Mileage: 11 miles
Walking a short distance from the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn to the Grinnell trailhead, we made our way towards our next adventure. This trail led us past Swiftcurrent Lake and then near Lake Josephine. The view across Lake Josephine toward our day’s hike was dramatic.
After hiking around the lakes we began to gain elevation and were treated with a wonderful array of sights. Many years ago, this mountain (below) reminded someone of an angel’s wing and is named “Angel Wing.” Grinnell Lake was just appearing behind a low ridge (center, bottom) and a snow patch to the right has been labeled “the salamander” due to the shape it retains throughout the year. The destination of our trail was Upper Grinnell Lake, a smaller lake hidden (in this picture) below the salamander.
Continuing to ascend up the trail, we soon were directly across from Angel Wing.
We were not the only ones on the mountain this morning. Big Horn Sheep were keeping an eye on us as we passed.
The trail wound around many large outcroppings of rock. The geologist in me was fascinated by the striations revealed as these mountains were thrust upwards..
Behold! The salamander on the mountain!
Upper Grinnell Lake was filled with big chunks of ice floating in the milky, aqua-colored water, typical of glacial runoff. The air was still quite cold when we arrived and there was a thin sheet of ice over the water.
As we took a little time to enjoy this beautiful lake, we also enjoyed a spectacular view of the chain of lakes we had hiked past earlier in the day.
As we walked back down to Swiftcurrent Lake, we had a great view of the Many Glacier Hotel across the lake. This hotel, built in 1915, was another one of the hotels constructed by the Great Northern Roadroad to encourage tourists to come to the park.
Today we saw another ominous bear sign.
But, instead of bears, today we only saw this friendly little guy!
As we settled in for our last night at Many Glacier, the moon rose over Grinnell Point.