Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Glacier Two Medicine and Many Glacier

After a nice night at Kalispell, Mt and a nice stop for worship at the Kalispell Church of Christ, I decided to try Two Medicine, a less visited area in the South of Glacier NP. It turned out to be just as spectacular as Going to the Sun Road.

My first inclination was to take a section of the Continental Divide trail northwest to Pitamakan pass, but this trail was closed due to excessive bear activity. Bears are the big story here, especially now. They are in the extreme eating period right now in preparation for winter hibernation. Also, populations are increasing. Together this is forcing them out into the open more than normal. The papers every day are full of stories of grizzlies being killed by hunters or hit by cars in areas where they are not supposed to exist. Meanwhile, I’ve yet to see one.

I decided to take a similar, nearly parallel trail, the trail to Dawson Pass. I did it out and back on the same day, and it ended up being my most strenuous day yet, about 14 miles and 2500’ climb. I won’t do that again unless I get in better shape…I was toast by the time I got back to camp.

Even so, the trip was well worth the sore muscles. Here are a couple of pictures of Sinopah mountain and the Pumpelly Pillar from the trail at the lower elevations.

This is looking back toward Rising Wolf mountain on the left and Sinopah Mountain and Pumpelly Pillar on the right framing Two Medicine lake. My campsite is on the other side of Rising Wolf.

Another view of Pumpelly Pillar. This is a narrow ridge cut by glaciers on either side.

Here is the view from Dawson’s Pass. First, looking south toward Caper Peak, Battlement Mountain and Mount St Nicholas. Then looking north toward Norris Mountain, Triple Divide Peak and Medicine Grizzly Peak. Finally, looking straight ahead to the west, Nyack Lakes and Phillips Mountain and Surprise Pass.

Day two at Two Medicine I hiked a short trail to Running Eagle Falls, also called Trick Falls, because of the way it just appears out of the side of the mountain. The stream runs into a cave above and comes out here.

I also hiked a short distance southwest on the Continental Divide trail toward Scenic point. I did not make the full 2250’ climb due to tiredness from the day before, but I took this picture back toward the campsite with Rising Wolf Mountain in the center and Dawson Pass to the left.

After 2 days at Two Medicine, I decided to move to Many Glacier, another famous area on the east side of Glacier NP. I hiked to Red Rock Falls, and took this picture of the falls and of the view back toward Many Glacier from near the falls. Also, I took this picture of the Many Glacier Hotel across Swiftcurrent Lake.

I had plans for another strenuous hike to Ptarmigan Tunnel or Grinnell Glacier today, but a front came through last night and it is cold, cloudy and rainy today, so I decided to get a cabin at the St Mary/East Glacier KOA tonight and file this report. Assuming it clears up, tomorrow I hope to hike the Highline trail by the Garden Wall to Granite Park and spend a couple of days exploring that area.

1 comment:

nemattox said...

Wow, I can't believe how amazing each day is there! I'm glad you made it out before everything closed up for the winter; Hard to believe that starts in mid-September.