Glacier National Park is absolutely stunning this time of year. Although we didn't get to go on all of the Going-to-the-Sun Road because it had snowed while we were there and was closed, we still had plenty to do and really enjoyed our time at Glacier. There's a lot to do in the summer even if part of the park is inaccessible for one reason or another.
West Glacier is pretty close to where we were staying in Columbia Falls and had a lot of hikes available for us to check out. Walking along the lakes and the rushing river was very cool and hiking through the forest was otherworldly. The Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed to cars starting at avalanche campground. However you are welcome to hike or bike the road. We hiked a few miles up it and ran across an avalanche that had been cleared out. It was unbelievable! The heavy rains, snowmelt, and warm temperatures carved a cave out of the avalanche hill and created a waterfall inside of a natural refrigerator. The air rushing out of the cave was freezing and felt great on the unseasonably warm 85 degree day. We saw lots of deer and ducks that day. Riley did a great job hiking each day and certainly loves being able to climb a few large rocks along the way.
We stayed nearby in Columbia Falls so it was a bit of a haul to get to the other side of Glacier since the main road was closed to cars, but the drive there is just as spectacular as the rest of the park.
The eastern side of the park has the best views of glaciers without actually going on the GTTSR and the boat tours on that side was a real treat. This was the first time we were able to see a moose and a number of bears roaming throughout the park. We had just finished up a three mile hike when we got in the truck, pulled out of the parking spot, and ran across a large grizzly bear headed the direction we had just hiked. A few miles down the road we saw a brown bear and black bear wrestling, along with a moose hanging out in the trees.
We were able to take a boat tour of the St. Mary lake and it was incredible. It was neat to hear about the history of the park and the ecology of the area. The weather was perfect, very little wind, temperature was great, and it was very sunny, so the water was perfect and we were able to get distant glimpses of a couple glaciers.
On the last day we decided after a short hike to do the little mini golf course right outside of West Glacier's gate. The boys always love to play so we try and make time for it when we can at each stop. The course highlighted some of the history and key features of the park. At the end if you get a hole in one you get a free huckleberry sundae. Thankfully one of did because it was a real treat!
We're headed for a final leg of the trip up to Washington! We'll take a long weekend with a stop in Spokane, Washington while we boondock at a local farm, and then we finish the drive to Gig Harbor. We're looking forward to spending two weeks with some old friends!