The number one thing on our to-do list this trip was to visit Glacier National Park. We had several people tell us that it was a must-see, so every step we made this summer was in that direction. When we left Missoula, we were getting closer, but decided to spend some time in the nearby town of Whitefish first. We stayed in Whitefish Lake State Park, which is nice and conveniently located to town, but the spaces were pretty tight. But we enjoyed our time in the area so much we ended up staying 6 days. Whitefish has a ski resort with trails open for hiking in the summer, a network of in-town hike/bike trails, a great local brewery, a charming historic downtown, and as with all of the other local Montana towns we’ve visited, the locals are super friendly. I only have a few pictures from our time there, but it’s a great little town and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
After Whitefish we moved closer to Glacier to the SanSuzEd RV Park in West Glacier. Right away we set about exploring Glacier. The only negative was that we kept noticing a distinctive haze in the air. We couldn’t figure it out until we watched the local news and found out that there was a wildfire in Washington. A little disappointing but nothing we couldn’t handle. Our first day exploring we drove the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, and saw some huge waterfalls and the beautiful Lake McDonald.
After a few days at SanSuzEd, we decided to move into the park into the Apgar campground. It’s first-come-first-served, but we had no problem finding a site that could easily fit us. When we first drove into the campground, I checked my phone and had a full Verizon signal. But as soon as we got set up in our site, I realized I had zero signal! After walking around for the campground a bit, we discovered that the cell phone signals are strong if you near the entrance/exit of each loop, but weaker as you get to the back of the loops. Since we were planning to stay for 6 days, we decided to move spots on our 3rd day and found a great site in loop C with plenty of cell signal. So if you go to this campground and cell phone signal is important to you, check loops B & C first (these seemed to have the biggest/most level sites), and try to get a spot near the front of the loops.
Thanks to an RV group on Facebook, I discovered that John and Jen of OurRVLife.com were going to be in Glacier for a few days, so we made plans to meet them for happy hour on the shores of Lake McDonald. How about this for a happy hour view?
We had a blast hanging out with John and Jen. They are full timers as of 6 weeks ago along with their son Joseph. Check out their blog and say hello to them! They are both great photographers and have some beautiful pictures of their travels so far. We made plans with them to hike the Avalanche Trail, which is one of the most popular trails on the west side of the park. As such, it was very crowded, but after 2 miles you get to the shores of beautiful Avalanche Lake.
We continued our exploring with John & Jen up to Logan Pass, where there was still lots of snow on the ground. We even saw a kid snow boarding!
On the way back to the campground we stopped at a few of of the many overlooks over McDonald Creek.
The next day Deas and did some more exploring by car, and we decided to see what was down a one-way dirt road that we had driven past a couple of times in the previous days. As we starting driving down the road, we quickly came upon a stopped car with a man excitedly pointing into the bushes. We jumped out and were treated to the sight of a mama grizzly bear with two tiny black cubs. She was a safe distance away, but too far away to get a decent picture. So we watched her a few minutes and then continued down the road. Since the road dead ends a mile or so away, we had to drive back by the same spot about 15 minutes later. This time the two little babies were climbing up a tree about 50 feet from the road. We couldn’t see the mama anywhere so I didn’t dare get out of the car, but we enjoyed watching them playing on the tree.
I got a new toy for my camera – a Neutral Density filter which allows me to use a really slow shutter speed, even in middle of the day sun. So I had some fun playing around with that this week.
We made some more new friends in the Apgar campground – Luke and Meghan were camped right across from us and their dog Rose made fast friends with our pups. Meghan is the marketing director for a company called Ticla that makes great tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads, and they are on a several month long trip in their camper. They too are writing a fun blog as part of their travels. We had some fun campfire discussions with them, and we all went to dinner one night at the Northern Lights Saloon in the nearby tiny town of Polebridge.
As we were driving back to the campground that night after dinner, there was a beautiful sunset.
Our first week in Glacier was amazing, but luckily we have another fun week coming up! We’re sticking around several more days because our friends Clark and Lynn from Tales from the Mutiny are joining us here, and we’re really excited to see them. More updates from Glacier to come!