Our last trip into Glacier was to do a very popular hike, “Avalanche Lake.” This hike doesn’t have much of an elevation change (~700 feet) and is only a couple of miles one way. It is also just past Lake McDonald, so it is a popular one for all ages.
Oh boy! What a difference a few days makes!
The park was now “open,” we surmise because it was after Memorial Day. The campgrounds that were closed when we were in the park just a few weeks back were now full, and we were lucky to find a parking spot to go on the hike.
So, of course, there were lots of people on the trail. While this did make us feel better in terms of wildlife, for me it really detracted from the feeling that we were out “exploring.” It definitely didn’t feel so remote when you were passing other people every minute or so.
The hike was beautiful though, and went by a stream, a heavily wooded forest with lots of fallen trees (still not entirely sure why), and ending at a beautiful lake.
Our closest call with a bear was on the way back, when people kept asking us if we “saw the bear.” Apparently, someone ahead of us kept telling the oncoming hikers that there was a bear up on the trail. If there was, we didn’t see it, but we really think the person was either messing with everyone or meant to say “deer.” There was a people habituated deer that stayed pretty close to the trail that we saw on the hike out and the hike back.
The Belton Chalet
After the hike we decided to have dinner at the Belton Chalet – a place Doug had read about in a book. Our waiter (who was from Tifton, Ga, and had been up here for 15 years and “never been back“) told us that they had been serving at that restaurant since 1910.
The first words out of his mouth were also, “So were you two out hiking?,” which made us realize how gritty we looked (and hopefully not smelled).
It was a very nice restaurant, and ended up being the nicest meal we had on the trip so far!