Mileage: 15.7 miles
The next day, we rented a car to drive the 39 miles from our motel in Many Glacier to the Logan Pass on the Continental Divide, where the Highline Loop trail begins.
This trail sign was too easy to mimic – so we did!
Initially, the trail followed the contour of the cliff face high above the Going to the Sun Road, which can be seen in the lower left of the picture below.
Leaving the cliff face behind, our trail was visible across the loose rock hillside, with the “Garden Wall” up the hill to our right.
The walk across the shale was easy going and with far reaching views in all directions.
For most of the afternoon we had an airplane’s view of Lake McDonald, where our next lodging was located.
The Fall colors were beautiful along the Garden Wall.
Marmots were very much in evidence and were not shy about having their photos taken.
Our lunch stop would be at the Granite Park Chalet which was easily seen long before we reached it.
As we relaxed over lunch we realized that Mt. Gould was clearly visible between two peaks of a mountain ridge. Just the day before we had been on the other side of that ridge looking up at Mt. Gould! Also, Upper Grinnell Lake and the “Salamander” snow patch were on the far side of this ridge. From our new location, another, 30-minute trail would have put us up on the ridgeline. It would have been fun to climb up the ridge and look down upon yesterday’s trail with its chain of lakes and other beautiful sights. Wish I had taken the time…
Leaving our lunchtime chalet we soon entered a surreal forest of dead trees from a fire some ten years earlier. Fall colors were very much in evidence as the ground shrubbery was exposed to full sun in this burned-over forest.
This spectacular hike ended at “The Loop”, a drastic hairpin-turn on the Going to the Sun Road, where a park service shuttle picked us up and returned us to Logan Pass. From Logan Pass we drove down to Lake McDonald and our next lodging, The Lake McDonald Lodge Complex.