2014 Glacier National Park Vacation

Our summer vacation this year involved a lot of hiking though we did break it up with a little shopping and relaxation. We rented a beautiful home in Columbia Falls located centrally to Glacier National Park, Whitefish and Kalispell. We drove there and back having rented a Jeep Grand Cherokee which ended up being a perfect all around vehicle for us on this trip.

We learned this year that sometimes it is the quick elevation gain that hurts and sometimes it’s the descent…in the sun…later in the day. For example, the Highline Loop Hike drops off so quickly in the section from the Granite Park Chalet, and it’s almost entirely in the sun, that this may actually have been the most difficult part of the hike…and it’s all downhill which would seem easy. My wife’s Garmin sports watch showed us at about 6,694 feet at the chalet and we ended the hike at the Loop with a low elevation on that part of the trail of 4,274 feet for a maximum decline of 2,420 feet in 4.11 miles. I guess it could have been worse, we could have been going the other direction.

Name Date Miles Elevation Gain Highest Point Trail Rating
Hidden Lake Nature Trail 7/31/2014 2.7 540 7152 3.78 (easy)
Trail of the Cedars 7/31/2014 1 60 3478 1.12 (easy)
Avalanche Lake 7/31/2014  4.5  730  4031 5.96 (moderate)
Snyder Lake 8/2/2014 8.7 2045  5247 12.79 (strenuous)
The Highline Loop Hike 8/3/2014 11.8 1950 7280 15.70 (strenuous)
Iceberg Lake  8/5/2014  9.7  1275  6160 12.25 (strenuous)
Ptarmigan Lake 8/5/2014 3.7* 1700 6651 12.20 (strenuous)
Preston Park  8/6/2014  7.1 1415 7237 9.93 (moderate)
 Totals:  42.1 9715

* Note that if you look this trail up it will show you a distance of 8.8 miles. Since Ptarmigan trail and Iceberg lake share a trail head we combined these into a single hike and so the 3.7 miles represents the distance where the trails split to get to Ptarmigan Lake and then back to the trail to continue on back to the head of the trail. Also, we weren’t able to actually park at the trail head so we had to hike an additional 0.4 mile to get to it which is not included.

Counter to what I usually do which is to include the photos directly within the post, I’m trying out Google Photos which unfortunately doesn’t offer a method for embedding an interface directly. What that means is, you’ve got to click on this link (or on the image below) which should open a new window allowing you to see over 650 photos and a few videos.