We are now in British Columbia, Canada outside of Yoho and Banff National Parks, but it is rainy and cold today. Still pretty, just best viewed from indoors. 🙂 So here I am to give you an overdue write-up of the end of our time spent in Glacier.
We decided to stay in our boondocking spot in Flathead National Forest for an extra week after Nik’s family left. We both wanted to explore the park more, and this had the unexpected perk of getting to meet lots of other RV full-timers (more on that soon).
One of the full-timer couples that we met up with were Cori & Andy, who just hit the road in July from Buffalo. We decided to go hiking together at Iceberg Lake, which is supposedly one of the best hikes in Glacier. I don’t doubt it- it really was breathtaking.
It was just shy of 10 miles roundtrip, but wasn’t too steep or technical. It’s on the Many Glacier side of the park (pretty far northeast from where most people stay), so we had to work to get an early start, but we thankfully missed the crowds who started coming up the trail around noon (that’s the earliest the shuttle can get you there, but we were 3/4 of the way through at that point).
The trail is known for (1) the gorgeous glacial lake at the end, with floating “icebergs” bobbing around and (2) it’s population of grizzlies. With all the berries that are at peak all along the trail, grizzlies are known to hang out in the area stuffing their faces. We didn’t see one (that is FINE by me), but there were signs that one had been walking along the trail probably just a few hours before we passed through. We saw fresh tracks, scat, and in one place, a spot where the bear had sharpened his claws on a trail-side tree! The tree was still bleeding sap. We definitely kept our bear spray close at hand while we walked through the dense forest that comprised the first 2+ miles of the trail.
We also saw a bull (male) moose snacking on wildflowers when the trail opened up. It was the closest we had been to a bull moose, though we weren’t as close to this guy as we were to the cow (female) moose and her calf we saw with Nik’s family. The bull wasn’t all that big, relatively, he was probably only a couple of years old.
After passing through the moose meadow, as it shall henceforth be called, we climbed a bit into a section of trail with amazing views of peaks in every direction. Somewhere around here (my memory is a bit fuzzy a week after the fact) you can see the Grinnell Glacier from a distance. Sadly, all the glaciers will have melted from Glacier National Park by 2030 due to global warming (if not before). It was definitely bittersweet to see them knowing we may not see glaciers again.
Eventually we came to the namesake Iceberg Lake.
You can really see here how the glaciers formed the rock. The wildflowers, too, were striking; apparently, last weekend was peak bloom.
The wind was blowing the ice chunks around the lake, which was a striking turquoise color. The lake ices over completely in the winter and then starts to break up in about June. This time of year (mid-August), there are just chunks of ice floating around all over the place! It’s definitely one of those places that a photo can’t quite capture. We enjoyed a picturesque lunch and then headed back down. A day well spent. 🙂