East Side Glacier NP!

Up early on Wednesday, and we headed to Saint Mary Campground to be back in Glacier NP, just a few miles away. We had two sites and chose the smaller one so our Instagram friends 4000 Rivets would fit. Since the Many Glacier boat tour for Saturday was sold out online, the only way to get a spot was to drive there. The rangers were stopping everyone from coming in as the lot was full, but allowed us through so we could purchase the tickets. Note to self about parking lot fullness (Logan Pass). Many Glacier Lodge is beautiful and we explored a bit, both the grounds of the lodge, and the lodge itself. After getting groceries we checked in on 4000 Rivets back at their site.  

The views on the east side of Glacier are just as spectacular as the west side.

Swiftcurrent Lake is gorgeous and the Many Glacier Lodge is worth the drive.

The view out of the cloud # 104 was always nice to see even if it was a tight fit. It did get a bit windy at times in this campground.

Thursday morning we had tickets for 10 am to take the St. Mary Lake tour at Rising Sun. We hiked to the visitors center to get on the shuttle and arrived in plenty of time at Rising Sun.  This boat/hike also involves a ranger led nature hike to Saint Mary Falls. The hike was a bit eventful at one point as a bear was spotted on the trail way behind, never saw it, and it cut into our hiking time.

Taking the shuttle back we toured the visitor center. Ate lunch back at camp and drove to look at the 1913 Ranger station. That night we had dinner with 4000 Rivets at their site! This was a first for us, sharing a meal with Instagram folks, but couldn’t have asked for a better time!

We decided that one of the best ways to see Glacier is by boat and they never disappoint.

The boat goes by Wild Goose Island which is quite the picture, and some spectacular mountain sides colored by lichen.

Saint Mary Falls were bright blue and there were even some kids (with parents) that jumped in in this cold water—-crazy!

These Blackfeet Tipis at the visitor center are the first I have ever seen and going inside was magical.

This is the Lubec Barn next to the 1913 ranger station. It was moved here and rebuilt in 1977.
On Friday we decided to shuttle hop and boarded it at 9 am to go to Logan Pass. It was great being at this campground because we could hike to the visitors center anytime. Once we were on the shuttle it was fun to be on the east side of the Going to the Sun Road, it is a shorter and easier drive. We arrived at Logan Pass and then got on the shuttle to go back down with our first stop at the Jackson Glacier Overlook, then we crossed the street to go back up to Siyeh Pass to eat lunch. By this point we felt like we had mastered the Glacier Shuttle System. After lunch we hopped back on the shuttle and got off down at Rising Sun to look at the facilities. Hopped back on and came back to the visitors center. That night we attended a campfire program on photographing the park and that everyone that does and posts the picture represents/markets the park in some fashion.

Only about a 15 minute hike to the visitors center across the Saint Mary River.

Jackson Glacier is one of 25 remaining glaciers in the park. If the current rate of warming continues it will be gone along with all the glaciers by 2030.

This is the Piegan trailhead for the Siyeh hike. Siyeh Peak is one of the highest in the park. We had lunch here as we were still recovering from the Highline Trail hike.

Turns out the road bridge that is seen when walking to the visitors center to the campground was in Forest Gump. Loved this walk!

Friday Night Campfire program called Picturing Our Park. The park person used laminated pictures and props- no media.
Another day – another boat ride! Driving to Many Glacier on Saturday morning we arrived around 7:30 found parking and got breakfast at the lodge deli. Our reservation was for 9 am and involved two boat rides and three lakes! First boat tour is on Swiftcurrent Lake, then after a short hike another boat ride on Lake Josephine, then a hike to Grinnell Lake. It lasted until 1:00 and then we had  lunch at the lodge dining room. After a late lunch we walked around the lodge and read all the displays, checked out the gift shop and left. We then drove into the Many Glacier Campground (no reservations) and looked at it noticing it had limited space for a 25 footer.  Time to head back to Saint Mary CG.

Boarding the sold out Grinnell Lake tour which begins at the Many Glacier Lodge on Swiftcurrent Lake. Another perfect day!

The guide is an employee of the Glacier Park Boat Company and she did an outstanding job of interpreting all the areas we saw.

Grinnell Lake was beautiful, and a tad bit windy. I was looking everywhere for moose but didn’t see any only tracks.

The Many Glacier Lodge from the lake.
Sunday- our last day at Glacier and another boat tour- I’d love to work for the Glacier Park Boat Company in the summer. All our tours were perfect and the boats were all classically wooden. This tour on Two Medicine Lake didn’t start until 3:00 as all the other spots were full. Leaving after a late breakfast we headed out and our first stop was the turnout and the Blackfeet Metal Lodges. We arrived at the East Glacier Lodge which is past Two Medicine in time to see the train blow past the station there. The train station is impressive and a lot of people take the train and then rent a car to tour Glacier. The Lodge is impressive also, John likes this one best, as it’s associated with the railroad. The lodges were designed to be like a Swiss chalet to attract tourists to the “American Alps.”  After a visit it was time to drive to Two Medicine.

East Glacier Lodge built in 1915 and designed after the forest.

The cruise on Two Medicine and the 1.8 mile hike to Twin Falls was easy and our guide was funny!

Twin Falls hike has a lot of huckleberry, thimbleberries and ferns. This area has never burned.

Back on the Sinopah, the oldest wooden boat in the the fleet of the Glacier Park Boat Company.

Glacier Park has so much to offer and even though we were there for over twelve days there is so much more to see. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to Sperry Chalet.

Time to hook up the Cloud and head towards Yellowstone NP as our reservations start in two days.
This trip to Glacier was planned to happen three summers ago, first summer involved work obligations keeping us home, and last summer someone was laid up with a broken collarbone. Changes were made for this summer and Yellowstone added to the trip. Reservations were made in January and activities reserved when we arrived.