually the trail wraps around the west side and meets up with the trail to Red Eagle Lake (a place I'd like to go on a backpack, it's about 7 miles from here) and the old road that goes toward Red Eagle Lake. We did encounter some hikers here but they didn't seem too sure about the hike they were doing so we told them to stay on the Loop and that the mileage is off by about .75.

Eventually you get closer to St Mary Lake and you can somewhat see it through the now burned trees leftover from the 2006 Red Eagle Fire that burned 34,000 or so acres. There is also a long patch of thimbleberry with some fireweed here and there. You eventually come closer to the lake and you can walk out to it for a closer view but it was starting to get chilly so we continued on to the TH.

There were other people there with their dogs so this must be an area you can have your dogs with you. The lot was still pretty full. One thing of note, it is best to hike it clockwise, mostly because the views are so much better.

We had dinner at St Mary Lodge where we would be staying the nite in a very small room. However, this room was much better than the tents we would have been sleeping in as the storm came in around 7 and stayed for most of the nite and into the AM. I should note here that finding breakfast on the east side was a challenge as there was only one place open besides a coffee truck. Fortunately the place open was the St Mary Deli, they had a great huckleberry yogurt parfait.

Here is a two part video from our hike:
[ 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.
Aug 05 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Meadowlark Lane at Big Arm 2, MT 
Meadowlark Lane at Big Arm 2, MT
 
Hiking avatar Aug 05 2021
tibber
Hiking3.35 Miles 206 AEG
Hiking3.35 Miles   1 Hour   9 Mns   2.96 mph
206 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Since the boat wouldn't start, Plan B was another hike of Meadowlark Lane with Debbie except that we would take the upper route back. It was a nice day. Debbie filled me in all the neighborhood history and gossip as we walked down the lane. We walked to the Big Arm/Flathead Lake Campground's other side and then did a u-turn to catch the upper trail.

This trail more or less takes you through the woods so there really wasn't a lot to see. Of course, hiking with Debbie I probably didn't notice the landscape as much since we were busy chatting :) . Still catching up on all those years since high school. Anyway, this is a nice alternate to change it up a bit. As we got back near her place she ran into people she knew. We hit the Rainier Cherry tree for a bit before heading back down to her place where we met her neighbor who had just come back from a camping trip in her new camper RV. She is a part-timer at Big Arm.

I was glad to get another little hike under my belt in prep for Glacier. Thankfully, Debbie likes to hike as well.

WATCH: 3.37 miles with avg bpm 108 and high of 136 with 35% at level 3 and 62% at level 2 burning 354 calories using 7138 steps. Starting temp 71.5 and 58% humidity, finishing at noon.
_____________________
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.
Aug 04 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Meadowlark Lane at Big Arm, MT 
Meadowlark Lane at Big Arm, MT
 
Hiking avatar Aug 04 2021
tibber
Hiking3.60 Miles 202 AEG
Hiking3.60 Miles   1 Hour   12 Mns   3.00 mph
202 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Debbie had to go to her workout so I decided to do the Lane Walk to the Big Arm campground area. Needless to say, this is a much more beautiful "hood walk" than my place.

I walked up the long driveway from her property to hook up with Meadowlark Lane. I turned the corner and headed east altho it felt south. Almost immediately there is a cherry and apple orchard on my right and a deer on a grass lawn on my left and this hike has only started :) . It was still smoky this day so my views down to the lake were slightly obscured.

Almost all of these lake front properties are rather substantial and quite a few of cherry orchards or beautifully landscaped large yards. The homes are pretty nice too. Fortunately, you eventually get away from the sound of the highway that passes by here and is more busy due to the closure of Hiwy 35 because of the Finley Point Fire (Boulder 2700 Fire). I passed by one orchard where a fellow was mowing the lawn between the trees.

There were a few substantial homes that weren't lakeside but had pretty good views and here I encountered another deer by this barn looking house. There was also an old boat filled with a flower garden which I thot was really cool! Down a little ways was a chicken fenced garden that had little decorations. It was really cute. I gradually approached the campground area for Big Arm/Flathead State Park but this is the closed side so you go thru an opening in the fence and continue. The campground was fairly busy. I ended up turning around at the Yurts; there were three of them. There is a little beach here but it's so hazy, it's not worth staying long unless you plan to take a dip. Normally you can see Wild Horse Island from here.

On the way back I encountered some magpies scampering about and making a lot of noise as they normally do. There was this one house that was decorated in signage. Up from there on the other side of the road was another orchard and I saw a little Iris garden as well. This one property had 5 lights that were set to shine through some sort of plastic thru the address numbers engraved in a boulder. Even the garbage cans were unique as they are made to keep out the bears.

On the lake I could see a sailboat so I took a picture which was pretty clear considering the smoke. There are lots of fabulous trees but my eye was on the cherry trees. There was a rainier cherry tree and that was the one I stopped at for a few minutes to imbibe :D . I stopped to admire my friend's apple trees for which she had a bountiful harvest last year. Looks like there will be more of the same this year. I should see if the apples can last long enough to bring some down here.

Also spotted on this hike was a Kokopelli and a Vulture. Anyway, if you want to see all of this you can watch the video which has additional pictures than the ones I posted. [ youtube video ] The video includes our evening at Lake Mary Ronan where we had a beer tasting contest as well. And, before that, of course, I had to have another Huckleberry Mule.


WATCH: 3.55 miles, avg bpm 120 with a high of 141. (22% in Zone 4, 73% in Zone 3 aerobic) burning 425 calories (avg cadence 117, max 138) Starting temp 73.3 and 50% humidity finishing at 12:22PM
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.
3 archives
Aug 03 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Wild Horse Island Flathead Lake, MT 
Wild Horse Island Flathead Lake, MT
 
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2021
tibber
Hiking3.33 Miles 678 AEG
Hiking3.33 Miles   1 Hour   40 Mns   2.20 mph
678 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
And so it begins. I drove about 1250 miles in two days with an overnight stop at Springville UT (same place where I stopped with my brother in May 2016, it's about 1/2 way). The weather was ever changing as I made my way north. I was very nervous about driving 9 1/2 hours or so but with a few stops, including Flagstaff, Navajo Bridge, Jacob's Lake cookies :D and a couple more gas stops to Springville, Day One was okay. Day Two involved some of the same with two great stops at very nice Rest Areas.
Of course, the traffic thru SLC was dreadful and got especially scary in the area where they're doing freeway work and you all of a sudden find yourself in a lane sectioned off from the main road in a torrential rain and wonder if you got off an exit only to find out you were fine, Whew! It got really smoky as I got near Montana. I would learn that there were nearly 700,000 acres burning; a normal year is 70,000. This smoke would dog me for almost the whole trip in Montana.

I don't recall ever driving I-90 out of Butte toward Missoula before. I stopped at Deer Lodge for fuel and found some awesome huckleberry beer and chocolate bar. The last time I was in Deer Lodge (the state pen) was in 1979 when I got to interview the warden while I was in the employ of the Montana Legislature, forty years ago. The weather continued to be tenuous until I got to Missoula and it cleared, other than the smoke.
On the 93 north I was on the lookout for a stop to get that huckleberry ice cream I had seen billboards for and I found it near St Ignatius. I had a milkshake :) . Along the rest of my route I saw one of the largest herd of horses I have ever seen, it was a spectacular site. I pulled into my friend's driveway at around 5:30 and the odometer was almost 1250 miles. She had some old high school friends from Havre coming by for dinner.


The next day we headed for Wild Horse Island which is surrounded by water so it's via boat, kayak or swimming that you can get there. It was very smoky as we departed. We boated by 342 acre Cromwell Island where there was a large $25-million, fortress-style mansion. Wild Horse Island was across from it and we boated to the east side to Skeeko Bay where we slid into shore and tied up the boat, no docks here.

I've always wondered about Wild Horse Island ever since I first started coming to Flathead Lake back in the late 60s so it seemed surreal that I was here and actually hiking on the island. There is some signage here including a dedication sign to Jean Turnage who I knew from my days at the Montana State Legislature. He was one year older than my dad and died in the same year. Anyway, he apparently was part of the establishment of public access to the island.

We hit the pit toilet first and then headed on the trail with no particular objective in mind. You immediately start hiking through old growth Ponderosa pine forest on the largest island in Flathead Lake. 2,160 acre Wild Horse Island has been a landmark since the Kootenai Indians were reported to have used it to pasture horses to keep them from being stolen by other tribes. Now there are various limited wildlife including Big Horn sheep, deer and wild horses as well as eagles and osprey.

We walked by some old homestead buildings and headed south up the hill. This was through a more open area of the island with sweeping plains and done alpine balsam root that must be so awesome when it's blooming. Once we got to the top of one of the larger hills, where apparently they had added a couple switchbacks, we could barely see the views in the distance. As I told Debbie, at least these are unique conditions to hike in but I do look forward to coming back when I can see the surrounding lake and mountains.

There was a trail that went to the SW and we thot maybe that might be a loop down and around to join up with a trail below but after going down a good part of it, we discovered that wasn't the case. Over on the other big hill there appeared to be a use trail but it went straight up so we passed on that. For a pretty sizable island, there is not much in the way of official trails, however, they are marked somewhat. We headed back down the way we came and hiked NW to a couple corral areas where I enjoyed the few deer on the island and then we went over to the old corral where they will bring the animals from time to time.

We headed back up the hill and past the homestead shacks before heading back to the Bay. Debbie visited with a few of the people there and we watched some osprey high up in the trees and also saw a mom and her two fawns come to the lake for a drink. Another family was swimming in the Bay; that water's pretty cold so I passed on that. Surprisingly, the only trails are on this north side of the island so

We got back in the boat and headed toward Dayton before coming back past Cromwell Island and back to Big Arm. All I can say is it's a good thing she knew where she was going as the smoke was so thick you could hardly see the shoreline. Other than the smoke, it really was a great outing and if you get the chance, head out to the Island. I think there are places to rent kayaks too.. but for that matter, Debbie has extra kayaks so if you're heading up there, let me know and I'll hook you up.

That evening we headed over to Lake Mary Ronan where I had never been. We hooked up again with the former Havre residents, the Hendersons, and I think I was starting to finally remember Lori who I went to two years of high school with. I guess I should dig out the annuals. Do they still do high school annuals?

Here are some videos:

The drive to Montana 4:30 - [ youtube video ]
Wild Horse Island boat ride and hike - [ youtube video ] and [ youtube video ]
Named place
Named place
Lake Mary Ronan
_____________________
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.
2 archives
Jul 30 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Picture Canyon Loop clockwise, AZ 
Picture Canyon Loop clockwise, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 30 2021
tibber
Hiking3.79 Miles 309 AEG
Hiking3.79 Miles   1 Hour   21 Mns   2.99 mph
309 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Written 8-27-201, hiked 7-30-2021 This would be my last hike before heading to Montana on August 1st. Ya, I know, I know, I already did this yesterday but I needed to get home to pack. And I at least did it in the other direction and I did go faster. I didn't take any movies other than at the waterfall.

It was a pretty day but the humidity was high. It's a pretty hike this way too so I don't know that it makes a difference which way you go on this one as you still have the usual stops. I do think next time I will try some of the other trails as one of them looks like it goes along the Rio on the north side before you cross the bridge if you're heading southish.

Nothing out of the ordinary with the usual slate of wildflowers that I shot yesterday. Maybe saw 1/2 dozen people along the way. I think this would be a fun loop to do in winter with snow. Somehow it's less miles and AEG this way.... Here is a 3 minute video (mostly pics except for the waterfalls are movies) [ youtube video ]

This loop is mostly the Tom Moody Loop. If some of you writers of hiking guides are in the mood, this would be a good area to do about 3 or 4 guides for the various trails here.

Now, drive home, pack, go to one last gym class and start the 1250 mile drive north to Montana. The anticipation has been killing me, ha!

WATCH: 3.73 miles 124 avg bpm, 146 max (9% at level 5, 40% at level 4, 44% at level 3 and 5% at level 2) burning 496 calories. Starting temp 59 and 84% humidity :o finishing at 8:45AM
Flora
Flora
Indian Paintbrush
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.
Jul 29 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Fatmans Loop Trail #25Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2021
tibber
Hiking2.77 Miles 638 AEG
Hiking2.77 Miles   1 Hour   27 Mns   1.93 mph
638 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Writing this on 8-26-2021 but did the hike Counterclockwise on July 29. I did this loop clockwise in August 2020. This was part of my prep hiking before my foray at Glacier Park. I was staying at a KOA cabin so after their rather lousy breakfast, I gathered my backpack and headed up the trail. I don't remember the hike that well now and actually had to watch my video to refresh my memory [ youtube video ] . This would be my first hike of two this day.

I headed out from the KOA, it was slightly humid and mostly sunny. I missed the turn to the north as I thot it was further along the trail as I headed west. Once I got on the trail heading north I enjoyed the high desert greenery including trees and Apache Plume bushes with occasional mixes of colorful flora. Some of the trees have such great shapes and trunks.

As I got a little higher I passed through the Fatman's part of the hike and enjoyed viewing various other rock formations. I think I only saw two other hikers or so on this back side as I made my way to the area where you eventually head south and up. When there was shade or the sun was filtered, it wasn't too bad out. I seem to recall I did pretty good with this little climb.

There were several lizards and I had my zoom engaged to try and finally get a photo of a lizard that wanted to be a youtube star. Most of the other lizards didn't want to be bothered. The views are nice as you get a little higher. The moon was still shining above me and I actually got a decent picture of it.

As I made my way down that south side I start encountering a few more hikers. As I recall, most said hello. This time as I headed east I took the actual KOA trail by the sign. There are a couple little trails in this area.

WATCH: 2.67 miles. 141 avg bpm, 163 max (55% at max Level 5, 37% at anaerobic, 8% at aerobic burning 640 calories). Starting temp 69.8 and 55% humidity ending at 9:54AM
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
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.
1 archive
Jul 29 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Picture Canyon Loop counterclockwise, AZ 
Picture Canyon Loop counterclockwise, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 29 2021
tibber
Hiking3.94 Miles 421 AEG
Hiking3.94 Miles   1 Hour   58 Mns   2.34 mph
421 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Writing this 8-27-2021 for another hike I did on 7-29 following the Fatman's Loop. I was staying at the KOA so this was very convenient. I went counterclockwise. It was slightly humid still but little elevation change so not a big deal. I also did this hike last year with Ambika and Guru. I remember that on the north side it wasn't well marked but that has changed and it's easier to find your way. This route mostly follows the Tom Moody Loop.

The sky was a little volatile looking at times but I stayed dry throughout. The first stop is the reclamation pond but not much action here. I enjoyed some wildflowers as I made my way to my next stop at the old railroad bridge remnants (still amazed at the size of a couple of the timbers) and waterfall area. The waterfall was flowing nicely so I tested out my slo-mo on my phone. I saw a few people here.

As I went around the corner I could hear the water still so I checked to see if there was any visual and there wasn't. I continued on my way into the forest and over to the bridge over the Rio de Flag where some Orange Skimmers entertained me. I tried the Pro Video on my phone but the zoom results were so-so. I looked over the PictureGlyphs and once again tried the zoom function of my Pro Video of my phone. That seemed to look better on the glyphs than the Skimmer. I made my way around the northeast side and headed west.

I saw and heard a bird of prey as I hiked around the corner. I encountered two ladies that saw the same. They asked me to take their picture and they also commented on the humidity. I continued on the north side through the forest that provided some shade. I wanted to take a little nap but decided to go on since I only had less than a couple miles left. On this side of the trail you will see several former off-shoots but they are covered with some debris now and there are still occasional red tags on the trees directing you.

There are a couple different intersections including the one with the AZT and a crossover trail. Also, as you continue, there are two different trails but they take you to the same main trail. I encountered two more hikers here and another on the way out. When I got back to the TH it was packed with cars.

Here are a couple videos to go along with the hike. As usual, when I'm alone, I talk a lot... I know, shocking :stop:
Part 1 [ youtube video ]
Part 2 [ youtube video ]

WATCH: 3.8 miles with avg bpm 130, max 154 (24% at max Level 5, 39% at anaerobic Level 4, 37% at aerobic Level 3) burning 774 calories. Starting temp 75.1 degrees and 44% humidity finishing at 12:20 PM
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.
Jul 28 2021
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Christmas Tree Trail and KOA walk around, AZ 
Christmas Tree Trail and KOA walk around, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 28 2021
tibber
Hiking5.10 Miles 659 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   2 Hrs   3 Mns   2.64 mph
659 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I guess I forgot I retired and I didn't need to get some hiking in before my Glacier trip.... as I've been able to hike during the week vs when I worked and couldn't do that. On top of that, the weather is going to make these pre-trip hikes tricky so hopefully I'll be able to get in one more before heading back to Phx. So a few months back I made a reservation at the KOA as I can hike right from there which I thot was pretty cool.

And the nice thing about this KOA is you can check in at noon so I planned accordingly, picking up my meals from Safeway and then checking in at 12:05. The weather was already tenuous with thunder and lightning but I figured I could stay low and just do the Christmas Tree.


I threw on my regular backpack, can't remember the last time I wore it. The trail getting there from the KOA is pretty nice and soon I was on the Christmas Tree trail. The weather conditions were constantly changing with hot and cold, breeze, no breeze, sun and no sun with occasional rolls of thunder. Nonetheless, it smelled great for most of this and I was glad to have boots to the ground. I was trying out some new socks too. There was quite a bit of flora so I would stop to get some pics. I didn't do any movies as I think the content wasn't enuf to generate interest.

It was further than I thot to the junction with the Sandy Seep and Little Elden, my turn around point. It was a lot hillier than I expected but that's okay... I needed that; I always need that. You can loop this via Sandy Seep but it gets too close to the highway for me so I just went back the way I came. There was this one area full of tall Apache Plume bushes that I took a photo of again as the sun had come out so you could see the blooms better.

I went past the junction to the KOA and headed down to the main TH for a bit before turning around. Surprisingly I came upon a huge patch of Indian Paintbrush that I totally missed so that was nice. I passed by another junction for the east side of the Fatman's Loop which I'm going to try and do tomorrow AM. I only saw two other hikers during this hike. It was also pretty humid and the elevation seemed to slow my desired pace.

When I got back to the KOA I needed to get water so I decided to go the long way and check out the joint. They also have a little nature trail so I took that. I stopped and talked with a person in the back of a truck as there were several big tents set up. Apparently he and others take youth groups around and he sets everything up. They'll be heading to the Grand Canyon next. I should have asked the name of the service he was running but I don't like to be too snoopy. Saw a cool squirrel while talking to him and said hello to several others as I made my way back to Wikiup (my cabin).

If you ever stay here, make sure you can get close to the north side; otherwise, there's quite a bit of road noise. They have lots of entertainment for adults and kids. I had no idea what a Jumping Pillow was until I saw kids of various sizes jumping on it. It looks like it could be a little dangerous if someone falls wrong but all seemed to be having fun.


WATCH: 4.84 miles with avg bpm 138 and max 168. 44% at top zone, 43% at anaerobic and 13% at aerobic burning 847 calories. Starting temp 73.3 (felt warmer) and 50% humidity finishing at 2:51 PM
Fauna
Fauna
Abert's Squirrel
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.
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.07 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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