Day 16

States: Montana
Total Miles: 4848
Time Zones: In my 3rd still


Snow is today's word of the day. It may have been raining on our drive over towards the park, but once we started up hill a bit, we were in snow. My goal was to get over to the Many Glacier area of the park which is on the east side near the Canadian border. Since Going-To-The-Sun road is closed, we had to go around the southern part of the park and up the east side. It was a little nerve wracking on part of the drive where we were in snow and slush on non-guardrailed roads on mountain sides. All I could think about was how much snow there would be on the way back.

We got in 2 hikes, one a easy 2.6mile nature trail around Swiftcurrent Lake. The lake is at the end of the Many Glacier road and as usual, most stuff up there was closed. The store we stopped in at St. Mary's, the eastern gateway to the Sun Road, had just opened up the previous day. Late May and stores are just being stocked. Wow.

The second hike was a 1.5 mile 700 vert ft. hike to Apakuni Falls. Interestingly, the trail sign had it spelled out phonetically - Appekunny. It was such a nice peaceful hike in a blizzard. Well, lots of snow, not much in the way of wind or anything nasty. It was so quiet, all I could hear was the snow hitting the shoulders of my rain jacket. The falls were pretty nice, too. My father and I were pretty surprised to find out from my GPS that we were only 10 miles from Avalanche Lake. All that driving around south and the time it took and we were only 10 miles from where we were the day before.

We were pretty surprised on the way back when the roads were clear of any snow and the temperature had risen quite a bit. Coming back down I was zipping around a corner when something caught my eye. It was a black bear on the side of the road. After flipping a U-turn, we pulled along side and he stayed there for a minute or 2. Got some so-so picks, but it was pretty neat seeing him.


Nice little falls on our way over towards Glacier:

The summit on the way over (John F. Stevens on the right):

Entering the Blackfeet Nation:

Glacier entrance at Many Glacier area:

Don't Feed the Sheep (Swiftcurrent Lake):

Starting of the Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail:

Bridge over the Swiftcurrent River:

An unused dock:

The Chalet:

Closed for the season of course:

The start of the Apakuni Falls hike:

Yah, it's snowing a bit:

Snowing even more on the return:

Will it make it?

The falls:

The cute little black bear we saw on the drive back:

Down toward Moab is next, with 2.5 days of travel. What will we see?

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