Statistics: Red Rock Canyon 1 mile, Blakiston Falls 3.2 miles, Bullhead Lake 6.2 miles.
I wish we had had one more day in Canada and Waterton, for, of course, the day that we left for Montana and the Glacier National Park was a beautiful one.
As we were leaving the Prince of Wales hotel, the staff suggested two very short walks that were not far from the hotel and would fit into our trip back to the US, to the community of Many Glacier within Glacier National Park. We took their suggestion and would fit three shorter walks into this day: two in Canada and one in the US! Then, just as we were driving away from the hotel, and much to our surprise, a bear sauntered across the road right in front of us!
The trailheads for the two Canadian walks could be reached from the same parking area, so we drove to a car park along the Red Rock Canyon Parkway. There was no doubt as to why the canyon was named “Red Rock”.
This short trail took us up one side of the canyon’s stream, across a bridge and back down the other side. An impressive sight was Anderson Peak, towering above us, before returning to the trailhead.
We were then able to walk to the trailhead for the second, short hike to Blakiston Falls. This enjoyable walk offered several stunning views, including one of Mount Blakiston.
Blakiston Falls was quite a torrent of water tumbling down the mountainside. A series of steps had been added so tourists could check out the falls.
Once back in the car we drove on to Montana, again crossing the international border at Chief Mountain, but going south this time. As we approached Many Glacier’s Swiftcurrent Lake, we were amazed at the beauty of the US portion of this national park in the high mountains of northern Montana.
Our motel at Many Glacier, the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, was a clean and basic lodging, but with the advantage of putting us in the middle of fantastic hiking in every direction! We dropped off our belongings and, with several hours before dinner, immediately began exploring the area. We decided to walk to the base of Swiftcurrent Pass at Bullhead Lake. This hike would pass three lakes, the first being Fishercap Lake.
For the first portion of the hike, we walked with a woman who had decided to stop here just to read for the afternoon. We soon bid her goodbye and continued up the valley. A couple hikers about fifty feet in front of us started to wave their arms wildly and told us to stop. They had just seen a grizzly bear in the bushes directly ahead of our location. Standing still and with hands on our bear spray, we kept up a noisy chatter so as to not surprise the bear. After several minutes, the other hikers indicated they had seen the bear retreat and we could continue.
Reaching Red Rock Lake we were treated to the lovely Red Rock Falls.
Bullhead Lake, the largest of the three lakes on this trail, was at the end of the valley. By the time we reached this lake, Swiftcurrent Pass was not far off but the day was getting late and we did not attempt it – although I wish we had.
As we returned to the trailhead, we again came upon the woman who had spent the day reading at Fishercap Lake. She could not wait to show us a video she had taken while enjoying her peaceful afternoon. She had had a front-row seat observing several moose wading in the lake, oblivious to (or ignoring) her presence. As mentioned previously, I always miss out on the moose sightings!