Mileage: Hidden Lake 6 miles Avalanche Lake 6.2 miles
Leaving Lake McDonald Lodge and driving 21 miles back up the mountain, we returned to Logan Pass to begin our first of two hikes today. What we did not know was that this would be our last sunny day. By morning the next day, the pass would be closed due to snow!
Preparing to begin our hike to Hidden Lake we struck the hiking pose that the sign seemed to require! The trail will skirt around to the left of Clements Mountain which is before us.
The mountain goats had managed to avoid us previously, but not so today. When we reached Logan Pass two goats were resting on a rock, as if waiting for us.
A small climb which was enough to warm us on a chilly morning carried us to the Hidden Lake Overlook. We kept thinking that the views could not get much better than this!
The trail had been relatively crowded up to the overlook, but most tourists/hikers did not walk beyond it. We had the trail to ourselves as we continued on to the best parts of this hike.
Starting the descent, we had the feeling that we were being observed, and to our amazement, another goat appeared!
The aptly named Bear Hat Mountain dominated the skyline as it loomed over the lake.
As we approached the lake the meadows near the trail were covered in bear grass which has tall, white, pompon flowers.
The lake was just as lovely at lake level, the perfect place to have a morning snack and enjoy our beautiful surroundings.
On the return trip, the Big Horn Sheep were out enjoying the sun.
As well as the goats!
Another hiker was kind enough to snap a final photo of us as we left Hidden Lake and headed back down the trail to Logan Pass.
Descending, there was a marvelous view of Reynolds Mountain.
As we were enjoying the wildflowers and vistas, we failed to notice the distant clouds creeping up the valley! These clouds carried quite a punch and would deliver enough snow to close the Going to the Sun Road the following day.
Before getting back in the car to drive to our next hike, we decided to have our lunch. We were joined by a very friendly squirrel who had perfected the fine art of begging!
Driving 16 miles back towards Lake McDonald, we arrived at the Avalanche Lake Trailhead, where Avalanche Creek was quite a sight as it tumbled down the mountain.
The colors of the stones in the creek added to the picturesque sight as we hiked on to the lake.
Once at Avalanche Lake, we were treated to a stunning panorama of the surrounding mountains and waterfalls.
Returning to our motel at the end of the day, we took the time to explore Lake McDonald Lodge, another historic hotel built in 1913 as an attractive destination for newly mobile automobile owners and train passengers, who could use their new transportation for a vacation in the park.