Many Glacier

Community Highlights North America Many Glacier

Day 2 in Glacier was predicted to be absolutely "pleasant," and we were all about it!

Since our brains were still on EST, we knew we would be up before the sun again. So, we planned to head to a different view of St. Mary Lake to photograph the sunrise.

We arrived with plenty of time to see the sun dramatically reveal the massive peaks around us...

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Turns out the site we picked was not as cool as we thought for views, but it was an amazing site for bird watching!

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We saw a massive colony of cliff swallows...

We also saw a slew of spotted sandpipers, a pair of belted kingfishers, a crew of cedar waxwings, and some bully crows.

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It was truly a great morning for birding. In fact, we spent so much time looking at birds that we missed the ranger-guided walk we intended to go on that morning in the Many Glacier part of the park.

But there are no schedules when you're having fun!

After a quick pit stop back to our cabin, we headed out to Many Glacier to guide ourselves on a walk and explore one of the most popular areas of the park. The hotel was constructed in 1915 and maintains much of its original, charming construction.

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The views of the lake were so gorgeous and peaceful. The cliff swallows were even more abundant here. We discovered their many nests that have probably hung from the eaves of this hotel for many birdy generations.

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The Swiss chalet-style hotel was so enchanting to us that we decided to stop in for a fancy lunch before heading out on the trail. The food was pretty good but the views could not be beat!

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With almost all of its original fixtures, the Many Glacier hotel was like a step back in time.

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With full bellies, we set out for the Swiftcurrent Lake trail. The short, 2.6 mile trek wraps around the scenic lake. At the head of the trail, they are sure to remind you that even the easy trails have potential to encounter dangerous grizzlies.

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The presence of several talkative children put our worries at ease (bears will avoid humans at all costs, and chatty kids let them know humans are near), and we proceeded without incident to take in the staggering peaks and the many glaciers that give the area its name.

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Horseback Riding

You can't simply go to Montana and NOT ride horses! There are several iconic trails that begin around Swiftcurrent Lake and the Many Glacier Hotel. For an hourly fee, you can go on a guided, horseback ride of some of these trails. Swan Mountain Outfitters is the official horse touring company inside the park, and they employ very capable, seasonal workers to care for their horses.

Heidi was assigned to ride the massive Beuford, and Claudia was given the sassy, former runway model Astro.

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Beuford
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Astro

Our guide Morgan led us on a two-hour ride along the Piegan Trail, ending near neighboring Lake Josephine (shout out to Heidi's grandma!). Morgan was also sure to point out the several species of edible berries within arm's reach along the way.

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Speaking of berries, Montana is famous for their very special berry that can only be grown and harvested wild in Montana: Huckleberries! We just so happened to be at the height of huckleberry season, so huckleberry products were available everywhere we went. Nothing compares to a fresh, warm huckleberry off the bush, but the next best thing is huckleberry pie. Morgan let us know that the Two Sisters restaurant just outside of the park (and on our route back to camp) has an excellent pie, so of course we had to try it!

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example of mountain huckleberries

The restaurant was very busy that evening, so we ordered a couple slices to go.

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Huckleberry pie
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Huckleberry PBJ pie

Claudia was happy to see the restaurant supporting Public Radio as well!

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We made one last stop in St. Mary, just outside of the park, to get some tacos from Frogs Cantina and a six pack of Montana beers to bring back to our cabin.

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The plan was to eat dinner, shower, and then take a walk after dark to catch a glimpse of the legendary night sky over the park. But after the exhaustion of the long day's activities, we just passed out instead.

Tomorrow, West Glacier Park and Whitefish breweries!

Claudia & Heidi

This featured blog entry was written by baecation2016 from the blog Glacier National Park.
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By baecation2016

Posted Mon, Aug 19, 2019 | USA | Comments