Glacier National Park Day 5 – Hidden Lake, Many Glaciers, and Virginia Falls

Today was our last day at Glacier National Park before heading to Canada. We woke up early to get our campsite packed up and get a good parking spot at the visitors center at Logan Pass. If you are thinking of vacationing at Glacier, get to the Logan Pass visitors center before 9am. The parking lot is full by 10 and it’s impossible to find parking. 

Funny story: we wanted to do an easier hike today since we had done such a big one the day before. We saw the trailhead for the Hidden Lake Overlook and it was only 1.5 miles there, 3 round trip. It also only had an elevation gain of around 550 feet, so we figured we could handle it in our sandals. Here is what the trail head looked like: 

   
 

Pretty easy right? We get over that hill and see this: 

   
   

See those little people hiking through the snow? At least half of the hike was through the snow. So, we did our “easy” hike through the snow, in our sandals. 

  
Haha! It really wasn’t too bad once we got over the shock value of walking through snow in sandals. We got a lot of comments from people we passed asking about how our feet felt. Honestly, the cold snow actually felt pretty good on our feet since we had walked so much the day before. No complainers here! And the Hidden Lake was gorgeous! 

   
       

We ran into another friendly mountain goat! Fan fact about mountain goats: the salt in human urine is helpful for them nutritionally, so they will often follow hikers around and wait for them to pee. 

  
I was surprised at the number of people doing this hike. According to the rangers, this hike is a very popular one at the park. After reading some of the trail books, I would like to do this trail again but continue on to the lake. Going down to the lake was another 1.5 miles, but every hiking book said it was so worth the extra 3 miles added to the round trip. Majority of people stop at the overlook like we did and head back. 

We went to the Many Glacier area of the park for the afternoon. To get to this area, you have to leave the park and re-enter in a different part. There were free range cows on the other part. Cow crossing! 

   
 Many Glacier has the park’s beautiful Swiss inspired lodge that sits right on a lake. 

   
 We spent the afternoon exploring the lodge and the grounds. 

   
 We bought some drinks and hung out by the lake for a while. 

  
Our biggest mistake of the trip was not spending more time here. It’s more expensive to stay in this lodge, but it would have been worth it. Next time, we are spending more than just an afternoon over here. We didn’t do any hikes starting from this area, but the Grinnel Lake hike is very high on my list. 

We headed back to the other side of the park because Travis rented us a cabin for the night, yay showers! On the way back, we saw a moose! We were pretty far away, but still neat. 

  
Before going to the cabin, I wanted to do the St Mary’s and Virginia Falls hike. This is the must do hike at Glacier for everyone. It totaled 3.5 miles round trip and was mostly level. The views of the Highline trail were my favorite, but this hike had the best ending destination. 

They were doing some construction on the road in the area but don’t let that deter you. It starts with .7 miles to St Mary’s Falls. 

   
   We then continued on another mile or so to Virginia Falls. All along the way, you fall a stream will some mini-waterfalls. 

   
   This is the one. It literally took my breath away. You could feel the energy coming off of this waterfall. You cannot pass this up! 

   

     After getting back to the car, we went to dinner at the Two Dog Flats restaurant and witnessed a beautiful rainbow. You could see the storm happening over in Canada.

   
 The clouds started to roll in, so we got some huckleberry beer and headed back to the cabin. 

   
   Tomorrow: on to Canada! 

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