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Red Rock Lake and Falls - 3 members in 4 triplogs have rated this an average 3.7 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 02 2017
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
 Routes 300
 Photos 8,534
 Triplogs 804

38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Bullhead LakeNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2017
friendofThundergod
Hiking7.34 Miles 1,149 AEG
Hiking7.34 Miles
1,149 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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This was just a short afternoon hike after hiking to Iceberg Lake. It was real warm, so eventually the hike devolved into a couple of nice refreshing swims.

The views along this trail are great. In particular, in the direction towards Swiftcurrent Pass. We turned around at the scenic Bullhead Lake, after a quick swim and cool visit from a bull moose. The hike back was pretty standard until we ran across a fun group from Mississippi who goaded us into some waterfall jumping along Swiftcurrent Creek. The water was cold and the current a little fast, but it was refreshing and the perfect ending to a warm day.
Fauna
Fauna
Moose
Named place
Named place
Mount Wilbur Redrock Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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2 archives
Aug 09 2014
Sun_Ray
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 Routes 7
 Photos 892
 Triplogs 1,085

72 male
 Joined Sep 09 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Red Rock Lake and FallsNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Aug 09 2014
Sun_Ray
Hiking4.50 Miles 140 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   2.57 mph
140 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This easy hike starts in the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn parking lot. This is the same lot that has the popular trailhead to Iceberg Lake. Easy walking to a lake then around to the backside with a river and falls. Lots of folks on the trail.
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Brian
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!
1 archive
Jul 23 2011
writelots
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 Guides 19
 Routes 40
 Photos 5,602
 Triplogs 339

47 female
 Joined Nov 22 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Red Rock Lake and FallsNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2011
writelots
Hiking4.50 Miles 140 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles
140 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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tibber
Angela hadn't done the Redrock Falls hike before, so we figured it was a great way to spend the day. Our original plan had been to hike out to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook, but the trail was closed due to bear activity (evidently a grizzly sow and her two yearling cubs had decided it was their trail). Redrock was described in a guide that Angela had printed out as 'the easiest hike in Glacier NP'. That alone had my husband sold on it. Little did we know we'd be hiking it again in a couple of days...but I get ahead of myself here.

The beginning of this trail is a smooth, level hike - ever so slightly gaining elevation. First we passed the spur trail that lead to Fishercap Lake, we decided to catch that one on the way home. Views of Mount Grinnell and Mount Wilbur keep you company as you pass in and out of thick pine and birch groves, flower-filled meadows and unexpected rock outcroppings. We were reminded to keep looking up by periodic sightings of ephemeral waterfalls triggered by the substantial melt off. It was a fun stretch of hiking.

We reached the shores of Redrock Lake, where you can see the falls on the far side. I decided that it was an opportune time to take care of a little restroom issue, so I ducked off the trail and walked along the lake shore a few feet looking for another entrance to the woods. Just as I thought I'd hit paydirt, I look up and see this juvenile bull moose about 100 yards away from me. "Gary" I call, "It's a moose!"

Well, Mr. Wendy comes to see the moose, then Angela, then just about half of the tourist population of the whole park. The moose keeps walking slowly toward me along the shore of the lake - his eyes on me the entire way. When he got to a spot about 35 yards away, he stopped and just stared at me. It occurred to me that my opening in the bush may be his trail up out of the lakeshore. Rather than continue a face-off, I backed away and returned to the trail, all the while folks all around are snapping photos in a frenzy.

Still needing to take care of that business I spoke of, I crossed the trail to the far side, climbed up the hill a ways, and found myself a new and acceptable spot. Well, wouldn't you know, just as I am concluding matters I hear 'Wendy, Wendy, the moose is coming your way!' i pop up from behind my bush to see, not a moose (he'd already gone into the bushes just up the trail) but about 20 tourists, all of whom thought my sudden appearance was about the funniest thing they'd ever seen. Great. I think Angela even got a picture of it. Even better.

The moose incident behind us (no pun intended), we headed on to the falls. I have to admit, I wasn't blown over by Redrock Falls. Perhaps it was the moose sighting that had left me feeling a bit sheepish, but I thought the falls were just sorta jumbled and chaotic - not to mention crawling with people. The sunny day had brought out the droves, and everyone seemed to be competing to find a lunch spot that was closer to the falls themselves than the next. This meant it was very hard to get in there and get a photo of the spot that wasn't full of brightly colored T-shirts and pasty white limbs.

We hiked up above the falls a short way to find a little solitude, and after some ducking and scrambling, we managed to find a perch on the red rocks that was far enough from the crowds but still within earshot of the falls. We had a delightful view of the mountains and lake, though, so it was just fine.

While we were making our way back to the trail, we ran into a gentleman that told us that a better picture of the falls was to be had from along the lakeshore, rather than the trail. He told us that if you followed the shore, you'd be able to hop right back on the trail. Well, I don't know if we just didn't understand his instructions, or if he didn't know what he was talking about, because after we'd headed that way a bit (taking photos as we went), we realized that we were now surrounded on three sides by the lake - in order to get right back on the trail from here we'd have needed to swim like mooses (mice?).

The little peninsula was lovely, however, with amazing views and a unique perspective of the lake. We shot it up good with our cameras then bush-whacked back to the trail. After all that excitement, it's not surprising that Mr. Wendy (also known on this trip as Mr.Grumpy-Broken-Toe-Boy) started to get a bit irritated. I don't think he spoke a single word the entire trip back.

On our way, we did manage to stop off at Fishercap Lake, which is a lovely spot. If I were a fishing type person, it would look to me like a slice of heaven: isolated but not hard to get to, and crystal clear blue waters. Mr. Wendy was not taken, however, and we tromped back to the trailhead.

Angela and I weren't ready to be done with adventure just yet, but Gary certainly was. So, we drove back to the Many Glacier Lodge hoping to find something to please everyone...
Fauna
Fauna
Moose
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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama
Jul 23 2011
tibber
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 Guides 21
 Routes 588
 Photos 27,522
 Triplogs 988

65 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Red Rock Lake and FallsNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 23 2011
tibber
Hiking4.50 Miles 140 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   3 Hrs   15 Mns   2.35 mph
140 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
writelots
Day 3, July 23 Many Glacier Day - Part 1

I was delighted to wake up and see the sun was a shinin' with only some cumulus clouds poking thru the crisp blue Glacier Park sky :y: . I went over and had breakfast at King Gilbert, we made our sandwiches, and then headed for Many Glacier in the hopes of hiking the Grinnell Glacier trail (even though the last mile was still closed due to snow plus a hiker slid 50-100 feet to his death down a steep snow field when he went past that area). I hadn't done that hike since 2003 and thot it would be a nice alternative to the still ice and snow-covered Iceberg Lake hike. I had originally planned the Ptarmigan Tunnel but the Tunnel was not open yet due to all of the extra snow this year.

Here is some video of part of the wonderful drive into Many Glacier. It includes some stills of King Gilbert's neighbors (Columbian Ground Squirrels): http://youtu.be/xYwHESx_zyU

I drove Gary and Wendy to the Lodge entrance so that they could run in and get us a place on the boat that you take to get to the other side of Josephine Lake for the Grinnell Glacier hike. Parking is on a bluff overlooking the Lodge and Swiftcurrent Lake; it makes for a beautiful and photogenic :) trek back down to the hotel and as usual the wind was blowing pretty good up there.

I went down to the Lodge and was looking for Wendy and Gary only to find out from them that the boat was full and Grinnell Glacier Trail was still closed :( . So now we had to come up with a Plan C :wrt: . Wendy had been discussing with the ranger some options with Red Rock Falls being one of them, and a trail I had never done and wanted to do so we decided to do that. It's not a long hike so I thot we could throw in the 2 hr horseback ride :D toward Cracker Lake once we returned. We hiked, I mean walked up the stairs to the stables to verify the time of the last horseback ride and made our reservation (so if we were running a little late, they knew we were coming... I also inquired if Joe, Rockerfeller or Comanche were still around and the only horse here this time was Rockerfeller).

We drove over to Swiftcurrent Inn which is around to the NW side of Swiftcurrent Lake and were able to find a parking spot in a pretty crowded lot. As we are walking over to the TH, Wendy is listening to a ranger who was helping people look thru the telescope to see some goats up on the mountain. Well lo and behold I recognized Ranger Rick :o who was our ranger from my Grinnell Glacier hike in 2003 http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=69369. It seems he was now stuck with the less vigorous trails since he has tendinitis in his foot and some other injury. I so remember in 2003 commenting how he hiked like a goat with such agility and lightness of foot.

The great thing about the million acre Glacier Park is its smallness as you constantly run into folks you've met years before or people you've just met. It's such a wonderful bonding experience.

So off we went, heading west to Red Rock Lake Falls in and out of the forest with views of Mt Wilbur with the number 4 written in snow on it and Mt Grinnell in the distance. We got to cross a nice bridge, then a double log bridge. It's always so much fun around water. And then we encountered our first good little stand of beargrass. As we continued farther, we looked up high to the northwest and could see a waterfall seemingly coming out of nowhere :-k .

Trying to get a better pic of it, we found this little trail that we thot might lead us to a better view point; which it did and then the trail turned into nothing so we took our photos and decided to hightail it back to the trail so as not to tempt any bears 8-[ lingering in the area. The Swiftcurrent Valley is PRIME bear country :scared: and this year even more so cuz they had to come down low to eat due to lingering snow cover. (Come to find out, this little trail leads you toward an off-trail hike called the ShangriLa that takes you right by the waterfall and over to Iceberg Lake. Vaporman, it's calling your name.)

And soon, the lake was exposing itself to us. There is an opening so that you can walk right down to the shore and get a good view of the Falls across the Lake. Wendy decided she would head behind some trees along the shoreline to do her business but encountered a rather large problem and it had four legs and a small rack :D . She comes back to us and says "MOOSE" so Gary and I work our way past a couple small trees and there he is with his beautiful long legs, mooseying :lol: along the shore looking around until he sees us. And of course, I am filming and shooting pics thinking any minute he's going to dash off but he keeps walking toward us :o . I think his curiosity was kicking in or something. We cleared back so that he could have the right of way.

Wendy decides to cross the trail behind us and head up the hill into some fir trees to complete her business. All of a sudden I look down the trail and here comes that darn moose. He starts walking on the trail and then up the hill in Wendy's direction so I yell to Wendy, "moose is coming your way" and she pops up to see a crowd laughing hysterically at this momentary event. OMG it was :sl: . I can still see the expression on her face and I think I have captured it in a picture.

Once we recovered from the frivolity, we continued on the trail and up to the Falls area. The Falls were crowded so we only hung around here a short time before continuing up above the Falls looking for a place to have our lunch. I do have to mention though that we encountered a couple who were dressed to the nines :oplz: in their mountain climbing/major hiking gear including high boots and yellow rain jackets and hats. And of course, while we were commenting about the wife's attire, the husband pops up behind us (he was taking photos) and says that's his wife :oops: . Fortunately our tone was light even though we thot their attire was a bit of an overkill for a 4.5 mile hike on a clear day on a clear trail with mostly level ground.

Video from the first part of our hike: http://youtu.be/L0x-Luw5vvA (includes the moose encounter)

Anyway, we walked up to the top of the Falls area. It was particularly windy up here but the views were incredible :y: . We got a good look at Swiftcurrent Glacier, not realizing that in 2 days, we would be almost right next to it. (We were continually told by the Rangers [-X that the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail was closed at the start of the switchbacks) There were all sorts of waterfalls coming down from it as well. We pondered where the Pass might be :-k while admiring the turquoise water that was swirling below us against the red rock and down into the Falls.

We eventually found a place to have lunch that was sheltered from the wind, away from the small crowd and still had great views. There we got to enjoy another huckleberry soda and sandwiches. Life is indeed good! :budrose: Next we decided to follow a suggestion from a fellow hiker to go below the Falls (no crowd now) and toward the lake on a supposed trail that would take us to the main trail. Well not exactly. We ended up on a bit of a peninsula. However, we were able to get some better photos toward the Falls and of Red Rock Lake. Wendy now calls it Angela's Point :A1:. I like it.

The trip back was uneventful as to wildlife, even with our visit down to Fishercap Lake which is notorious for moose sightings. In 2008 (I'll have to do a hike desc and post that trip) I got some great photos of a moose feeding in the Lake. We didn't spend much time here as we wanted to get back for our horseback ride.

Video from the Falls and our hike back: http://youtu.be/ZVvrzu1Pwdo

All in all, I think this is another one of those great short hikes where you get a lot of bang for your buck. So did we get back in time for our horseback ride? See Part 2 of Many Glacier Day under Grinnell Lake hike to find out.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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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.
average hiking speed 2.46 mph

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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