Road Trip 2017: Day 4
Day 4 was jam packed with awesome! After learning about the free shuttle on Day 3, we decided to get up early (around 5:30AM) and drive to the Apgar visitor centre so that we could get on the first express shuttle going to Logan’s Pass. This is basically the summit of the Going to the Sun Road and there is a parking lot and visitor centre up there as well. We were very, VERY thankful we got an early start!
We got on the second shuttle as there was already a long lineup of people there by 6:45AM. But I got to ride shotgun in the shuttle which was awesome as it afforded amazing views and photo opportunities through an open window. As we made our ascent up to Logan’s Pass, I was very glad we decided to take the shuttle as it meant I actually got to see stuff instead of concentrating on not getting killed whilst driving the road myself [lol]. We reached Logan’s by 8AM and the parking lot was already pretty much full. I’d guess you’d need to be there by 6AM if you wanted to get a parking spot.
As soon as we arrived, we started out on the Hidden Lake hike. It wasn’t very far, less than two miles but it was some of the most incredible scenery ever. There were waterfalls everywhere. The rocks were like a tiled mosaic. The kids had fun crossing the show covered trail in July! The mountains were majestic and so was Hidden Lake when we got to the end. There were loads of mountain goats along the trail as well which added a lot of fun to the journey. They trumped the many marmots who were also present! Unfortunately the further trail was closed due to bear activity and spawning trout. So we had to be content with the incredible, mind-blowing view of the lake from above. Aw shucks! [cool]
We hiked back to the visitor centre and walked through it and bought another sticker for the van. Outside, one of the rangers had a spotting scope setup to look at a herd of bighorn sheep that were resting on the rocks on the adjacent peak. I had my own monocular with me and we were able to view them and even capture cellphone photos of them through it. Very cool! From there we decided to go and check out the Highline trail. It goes from Logan’s Pass to the Granite Park Chalet. It was far too long for us to do with our kids but we wanted to see some of the scenery along it. When we reached the part where the trail itself is carved out of the mountain face and all there is to hang onto is a wire wrapped with a garden hose, we promptly turned around! It was awesome but it gave us nightmares for a week of our kids falling to their impending doom! [lol] Someday when everyone is bigger though, we are definitely doing this hike!
We jumped aboard the next shuttle going back west down the road and decided to stop at Avalanche. This area has a gorgeous hike through giant old hemlock and cottonwood trees, among others and was reminiscent of Vancouver Island’s Cathedral Grove. As you walk along this trail you run into the trailhead to Avalanche Lake. It’s only 2 miles but we ran into a couple from the south who told us they saw fresh bear sign on the trail. We didn’t have any bear spray with us either. We really wanted to do this hike but the kids were totally played out and we figured we would leave it for another day. Instead we hopped the next shuttle back to Apgar and drove to a picnic pullout on Lake McDonald. The little beach was glorious and the kids had a blast playing in the water. We cooked supper right on the beach and watched the sun go down behind the mountains. It was the perfect end to a perfect day!