7.23.2014

Glacier National Park: Iceberg Lake and Ptarmigam

glacier national park going to the sun road

I promised more eye candy and I am delivering today!  For our first full day in the park, Bron and I thought it was essential to drive Going to the Sun Road: the main road that winds up and up and up through the park and back down again.  The views were incredible!

glacier national park going to the sun road
 ^^What I looked like most of the day^^

If we'd stopped at every turnout that caught my eye, we would have never gone hiking!  I thought I'd have another chance to get my shots the next evening when we'd drive up the road again with some magical golden hour light.  Well, the next evening the mountains happened to be socked in with smoke from fires burning in adjacent states making the views quite hazy.  What a disappointment!  Lesson learned: if something sparks your soul, stop to take a picture NOW!  Oh well.  The feeling of just how majestic the mountains were will just have to live on in memory.  I obviously took plenty of pictures anyway.  Hehe

glacier national park going to the sun road

We made it to the other side of the park where we began the nearly ten mile (round trip) hike to Iceberg Lake.  The trail was busy with people and very well maintained.  Plus, the views... oh, my!  Bron and I got into our rhythm and marched right on up.

glacier national park summer flowers
 ^^Wildflowers EVERYWHERE!^^
glacier national park summer
 ^^Notice the fallen trees all broken sloping downhill from an avalanche^^
glacier national park summer
 ^^I learned that Glacier National Park is also known as the Alps of North America.  Sure fits the description!^^
 ^^Snow in July!  Lots of it.  In fact, some trails were still closed due to snow and wouldn't be open for another couple of days or even weeks.  Crazy!^^

And then we made it to Iceberg Lake!  It was a mountain lake formed at the base of those vertical cliffs you see above that still had huge chunks of ice floating atop its aqua colored water.  Wow!  Wow!  Wow!

iceberg lake glacier national park
iceberg lake glacier national park jumping on ice
 ^^Of course we took off our shoes and waded out into the ice cold water just to climb on top of a giant piece of ice for a photo!  Jumping just made me even cooler.  :)^^

We were floored.  Iceberg Lake took the cake as my favorite thing we did/saw on our entire trip.

We ate a picnic lunch and headed back down the trail.  About halfway down, the Ptarmigam trail (five miles round trip) veered off and practically begged us to explore it too.  So we did.  Bron was actually kind of planning on hiking this one since the beginning.  He knows how to push every ounce of energy out of me.  That's just how we roll on vacation.

glacier national park ptarmigam hike
 ^^Water...
glacier national park ptarmigam hike
 ...and more water.  So pretty!^^
 ^^We passed another glacial lake and these colorful rocks as well.  The purples and blues were everywhere!^^

At the top of the trail there was a tunnel through the mountain that led out onto a spectacular view of the lesser seen inside of the park.  Perhaps one day we'll bring our boys here and backpack down to the lake. Maybe.  Anyhow, the scene called for a kiss on top of the world with my Honey!

^^Insert Imagine Dragons song, I'm On Top of the World!  It was running through my head about then.^^
glacier national park ptarmigam hike
 ^^The tunnel entrance^^
glacier national park ptarmigam hike
 ^^Someone pinch me!^^

Fifteen miles and seven hours later, we arrived at the bottom of the trail exhausted but triumphant.  And STARVING!  So we grabbed dinner at the Many Glacier lodge on this lake.  It was like a dream!  I could totally spend a summer up there with a view like that every evening.  

glacier national park many glacier lodge summer july
glacier national park many glacier

A breathtaking day (both literally and figuratively) that I'm sure we'll remember for the rest of our lives.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I had no idea Glacier NP was so awesome. I've driven through it- I was maybe 12 at the time and didn't appreciate it. The car sickness probably played into that, plus just being 12. Your photos are gorgeous. The lake with the ice- so crazy! It's July, I know, I just sweated my brains out in 100 degree weather yesterday. This looks like a fantastic summertime getaway!

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  2. I CANNOT HANDLE this. So gorgeous! Can I just move there with y'all? :)

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