Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks
by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
© 2012 Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The first 1.8 miles are steep but shady. After turning the corner to go up to Snyder lakes the trail levels off and the last 2.6 miles are quite easy. The scenery gets better too as the forest gives way to ferns and smaller plants which reveal the gigantic peaks all around the trail. I did the hike in mid August and didn't find the bugs to be bad at all, in fact I didn't even need bug repellent. Oh also, there weren't very many people on the trail going to Snyder lake which is a nice change from the main trail.
This is a great hike. It starts in a very forested section-big trees-lots of shade and as the elevation gains, the vegetation changes to flowers. we did not see a lot of wild life-one mule deer looking for a "hand out". Great small stream crossings.
when we got to the top, the lake is very quiet-lots of places to sit and think. Nice hike. My 13 year old did it. It is up hill all the way for the 4.4 miles.
A beautiful and perfect hike for a moderate hiker. The climb is absolutely breathtaking, especially as you near the Snyder Lakes. At the beginning, the trail gradually climbs alongside a creek far below. A short stop along the way will provide a perfect picture of Lake McDonald. After about 1.8 miles at an "intersection" , you turn left to continue to the Snyder Lakes. The moderate climb definitely sooths the mind and soul, as it was very secluded. A huge rock landslide suddenly appears, as its magesty was breathtaking. Suddenly, the lower Snyder Lake appears, and it's inhabitance of cutthroat trout is immediately evident. This trail was a perfect day hike, and I highly recommend it.
I met a group on their way out of this trail, begging for insect repellent and advising us to turn back. My wife and I always finish a trail once started, so we continued on, thru tall ferns and an enormous talus slope. On it's own Snyder lakes are alright, but I'd save my energy for the more rewarding trails like Avalanche, and Swiffcurrent to Grinnell Lake/Glacier. If you do go, do not forget the insect repellent!
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