First Weekend of Summer 2012 – Glacier National Park

Going to the Sun Road opened completely mid-week and that was all the motivation I needed to head to Glacier National Park for the first weekend of summer.

I arrived at Sprague Campground around 8:30 Friday evening, thinking early to bed, early to rise and all that.   Despite not getting to sleep as early as I had hoped, I was off and running again before sunrise and quickly came upon first a large bull moose and then a large black bear, about 100 yards apart from one another.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t yet enough light for photos, but I did enjoy such a start to the day.

I took my time on the way up Going to the Sun and, practically having the road to myself, was able to crawl up the pass and make frequent stops.  Nothing better than having overlooks that are crowded by mid-day all to yourself…

The morning light on Heaven’s Peak was, indeed, heavenly.

Bird Woman Falls and her friends were lovely.

Snow melt fed waterfalls around every bend.

At the top, fog obscured what little view the snow banks allow.

Just before reaching St. Mary Lake, I came upon a small cinnamon colored black bear with blonde highlights.  Based on size and facial features, I surmise this is a 2nd spring cub, recently on its own.

Wildflowers were abundant and luxurious.

And from that point on, fog and rain were consistent.  Sometimes it misted, sometimes it was a light rain, sometimes a hard rain, and sometimes a torrential downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning.  I made camp at Rising Sun before visiting the soggy Many Glacier and Two Medicine areas of the Park.  In the evening, I sat, for a time, at the Rising Sun overlook of Wild Goose Island on the shore of St. Mary Lake.  Occasionally a few sun beams would escape through the cloud cover.

My bedroll, with me on it, did not float away during the night, so Sunday morning I broke camp and headed back over Logan Pass.

The Weeping Wall was gushing.

As I continued west, I left the dark clouds behind me.

The North Fork of the Flathead River was running high and muddy, with a stripe of aquamarine where Bowman Creek enters.

Cutleaf anemone was common along the North Fork Road north of Polebridge.

On my way home, I detoured through the National Bison Range and enjoyed the evening song of western meadowlarks.

more photos here:

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