Road Trip Part 3: Glacier National Park

Grinnell Lake 

After a rainy, thunderous night of camping in Yellowstone, Dan and I packed up the tent and headed for Glacier National Park. The drive from Yellowstone to Glacier was absolutely GORGEOUS! I now understand why they call Montana, "Big Sky Country." The sky seriously looks enormous! I snapped a few photos from the car along the way...

I had been complaining that I hadn't seen a bear yet and I was pretty sad about it - The minute we drove through the Glacier National Park gates, BOOM! A black bear crosses the road in front of me! I was soo excited! Little did I know that this was just the first of the 12 or so bears I'd see throughout the trip.

Our first night's stay was at the Many Glacier Hotel which sits on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake. The hotel was built in 1915 and was modeled after a Swiss chalet. The hotel was very charming and affordable but the room walls were paper thin - the man next door had a terrible cough and it kept us up all night. I truly felt like I was living in 1915 when there was no cure for common illnesses and the poor man next door was about to die -thankfully, he didn't.
The rooms are far from luxurious, as they try to keep the rooms as close to  the originals as possible but they did have all the necessities and nice showering products (always a plus). The room's saving grace was its view. The view was unbelievably gorgeous. With this said, I wouldn't recommend staying at the Many if your room doesn't have a view. If all the rooms with a view are booked up, I highly recommend you still visit the hotel and hike to Grinnell Lake. 

The views from our hotel room.

The very first hike we did was to Grinnell Lake - the trail head was just a few feet from our hotel room. We knew that Glacier was bear country and with a bit of research, we knew to bring bear mace (most effective and least harmful to bears). However, we are from So Cal, where the closest bears are a few hours away so we are definitely not bear experts. Of course, the first thing we saw as we started out on the trail was a bear warning sign! Needless to say, we were a bit scared so we tried to make as much noise as possible along our hike to let the bears know we were coming. As if the bear warning sign wasn't enough to worry us, we ran into a few hikers about a half of a mile in who had just seen a mama grizzly and her two cubs swimming in the lake. They were pretty freaked out and as we were talking to them, a man walks buy with two holstered guns around his waist - a little excessive I thought, no? Despite the warnings we received, we continued on and were comforted by seeing other hikers on the trail who were also making loud noises and ringing bells. The hike was stunning from start to finish and oh, so worth it! Definitely, the most beautiful hike I've ever been on.

Highlights along the way to Grinnell Lake:

This was my favorite part of the trail - the boardwalk was built a few feet off the ground (safe from snakes!) and was completely lush with wildflowers and ferns on both sides.

How cool is this swaying bridge?! It was something that you'd see at Disneyland except this was real, and it led you to the most beautifully colored lake in the world.

Grinnell Lake...
Once we made it to Grinnell Lake I was amazed at how much the water color changed. The clouds sweep through the sky so quickly that the sunlight would either deepen the amazing aqua color or make it a bit brighter. After seeing how awesome the hike was, we wanted to continue on to see Grinnell Glacier but because of the recent bear sightings, the trail was closed. From what I hear, Grinnell Glacier is pretty spectacular - definitely will be doing that the next time I come.

As I was posting this, I didn't realize how many photos I took and how much we did while we were there so I'm breaking up the trip into a few posts. Stay tuned for more beauty and adventures to come!

Still to come...

- Going to the Sun Road -

All Images: Love.Inspire.Create


  1. Oh! This Idaho girl (now living in a North Carolina world) just got happy!! Thank you for posting "home" - feel like it was a slide show just for me. If you would have posted 50 more it still wouldn't be enough - never tire of the great Northwest. Can't wait to see more.

    xoxo michele

  2. Well Michelle, you are in luck! There is much more to come!