From Flathead Lake, we drove to Glacier National Park in Montana with a first stopover at Apgar Visitor Center. This visitor center is at the foot of Lake Mcdonald’s. This lake is the largest one in the park.
First order of business was to get a campsite. Apgar campsite is first come first serve and by 4PM-ish we’re able to get a site. It was $20 a night for a site. Pitched the tent before dark and headed out for the first hike in the park.
Apgar Overlook hike was a 7-mile round trip and considered one of the strenuous in the park. We got up there to the top and back in about 4-hours.
Campsite here is pretty basic. No shower, but flush toilet. Near the visitor center there is a cabin, coffee shop and a small grocery store. Most of the things are very expensive here. But, there are groceries and supplies much cheaper right outside the national park.
Next day we decided to drive through “Going to the Sun Road” and stop at every overlook for pictures. My 16GB card seemed not enough to take in the scenery. The park is just plain breath-taking.
Parking at the Logan Pass visitor center is pretty hard to come by, but be patient, someone will leave eventually.
We started by noon-ish on the hike to Granite Park Chalet through continental divide. It is an approximately 12-mile hike requiring the entire day to complete. Since, we started late, we decided to go for a 6.6 mile round trip with plenty of stops for photos and mountain goats.
Another famous hike in the Apgar side of the park is Avalanche Lake hike. The trail is so popular that is it is nearly impossible to get parking during day time. So, we decided to go there for sunset. It is a 5.5 miles round trip hike to the lake and moderately strenuous hike. But, the lake is plain spectacular. No wonder it is very popular.
Having not showered for more than 24-hours, the ice-cold water at Avalanche lake was irresistible. So, we went for a dip in the lake that was pretty much butt-freezing.
By the time we got done with hiking and swimming in the lake, it got real dark. We didn’t have any campsite for the night and I was getting nervous. Because the cabins in the park tend to be very expensive. Sleeping in the car was an option, but, I wanted to rest my body well.
We tried driving to Rising Sun or St.Mary campground through Going to the Sun Road. Unfortunately, past Logan Pass the road was closed for repair from 9PM to 7AM. So, we had to turn back.
We took a chance and went back to Apgar Campground at 11PM. The campground was full but, there was one young couple playing cards at that hour. We requested them to share the campsite with us and without hesitation they did. If the ranger came to know, we would have gotten yelled at for this.
Moral of the story: We shared our campsite at Redwood National Park with someone, and someone else returned the favor to us. I paid them half the cost next morning.
To read part II here.