Glacier National Park, Montana - Summer 2020 Episode 18
(adventurous music) - In this episode, we are going to drive to Going-to-the-Sun Road. We are going to hike to some amazing waterfalls and popular waterholes. Also, wildlife, and some of the most striking landscapes we've ever seen. Coming up next, Glacier National Park. ♪ I'm riding ♪ ♪ Riding, riding ♪ ♪ Riding in my RV ♪ ♪ My RV ♪ ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ Because I'm free in my RV, yeah ♪ (upbeat digital music) Definitely a resort, a KOA, for sure.
They have two pools, hot tubs, ice cream, you know, ice cream parlor. You know, that kind of thing. Definitely one of the better KOAs I have stayed at.
Very well located, just around 10 minutes from the west entrance to the park. A little pricey considering I'm not gonna enjoy any of the amenities, but there was nothing else. Who was it that said the national parks were going to be half empty this year? Uh-uh.
Definitely not the case, as we can corroborate by crossing the town of West Glacier. (upbeat jazz music) I passed by the visitor center and got my map. And even though it is late afternoon, I'm going to do at least part of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, just to get a lay of the land, if you will. And since we're going mostly east, the sun should be behind us most of the way. On this first section, the road hugs the southeastern shore of Lake McDonald, with beautiful views of the mountains that lay ahead.
So, let me see if I can stop to get a better view. (relaxed digital music) Oh yes, it is beautiful. And quite a few people enjoying the frigid waters.
Actually, an inflatable paddleboard is probably the best way to do it. And it is still a little smoky out here. (relaxed digital music) (people chattering) - [Girl In Water] All right. I can float.
- Hmm, that's a pretty tall cairn that they built. Oh yeah. I think we're getting to the good part. That's an amazing-looking mountain. (relaxed digital music) Here we are, Avalanche.
And this is one of the trails that I would like to do tomorrow. But we'll see. It gets really busy. And the parking lot fills up really early. This, by the way, the Avalanche Creek picnic area.
On the other side of the road is the Avalanche campground and the Avalanche Lake trailhead. (relaxed digital music) Amazing scenery. Amazing. Amazing mountains. Let's stop really quick. I stopped for the view ahead, but the view behind, it's even more spectacular.
Look at that. Even with the smoke. (relaxed digital music) That's a beautiful mountain. Heaven's Peak. 8,987 feet above sea level. This is a famous hairpin on the road here, called The Loop. Probably the tightest one in the whole Going-to-the-Sun Road.
What a spectacular place this is. And the road, not for the faint of heart. (relaxed digital music) Cool. There's a pullout. So, let's film some. Do a panorama. Take a selfie. And the Pelican Head update.
(relaxed digital music) All right. Let's continue. Did a quick Pelican Head update there. You know, as I do, periodically. Sometimes I forget, but. This is kind of narrow, and not having a center line in certain areas makes it feel even narrower.
At the beginning, I was kind of bummed out about the smokiness, But I think, in this context, it kind of adds to the visual experience, especially on video. It does give you an enhanced depth perception that you wouldn't get otherwise. (relaxed digital music) I've been hearing about this place for a long time. But, I was not prepared for the incredible beauty. (gentle music) I didn't notice the, the waterfall before.
Check that out. That's a waterfall. Right there. Below the glacier. It's probably glacier meltdown.
(adventurous orchestral music) Might be a good idea to stop right here. It is so stunning, the scenery. (adventurous orchestral music) It just keeps getting better. We continue, slowly climbing towards Logan Pass, the Continental Divide, 6,646 feet, or 2,026 meters above sea level.
See what I told you about the smoke? It gives it a certain sense of scale. Like layers on a painting. The more faded, the farther away.
(adventurous orchestral music) I believe that's the Highline Trail down there, which we are not going to do this time around. (adventurous orchestral music) Uh-oh, parking lot full. Expect delays. I was afraid they were gonna say that. Oh wow, look at the view towards the other side of the Continental Divide. (light upbeat music) Well, here we are at the Logan Visitor Center.
It must be our lucky day. It is actually past 6:00 p.m., so the visitor center is actually closed. Still, let's walk around a little bit.
Hidden Lake trailhead, huh? Probably more than we want to do this late in the day, but there's always tomorrow. That's the Going-to-the-Sun mountain, and it is pretty chilly and windy up here. All right. Let's continue. (adventurous orchestral music) (water rushing) Well, yeah, I gotta say I'm impressed.
Glacier here, definitely in the top 10 national parks I've been to. (water rushing) Gotta get that perfect shot. (light upbeat orchestral music) (adventurous orchestral music) Let me tell you something else.
I kind of like that Cruise America truck camper rental. It is perfect for this road. Let's park right here.
(people chattering) Look at that. This here is what remains of Jackson Glacier. The only one visible from the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Most of the other glaciers require some kind of hike. And it is no secret that they have been receding over the years. Apparently it was a lot larger back in 1911.
It is said that by 2030, they could all be gone. (adventurous digital music) Where is it? - [Man] There's a moose in the water. - [Woman] Do you wanna walk down this trailhead and see if we can see it? - In the water? - [Man] Yeah. It's down in this bank right here. - [Robert] There's a gentleman here with one of those scopes used to spot wildlife, and apparently there is a moose somewhere around the lake. But I can't see it.
- [Man] Scope is for looking up on the hill. - [Robert] Oh, I see it. - [Man] So you're not looking nearby.
- [Woman] Yeah. - [Man] Oh my gosh, that is so cool. Thank you. - Thanks for letting us look. - This is so cool to be able to see wildlife. And sometimes it is right there, hiding in plain sight, until somebody points it out to you. And this is more or less the area where I want to be hiking tomorrow.
So, we might be able to see more. Very, very cool. Let's drive a little farther. Although, the eastern part of the park, unfortunately, is closed as of summer 2020.
Let's stop here real quick to see the view. This, by the way, is Saint Mary Lake, the second largest in Glacier National Park. And fun fact, the opening scene from the movie "The Shining" was shot right here, around Wild Goose Island, to be exact. (upbeat digital music) Actually, let's just drive a little farther to Wild Goose Island Lookout, which is a more closer angle to that helicopter shot opening the movie, "The Shining."
(relaxed digital music) (gentle music) That last view with the island and that peak, that was spectacular. (Robert laughs) Well, tomorrow we'll come back. (upbeat digital music) It is getting late. Tomorrow, we'll make it an early start because even though it is going to be Tuesday, it is bound to get crowded.
I mean, all the campgrounds in the area are full to capacity. So all those people are going to be coming here. Today was a nice overview. Now tomorrow we're going to do some hikes, and hopefully it'll be a clear day. (upbeat orchestral music) (relaxed digital music) It's a brand new day.
And I came up with this brilliant idea of attaching the GoPro to the roof of the Colorado. Perhaps get better views, better colors and optics for sure, not going through the windshield. And since it is early morning, totally different light. We're going back into the park.
And today I think we're gonna go to the farthest point first and then work our way back west. I've been really looking forward to doing the Saint Mary Falls trail. Well good morning. Entering Glacier National Park. (upbeat digital music) Morning.
- Hi, welcome. Flip it over. Okay, thank you. - You're welcome. Okay, that was quick. Have I ever mentioned that national park pass is a really good investment? If you're gonna visit at least two national parks, it's a no-brainer. These are those first 10 miles driving alongside Lake McDonald that in any other setting would be stunningly gorgeous.
But to be honest, pales in comparison to the views up ahead. (upbeat digital music) Hm. He's in good spirits. (upbeat digital music) And I thought I was early. (upbeat digital music) We are now getting to the good part, and some of this might look repetitive somehow, but we're getting such different light today that I thought I might share it. (relaxed jazz music) This is The Loop. (relaxed digital music) Is it just me, or do we see blue skies? Like, the smoke is kind of starting to blow away.
(relaxed digital music) And we've made it over Logan Pass, and we've got sunshine. Every single pull-out, every parking area is completely packed. This is going to be a challenge. (upbeat digital music) There's space here but, let's continue. Let's continue down to the Saint Mary Falls trailhead as quickly as possible. Maybe we'll find parking.
Here we are and, as suspected, there is no parking available. Maybe we'll find something down the road and hike our way back. How 'bout that? (upbeat digital music) I think I said it once before.
I think the main issue is parking, really. Especially on a year like 2020, where the shuttle is not running. Parking is definitely insufficient. I mean, once you park, you are in nature, you know, it's plenty of room. But there's definitely insufficient parking, and that's true for Yosemite, for Yellowstone, and also true for Glacier. Maybe we can make our way to the other trailhead.
(water rushing) This here is Baring Creek. Very nice. Baring Falls should be a little farther downstream. (water rushing) Okay. We're gonna take a slightly different approach.
Let's go down to Baring Falls and maybe Sun Point. Yeah, the actual parking lot is for the Sunrift Gorge, which is the trail that goes up there. But, we're going down, we're going down to the lake. And I think after that, there's a trail that goes along the lakeside, the lakeshore, that should take us to where we wanna go.
It's in the 50s, there's a little bit of a chill in the air. But, I know if I wear my hoodie, I'm gonna be hot in about half an hour. So, I'd rather, you know, it is gonna get warmer as the day progresses and with the exercise involved in hiking, for sure. Yeah. I'm glad I took a picture.
So this is the, we're going to Sun Point right now, and then we're gonna backtrack to Saint Mary Falls, and Virginia Falls after that. (daunting orchestral music) Hm, a fork in the road. Saint Mary Falls Junction, 1.2. Should we go to Sun Point first? (sighs) Decisions, decisions. Well. In for a kilometer, in for a mile.
Let's go to Sun Point. Yeah, I probably won't need it since the trail is so, so busy, so well transited, but I decided to, to get my bear spray and put it on my belt. Because what good is it in my backpack? It'll take me five minutes to fish it out. So, here we go. Now we are protected. At least in my mind.
I am protected. (daunting orchestral music) Look at the layers of this rock. They're interesting. If we do encounter a bear, I imagine I'll be the only guy with the bear spray ready. And I'll be a hero. In more than one way, not only because I have a GoPro, well you know what I mean.
Ooh, so many bugs. I did bring bug spray as well. But, it's not too bad. The bugs are manageable. (daunting orchestral music) Look at that. It almost looks like the Paramount Pictures mountain. Wow.
Oh, and there is a waterfall. Perhaps that's the one we're hiking to later. Could be Saint Mary Falls, or Virginia Falls, or another entirely different falls, I don't know. (daunting orchestral music) Ah-oh. Well, I'm glad I brought my bear spray, just in case.
Sun Point is right there. 0.1 miles. (majestic orchestral music) Well, absolutely gorgeous scenery here from the Sun Point.
And view of these pointed peaks here at Saint Mary Lake, that's what it's called. And it's a beautiful view all around it, to me. 360 degrees of views of Saint Mary Lake here. And, you know, all this, all these pointy peaks, it's quite a sight. Well, let's start heading back and maybe we can hit that waterfall over there in the distance.
You see it? (majestic orchestral music) All right. Let's start heading back. (majestic orchestral music) And, to perpetuate the cliche, everything does happen for a reason, I think. Had I found parking at my original intended location, I would have never done this trail and never seen this. We're gonna see Baring Falls, Saint Mary Falls, and Virginia Falls, all the three of them.
And we are here. This is where we parked. So Baring Falls, here. Then it's gonna be Saint Mary and Virginia.
From here to Virginia is 2.8 miles. And then probably two miles back to where I parked. So, five miles, I think I'm good. I have plenty of water.
(daunting orchestral music) We've got some bluish rocks and some reddish rocks too. Interesting. I hear water.
We must be getting close to that first waterfall. (water rushing) (daunting orchestral music) Here we are, approaching our first waterfall from Baring Creek, the creatively named Baring Falls. (daunting orchestral music) That was very nice. Now let's continue.
And let's go see the other two waterfalls. (daunting orchestral music) Let me tell you something, I kind of wish I had brought my bathing suit 'cause this water looks so, oh it's freezing cold. Here we've got a little bit of an uphill segment of the trail.
Ah. So gorgeous. We've been going up and up pretty relentlessly. Yeah. Never forget to look back. Sometimes the best views are just behind you.
(daunting orchestral music) Is that a glacier over there? I think this is where we saw the moose yesterday. Somewhere around here. (daunting orchestral music) Saint Mary Falls, half a mile. (daunting orchestral music) There it is.
(daunting orchestral music) I'm gonna take a quick break here, sitting on this rock. Have a snack. And, with a view of the waterfall, right here. There seem to be people jumping off. There we go, there's a guy. Boom. He just...
All right. (water rushing) Very pretty double waterfall here. Let's see it in slow-mo. (gentle music) (water rushing) He's gonna do it. He's gonna do it. - [Man] Oh yeah, I'm diving.
- [Man] Woo! (water rushing) And people jumping off. It's a thing. (Robert chuckles) (water rushing) Well, let's continue towards the other waterfall, Virginia Falls. Gorgeous hike, by the way. Gorgeous hike. Oh no, we have to follow this creek. Hello, little butterfly.
Fly, butterfly. All right. We'll be careful. (water flowing) There we go. That's how you do that. (sighs) Little bit of a steep climb here. (water rushing) (gentle music) They're very nice here. Very nice waterfalls.
I'm assuming this is part of Saint Mary waterfalls, and that pool down there is crystal, crystal clear water. It's very inviting, let me tell you. Oh, we'll keep going. Up and up. We should be, a little over a quarter of a mile more to Virginia Falls.
But it's gorgeous. Gorgeous here. Look at this view. This is the view. Ooh, look at that. (intriguing digital music) According to this, apparently we still, we still have a little more to go.
Although, according to my Fitbit, we hit the three mile mark, so we should be close. All right, 0.2 miles, we're almost there. But let's see what's here. (intriguing digital music) Okay, I guess the trail continues that way, but let's just go to the viewpoint.
Look at that, look at those peaks. This place is amazing. There they are. (water rushing) (intriguing digital music) This is it, Virginia Falls. Oh yeah, definitely.
(water rushing) Look at that. (water rushing) Very, very impressive waterfall. Too bad the sun is right there, right behind us.
But, if you get close enough, you can see it. All right. Let's start heading back. All right, mission accomplished.
(relaxed digital music) Oh, this is a pretty nice view too. (relaxed digital music) You see, timing is everything. (water rushing) Now there is no one else here. As soon as I mentioned it, a bunch of people showed up.
Yes. That's just the way it is. (upbeat percussion music) (relaxed digital music) All right, we should have about a mile to go to our trailhead, which is not the official trailhead for this waterfall. By the way, I've encountered a couple of viewers here along the hike. So, hello to you all. Even some guys I just met, that they only knew me from the Yellowstone video on Amazon.
They didn't even know I had a YouTube channel as well. So, yeah. (relaxed digital music) Sometimes you just gotta stop and admire the scenery. It's getting windy here. It's turned out to be such a beautiful day. I am really glad the smoke has cleared out a little.
(relaxed digital music) Breathtaking. Breathtaking. I'm telling you, everywhere you look. (relaxed digital music) We made it. (water rushing) Okay, six miles from Sun Point. And it is 1.8 from here to Sun Point. So, almost eight miles today in total.
We might do a little more from the visitor center. But, as far as long hikes, this is it. (relaxed digital music) What a difference, huh? Today with blue skies.
Remember this place? Yesterday, it was all gray. It was almost dusk. But today, it is fantastic. (relaxed digital music) I don't know if it is that we are at the far end of the park. Oh my god, let me just take, just take a picture from up here. I'm opening every window but the one that I'm supposed to open. (laughs) I'm a little discombobulated after that long hike, but.
The view from here, from my window. Look at that. Isn't that something? Beautiful place, especially this, I think this is my favorite view of the whole park. Imagine on a clear day with no smoke. But we're gonna go to the end and then we're gonna go to that Logan Pass Visitor Center, see if we can park. And we might do a short hike, a short little hike. And maybe we can find a t-shirt. I don't know.
We'll see. (gentle digital music) This here is the boat ramp area. Pretty much by the end of the road, as of 2020. (wind whipping) (water flowing) Let's go back.
(adventurous music) Is it me, or is it getting smokier now? Must be the light. (relaxed digital music) Here we are, back in Logan Pass. Let's see if we can find parking. And here in this park, they also fly the Canadian flag, because this is actually an international park.
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Here we are, Logan Pass. As you saw, parking was a little bit of an ordeal, but we made it. And what a view.
I might do the hike to Hidden Lake. Yeah. Spectacular view, looking east. I mean, look at those peaks. What an incredible place this is. All right, let's go inside.
I got myself a little t-shirt here. It says "Logan Pass and Glacier National Park." You know.
I think it's that mountain. I don't know. In any case, I'm gonna take it to the car and then let's do the hike. It's one mile. I can, I've done seven miles, I can do one more mile.
To Hidden Lake. Let's do it. All right. Here we go. Hidden Lake trailhead. Oh no, it seems pretty steep. Look at that. (gentle majestic music) Yeah, what a view, huh? (gentle majestic music) Look how far we've come.
We still have a pretty long way to go. (gentle majestic music) At first, I thought this might be Hidden Lake, but it can't be it, right? It is too small. (intriguing digital music) We are almost there. It is just over this pass.
And there it is, Hidden Lake. The trail goes all the way down to the lake, but I think today we are going to turn around at the overlook right here. I think we've had enough fun for one day. This is such a beautiful view.
And a fitting end to our time here at Glacier National Park. (gentle ambient music) (deep somber music) (gentle majestic music) Oh, check it out. Wildlife. Just some mountain goats here, hanging out, bidding us farewell. Guess they're just hanging out here, huh? (gentle majestic music) Check it out. That's the visitor center. All the way down there.
(gentle majestic music) Hm, busy little trail. Makes sense, it being right here by the visitor center. It is a little strenuous, but the views are stunning.
(gentle majestic music) It is definitely getting smokier. Someday, we'll return to do the Highline Trail that goes from here all the way to The Loop, among all these high peaks. Can't wait. (daunting orchestral music) I hope you enjoyed Glacier National Park as much as I did. As you know, this was filmed in late August of 2020.
And this happens to be the last video to be released in 2020. Needless to say, a challenging year for most, even those of us who were able to travel. But, the journey continues. This also marks the beginning of our return trip back to Florida, which will take us through Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and eventually, Florida. So lots of road still ahead, as the epic summer 2020 road trip continues.
But more about that in the next episode, which will be released sometime in January. Until then, thank you so much for watching, and see you on the road. On the Going-to-the-Sun Road. (majestic orchestral music) (upbeat music) ♪ I'm riding ♪ ♪ Riding in my RV ♪