Our first full day in West Glacier was spent backtracking to East Glacier on the Going to the sun road, visiting the Logan Pass Visitor center for our Junior Ranger badges, and finally getting our hike in on Hidden Lake trails.
Going to the Sun Road
To be honest we went back and forth on whether we should take a Red Bus Tour. I loved the idea of someone else driving so we could all enjoy the scenery. Having a tour guide talk us through all the finer points of the journey was also something I was interested in. But, my kids get car sick and we really didn’t have any clue as to whether this winding road trip would head south if you get my drift. We opted to have the kids close to their own window and drive ourselves. Well hubby drove. I hung my head and camera out the window for pictures.
Like this one.
And this one.
And this one.
I have no idea how long we drove. It was all beautiful. Even the kids were quiet and enjoying the scenery. Double plus they never got sick. Score one for the Smith team!
Logan Pass Visitor Center
Parking is an issue at this remote location. It is a great spot for hiking and the views are spectacular. We left early in the morning in hopes of getting a parking spot. I think we got there just before the rush and were able to get a parking spot within 10 minutes. The Red Bus Tours do stop here but you also have the option of riding the bus from the St Mary Visitor Center. If you cannot get there early enough for parking just take the bus from the East side. If not, you may not be able to stop at Logan Pass. We saw many people precariously parked on the side of the road hiking some seriously uphill distances to get to the Logan Pass visitor center. I was quite happy hubby got us up super early to get this all done.
The kids enjoyed the Junior Range badge program. I was so impressed with this location we even got some not-free souvenirs in the way of 2 stuffed animals. What can I say? Sometimes even I succumb to the call of needless things. Wanting to remember a day forever will do that to you.
Hidden Lake Trail
I am glad to say our hike was uneventful even if the sign promised otherwise. We kept a keen eye out for bears. Luckily, we didn’t see any while we were on foot.
Hidden lakes trail is one of the easier trails to traverse in this rugged country. The walkway is almost entirely a platform. The only hard part is its almost completely uphill. The steps are not uniform and they are big. For my not quite 6 year old, it was quite a trek. Some of the steps were above his knees. but he was a trooper and we made it a good ways up the mountain before sitting down to enjoy the view.
We (and many others) found an outcropping of rocks to catch our breaths and eat a little lunch. We decided to turn back here. There was still a ways to go and the trail looked to get even steeper. On the trip back we saw a mountain goat. All in all it was the perfect hike for my crew spanning ages 5-62.
The drive back down was still awesome. And the beauties never ceased. Our next stop was Lake McDonald Lodge for some food and fun.