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Incredibly scenic first day hikes in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site comprised of more than a million acres in western Montana on the Canadian border; we enjoyed the hike along McDonald Creek

Glacier National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site comprised of more than a million acres in western Montana on the Canadian border; we enjoyed the hike along McDonald Creek

The hike to Avalanche Lake was incredibly beautiful!; we had snow flurries much of the day (on Labor Day!) which required the closure of Going to the Sun Road and much of the park

The hike to Avalanche Lake was incredibly beautiful!; we had snow flurries much of the day (on Labor Day!) which required the closure of Going to the Sun Road and much of the park

This gorgeous gorge on Avalanche Creek is at the junction where the Trail of the Cedars meets the Avalanche Lake trailhead; the smell of the forest made it seem like Christmas

This gorgeous gorge on Avalanche Creek is at the junction where the Trail of the Cedars meets the Avalanche Lake trailhead; the smell of the forest made it seem like Christmas

The park had 150  glaciers a hundred years ago but today there are only about 25 and it is estimated they may be gone by 2030; there are 700  miles of trails in the park

The park had 150+ glaciers a hundred years ago but today there are only about 25 and it is estimated they may be gone by 2030; there are 700+ miles of trails in the park

We saw a bald eagle take flight from McDonald Creek; park admission is $35 per person and is good for a week but I have a lifetime pass

We saw a bald eagle take flight from McDonald Creek; park admission is $35 per person and is good for a week but I have a lifetime pass

I did not expect to be so cold on Labor Day!; I started the day with 5 layers (t-shirt, 3 long-sleeve shirts and a hoodie) before shedding a couple (I was, of course, in shorts)

I did not expect to be so cold on Labor Day!; I started the day with 5 layers (t-shirt, 3 long-sleeve shirts and a hoodie) before shedding a couple (I was, of course, in shorts)

Grizzlies and black bears both are common in the park so hikers are encouraged to carry bear spray; I'm more likely to grab my camera than the bear spray if I'm lucky enough to spot one!

Grizzlies and black bears both are common in the park so hikers are encouraged to carry bear spray; I'm more likely to grab my camera than the bear spray if I'm lucky enough to spot one!

We started out our visit to Glacier with 2 relatively easy hikes; they were also the only good options considering the road was closed at Avalanche Lake because of winter weather

We started out our visit to Glacier with 2 relatively easy hikes; they were also the only good options considering the road was closed at Avalanche Lake because of winter weather

The Going to the Sun Road appeared in the opening credits of the Shining and is a National Historic Landmark; it traverses the park from east to west and crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass ( 6626 ft) which can get 80  ft of snow per year

The Going to the Sun Road appeared in the opening credits of the Shining and is a National Historic Landmark; it traverses the park from east to west and crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass ( 6626 ft) which can get 80+ ft of snow per year

Avalanche Lake is hemmed in on 3 sides by steep mountains with dramatic waterfalls; the lake is fed by meltwater from Sperry Glacier

Avalanche Lake is hemmed in on 3 sides by steep mountains with dramatic waterfalls; the lake is fed by meltwater from Sperry Glacier

One of the most iconic features of Glacier National Park is Going-to-the-Sun Road, the 53 mile-long scenic drive that opened in 1933 and boasts some of the most breathtaking natural views in North America

One of the most iconic features of Glacier National Park is Going-to-the-Sun Road, the 53 mile-long scenic drive that opened in 1933 and boasts some of the most breathtaking natural views in North America

The water was crystal clear but I was surprised not to see any fish in Avalanche Lake or McDonald Creek; the trails were very well marked and easy to follow

The water was crystal clear but I was surprised not to see any fish in Avalanche Lake or McDonald Creek; the trails were very well marked and easy to follow

Glacier National Park is part of the world’s first international peace park with Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park; the park gets almost 3 million visitors each year

Glacier National Park is part of the world’s first international peace park with Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park; the park gets almost 3 million visitors each year

I felt sad for this lone pine tree growing out of the rock; it's hard to tell but the pine tree is alive and was practicing social distancing before it became required

I felt sad for this lone pine tree growing out of the rock; it's hard to tell but the pine tree is alive and was practicing social distancing before it became required

Much of Glacier is closed this year because of the pandemic;  this seems illogical because it forces the many tourists into a smaller area; the shuttle bus system is also not running making some hikes more difficult

Much of Glacier is closed this year because of the pandemic; this seems illogical because it forces the many tourists into a smaller area; the shuttle bus system is also not running making some hikes more difficult

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:02

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