Mileage: 11 miles
We stayed at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn near the Montana community of Many Glacier for a third day (and night). This day’s adventure would initially take us past Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine, then on toward Mt. Grinnell and the Grinnell Glacier, with Upper Grinnell Lake as our destination. The view across Lake Josephine toward our route for the day was dramatic.
After hiking around these lakes we steadily gained elevation and were treated to 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 the snow patch to the right has been labeled “the salamander” due to the shape it retains throughout the year. In this picture below, Upper Grinnell Lake is hidden below the salamander.
Ascending 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 kept 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 in the rock, revealed as these mountains were thrust upwards over the millennia.
Behold! The salamander on the mountain!
Upper Grinnell Lake was filled with 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 on the lake’s surface.
As we took time to enjoy this beautiful lake, we also enjoyed the spectacular view of the lakes passed earlier in the day.
Walking 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 hotel constructed by the Great Northern Railroad to encourage tourists to come to the park.
Then we saw another ominous bear sign.
But, instead of bears, we only saw this friendly little guy!
As we settled in for our second (and final) night at Many Glacier, the moon rose over Grinnell Point, an extension of the range that contained the peak of Mt. Grinnell.