16 July 2011


Last day in the park, and after a late-ish start, we headed into the Many Glaciers area of GNP to get in one last big hike. After consulting with the ranger, we decided to hike up to Iceberg Lake, a 10-mile round trip with 1200' of elevation. The hike was beautiful, with lots of vistas and a changing ecosystem as we slowly climbed into the lake basin. Wildflowers turned into thick trees, which turned into evergreens. At one point, we had to scramble off of the trail as a mama moose and her calf came down towards us. There was a bear sighting (a mama and three cubs) towards the top of the trail, but we didn't see them.

At the top of the trail, the path opened up into an alpine meadow, and the lake sat, mostly frozen, in the cradle of the mountain. We stopped for lunch, then headed back down. The week of hiking has worn many of us out, and combined with the fact that there were some previous injuries, most of us were cranky and/or hurting and/or fatigued on the hike down. Once at the bottom, we jumped back into the car and sped off back to the car for a quick clean-up.

We got showered in record time (6 showers, 2 bathrooms, 35 minutes between turning the car off and turning it back on), and zipped down to the St. Mary's section of GNP for a boat cruise.

The boat cruise was terrific. We did a circuit around the lake, snapping photos the whole time. The captain told a lot of stories about mysterious mansions on the hill, donors who never visited the park, and cheetos-stained rock. After the cruise, we went back to The Two Sisters Cafe, then home for a night of packing and relaxing. Home tomorrow!

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