Thursday, July 25, 2013

Highline......and a nice visit from Miss Serendipity

Wild Goose Island in Lake St. Mary

We had planned to get a relatively early start Wednesday to drive back up to Logan Pass and hike part of the Highline Trail.  The entire length of this beautiful trail is about 12 miles end to end, but our modest goal for the day was to go as far as 1 hour would take us and then turn around making it an out and back hike.  Relatively early turned into leaving the coach around 9:30 to make the drive you get to the Logan Pass parking area by 10 you can usually get a parking spot, but we arrived at 10:15 and were shut out.  We continued on down the west side of the pass as we had the day before and snagged a spot in a small parking lot at a scenic overlook about 1/2 a mile from the trailhead.

The drive up to the trailhead was pleasant, but there were 3 small construction zones we drove through along the way.  There is a lot of road construction going on in the park this year.

We parked the car and started walking back up to the pass where the Highline Trailhead was.....there is no shoulder to walk on so you have to walk in the road with the cars part of the time......not fun as there is a lot of traffic up there, even on a Wednesday.

We were only an 1/8th of a mile into our hike when we came upon several mountain goats feeding at the side of the trail......we've been disappointed in the lack of wild life in the past 10 days, but Wednesday was different.

In this picture you can see the hand cable attached to the rock if you feel the need to hold on.

Shortly after we saw the goats we hit this 3/4 mile section of trail that is cut out of the side of the TLE's right the drop is about 800 feet to the highway below.  There are hand cables attached the rock wall along this entire section, but the trail is pretty wide so you don't feel in danger......just keep your eyes on the trail.....stop to look around.

Here you can see the highway below and the trail higher up to the left.....the views were just stunning, but you had to keep your eyes on the trail most of the time as one bad stumble and you fall 1,000'.

Eventually we came upon another family of mountain goats using the human trail.

TLE got  this picture of the momma goat trying to get by looks like she is charging me, but she was really just trying to get by with her baby......I was trying to give her room, but this is a narrow trail.

The baby following close behind the momma.  These goats were amazingly unafraid of's obvious they see a lot of them in this area.

In all we hiked around 3.4 miles out the trail in an hour.  At the one hour mark we found a small rock ledge to sit on where there was just enough room for other hikers to pass by.  This trail is not for the faint of heart.  There are very few places where a fall from the trail will not mean certain death.  

It was good to do some hiking again, and we loved the Highline Trail....I think it would be more enjoyable at a less busy time of the year as you are constantly having to stand aside to let hikers going the opposite direction pass by, or visa versa.  This is a very, very popular trail that takes you to Granite Park Chalet where, if you have made reservations in advance, you can stay overnight and then complete the rest of the trail the next day.  People typically leave their cars at the Logan Pass Visitors Center and take the shuttle bus to the "Loop" parking lot where they pick up the Highline trail and then hike to the Chalet to overnight, then hike back to the Logan Pass parking lot the next day and pick up their car.

Highline Trail

We arrived back at the St. Mary Visitors Center parking lot around 2 pm after checking out a couple of other dry camping sites north and south of town we opted for Johnson's of St. Mary Campground just north of town a 1/4 mile up on the side of the hill with views of Lower Lake St. Mary.

Before we had left for our day of hiking I was reading a blog I have followed for 6, or 7 years now called RV Dreams Journal and saw that Howard and Linda were also at Glacier National Park doing some site seeing and hiking.  We have come close to crossing paths with them for 18 months now, and here we were in the same exact location.  I sent them a message just before we left to drive up to Logan Pass, but I'm sure they were already out on their daily hike.  After we set up at Johnson's I was sitting at my computer around 5 pm and looked out my window at the 5th wheel parked two sites down and realized it was THEIR 5th wheel....a Cambridge.  Well, they had just returned from their hike so I walked over and introduced myself.....they were just getting ready to take their showers, so I said just come on over when you are ready.  They came over around 7 and we sat and chatted for about 2 hours.  Howard and Linda quit the "workaday" life at age 42, and are now in their 8th year of fulltiming.  We have benefited immensely from their journal, and their experiences in making our transition to fulltimers.  It was so nice to hook up with them after all this time.  They will be leaving St. Mary Thursday heading east, and we will be heading south.....until we meet again Howard and Linda!

Howard and Linda

Here is a picture of our view this morning......Lower Lake St. Mary in the background as the sun is rising.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I got your blog from Howard and Linda. We too relied on them a lot before going fulltime, (and still do). We'll be your new followers on the blog.

    We post daily and have since 2007.

    We've been fulltime since December 2010.

  2. Thank you for your comment.....I'll check out your blog too. Thank you for becoming a follower!


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