Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks
by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
© 2012 Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The trail starts quickly traversing the Wall. It is easily traversed with a cable to hold on to if desired-about the width of a sidewalk- but if heights are a problem ???. We saw goats, sheep, & grizzelys. We had low clouds, rain, sleet, and snow. Moderate elevation climbs with no real steep areas. Good trail. The 4 1/2 miles from the Chalet to the Loop is through burned forest so not much to look at. The views from Logan Pass to the Chalet are great. If heights bother you to an extreme, you may not want to take this but once past the Wall you are high up but not a problem. If you only have a short time in the park, this is the trail to take to see the park.
We had a very warm day for our hike along the Garden Wall enroute to Granite Park Chalet. Upper 70s to lower 80's. For warm days, make sure you start early for maximum shade. Mountain goats and Columbian Ground Squirrels shared the path. The climb to Haystack Butte was the only part requiring effort. We planned to take the Switfcurrent trail the next day, but it was closed due to lots of bear activity. One hiker told us he had encountered 11 grizzlies on it a day before it was closed. Other hikers heard similar info from elsewhere, so we were less disappointed than we might have been.
Great hike!! A lot of wash out and the trail was still snow covered in many areas. The views were fantastic all along the trail. One of he best and easiest hikes in the park. We spent a night at the Granite Park Chalet. If you can get in, it is well worth the stay. Starting from Logans Pass is the way to go. End up at the Loop then take a shuttle back to your car.
This trail has the best views in the park. Aside from being long this trail is relatively easy. This is a must hike for anyone going to glacier even if you don't hike the whole thing. Watch the mountain close for mountain goats and big-horned sheep.
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