August 3, 2015
Smoke filled skies from western forest fires.
Reynolds Creek Wildfire is still burning as of August 3, 2015. East side of Going To Sun Road remains closed also due to Reynolds Creek Wildfire.All facilities t Rising Sun are closed due to Reynolds Creek Wildfire.
Fire not visible from pass!
July 28, 2015
Logan Pass reopened July 29, 2015, after closing due to Reynolds Creek Wildfire.
New Fire Line created with explosives. Link to article in Great Falls Tribune. It has been raining lightly in Northwest Montana, along with cooler temperatures and some snow at higher elevations.
July 27, 2015
St Mary Visitor Center reopened today.
Currently raining in West and East Glacier, plus Many Glacier.
July 26, 2015
Logan Pass July 29, 2015 to reopen
Just back from backpacking to Snyder Lake campground for one night followed by backpacking to Sperry Chalet campground for the second night. Red Monkey Flowers blooming on Sperry Chalet Trail near the rock ledge section of trail. Thunderstorm swept in from the west while I was hiking up to Sperry Chalet campground. Luckily light rain which turned into very hard driving rain just after
I got to Sperry Dinning Hall. Enjoyed a tuna sandwich along with hot coffee as the skies opened up. First bug free backpacking trip this summer. Second rainstorm arrived just after dark. GNP opened Lake Ellen Wilson to camping yesterday. Lots of totally unprepared for rain hikers on the Sperry Trail. Mountain goats and kids frolicking on the plateau near the backcountry campground.
My hiking mileage total as of today for 2015 is 233 miles, with 33,869 feet of elevation gain. This total is for hikes in Glacier National Park and doesn't include any of my hikes this spring on the Whitefish Trails.
July 24, 2015
Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire continues it's advance towards the town of St Mary, Link shows which areas currently burning in red, along with wind direction. Not as much smoke on the St Mary webcam, hopefully a good sign.
Two Medicine, Many Glacier, West Glacier and North Fork are all open and smoke free. GTSR open on west side to Big Bend. I took a shuttle to Loop yesterday and there was No Sign of any smoke while at the Loop.
July 22, 2015
Many Glacier webcam showing a slight rain as of 7:30 am .
Apgar Village webcam showing light rain. St Mary is now showing rain as of 7:50 am.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road is currently closed between Avalanche and St. Mary due to Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire.
Rising Sun Campground closed along with all facilities at Rising Sun ~ July 21, 2015
July 10, 2015
Photo above Cobalt Lake reflection. ~ 7-10-15. Panorama of Cobalt Lake with snowfield reflected taken shortly after sunrise on July 10, 2015 . Camped last night at Cobalt Lake ~ very buggy ~ surprisingly still lots of snow on the far side of Cobalt Lake. Lots of wildflowers, particularly Red Monkey Flower. Large meadow of Red Monkey Flower near the start of the final ascent to Cobalt Lake. The ones in the middle of Cobalt Creek are in bud but not blooming yet. On my return earlier today temp in Hungry Horse was 98 F . So far have hiked 178.83 miles and over 22,937 feet elevation gain. Need to give my feet a break from hiking. Very limited display of Bear Grass this year as Bear Grass appears to be the most impacted by light snowfall and hot spring / summer temperatures. GIA elevation profile below is the descent today from Cobalt Lake to Two Medicine Lake near boat dock.
Link to GAIAGPS Track for Cobalt Lake.
Above link will take you to GAIGPS website ~ you can expand the map to fill the screen with the track overlaid on a topo map of the Cracker Lake Trail. GAIAGPS works on iPhones and Android OS phones. Very handy but inexpensive hiking application. NOTE: Unlike Garmin the maps are free ~ you do need to download the topo maps at your home as that requires a WiFi connection. Apple recently updated the iPhone Software which greatly improves battery life. Now when you turn on Airplane Mode the built in GPS chip in your phone still works! !
July 6, 2015
Smoke from Forest Fires in Washington State are obscuring views in Glacier Park.
While smoke isn't as dense as during the 2003 fire season, it is only the start of July. I have hiked 168 miles so far this year in Glacier Park, spring came early but part of those miles were to get to hikes ahead of the smoke. At this time I have postponed a hiking / backpacking trip to Two Medicine due to the smoke. Unless Northwest Montana gets some significant rain the fires are going to get closer.
Forest Fire along North Fork Road ~ June 27, 2015 Note: The area burning along the North Fork burned about twelve years ago so smoke from this fire is fairly light.
July 3, 2015
Hiked Ptarmigan Tunnel trail 7-3-15. Luckily I got an early start, nice display of wildflowers. A few beargrass blooming after turning onto Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail. BUGGY! ! Lots of wildflowers filling the scree slope below the western side of the tunnel. Big Horn Sheep near the tunnel. Since I got an early start & was not driving back to Whitefish after finishing the hike, I hiked about a mile down the east side of the trail towards Elizabeth Lake. Views of Going To The Sun Glacier, after dropping down a short way. A small group of horseback riders arrived at the tunnel shortly after I did. The after part I was very grateful for.
My oldest daughter met up with me. She started her RUN at the Many Glacier Entrance Station where there is a short, steep connecting trail to the Poia Lake Trail then over Red Gap Pass up and over then down to Elizabeth Lake and up again to Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail.
Cover shot of my Wildflower Guide for Glacier National Park
As of July 2015 My Wildflower iBook is available using iBooks for iPhones, iPads, the MAC Book Pro and Apple Desktops. iPhones need to be on OS 8.4
Available on iBooks
July 1, 2015
Ranger Led Hikes Schedule
Fireworks Banned in Western Montana
June 28, 2015 ~ Latest information on Glacier Rim Fire
June 27, 2015 Injured Climber Rescued in Glacier National Park
June 23, 2015 GIAGPS track of Swiftcurrent Pass Trail If you click on a photo shown on GAIGPS it will take you to the waypoint on the topo map were the photo was taken.
Going To The Sun Road opened June 20, 2015
Highline Trail opened June 20, 2015. I hiked it June 21, 2015 to Granite Park back country campground.
Least amount of snow along the trail for one of the earliest openings of the HighLine Trail.
Link to GAIAGPS track of my last hike down from Granite Park GAIA gps turns your iPhone into a GPS with maps from anywhere in the world. Warning you Need to download the maps at home from a WiFi connection. On the hike GAIA uses the GPS chip in your iPhone to track / show you where you are located. It also geo,Tags your iPhone photos taken when recording a track. While hiking the Loop trail on the 16th with my grandsons met up with a young couple hiking down from the Chalet. Mentioned my problem with GIAGPS stopping recording after Pausing. He showed me hot to locate the paused track and resume recording. Thanks! Meadow at Granite Park in full bloom! Three weeks early.
Sunrise June 17, 2015 at 5 am ~ Lake McDonald
June 16, 2014
Link to Youtube Video showing the Trail from Logan Pass to Many Glacier This trail won't be doable usually until mid July.
June 13, 2015
NOTE: HighLine Trail opened June 20, 2015
During the major snow year of 2011 this trail didn't open until August 3.
Loop Trail / HighLine Trail is open to Haystack. This is a hot trail bring extra water! Lots of wildflowers of all kinds blooming alongside of Loop Trail. Patches of snow start just before Chalet. I went to campground from Loop Trail that spur trail has 95% snow cover. Didn't go to Chalet on last trip so I don't know what the snow level is like at the Chalet.
June 10, 2015
Going To The Sun Road to open June 11 on the west side
Drowning is the Number One cause of accidental death in Glacier National Park. An employee of Polebridge drowned in the North Fork River Monday June 8 while trying to surf.
June 9, 2015
June 8, 2015
Updated Mount Brown Trail with Altitude Profile on my last attempt to get to the Lookout. The profile is of my descent, which started 1,000 feet below the lookout. At that point I had climbed up 3,315 feet vertically and four miles distance, from the trailhead near Lake McDonald Lodge.
June 5, 2015
Public Transportation between Whitefish and Apgar is scheduled to start this summer. Will post more once I get the details. Today is sunny and warm, for Northwest Montana. The weekend is scheduled for more of the same weather.
June 4, 2015
Will be adding a Altitude Profile for the Rockwell Falls Trail later today. Rockwell Falls Trail has minimal elevation gain for a Glacier National Park trail.
As the hiking season progresses I will add Altitude Profiles for the trails I hike this summer. If I have the energy will hike the Logan Pass to Many Glacier Trail again as it is such a spectacular trail. This time will make a major effort to start around 7 am instead of 11 am.
June 3, 2015
Just back from a meet and greet by Glacier National Park in Columbia Falls. 1) Annual Pass goes to $45.00 1-1-16 2) Expect half hour delays on East Side of Going-To-Sun-Road this summer. 3) Glacier National Park recommends using shuttle on east side this summer due to road construction. 4) Going-To-Sun-Road opening date from west side is still unknown. The unknown is due, in part, to 170 feet of rock work on outside edge of Going-To-Sun-Road that was swept away by an avalanche this spring. 5) 50% of Many Glacier Campground will be set aside in 2016 for Reservations. 6) May 1, 2016 the 7 day pass will go to $30 up from $25. Future Changes Under Consideration 1) GNP is considering Permit System for Day Hikes. 2) GNP is considering preventing overnight parking along the Going-To-Sun-Road 3) GNP is considering making the Going-To-Sun-Road shuttle only. 4) I will attempt to take better notes at GNP's next presentation. Remember second group is up for Consideration You can contact the park regarding their plans.
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Winter / Spring 2015 Information.Mamma Moose