Wild West Adventures-Day 11

States Visited Today

On Monday, July 6, 2020, we woke up fairly early and had some normal breakfast provided by the hotel today–eggs, sausage links, and a biscuit for me and just biscuits for Andrea. From there it was about a 30 mile drive to get to Glacier National Park.

When we reached the visitor center we received some bad news. The few parking lots they had open normally had already filled by 7:30. We didn’t get to the park until about 9. We asked the friendly park ranger about some trails and received some good ideas.

The first trail we tried led to Rocky Point and then followed a lake. Upon arriving, there were some other people on the trail that had been informed that there was a grizzly bear with a cub seen on the trail. Since mother bears are notoriously protective, we decided to pass on doing this trail, much like the other group that we ran into.

We then went back to a trail that was near the visitor center. There was a trail that went to a creek, but it did not have any views of the mountains.

At this point we ready to call the day a wash. We went back to the visitor center so I could use the restroom. We then sat and debated for a little while and I felt we needed to at least try to see the mountains while we were there.

We decided to go up to the Polebridge area (on the west side of the park) more than 20 miles away, half of the drive being on unpaved roads. We did catch some glimpses of the mountains along the way.

When we came close to the ranger station there was a sign saying the road was closed ahead. The parking lot at Bowman Lake, our destination, was already full and it was a six-mile hike just to get there.

We did a short trail, Covey Meadow Loop Trail, that was next to the ranger station instead. It led to an open field with a view of the mountains. The whole time we walked the trail I was afraid a grizzly might appear though.

After the long drive back to the visitor center area we tried to go up the Going-to-the-Sun Road but it was still closed. And by this point it was too late in the day to make it to the state capitol in Helena, which was another option we had bandied about while debating whether to leave the park or not earlier in the day. So as to not waste a day we went straight to Billings, Montana.

Along the way we had good views of the mountains near East Glacier.

We went through the Blackfoot Indian Reservation. Then lots of cow farms, some farms for a plant used for canola oil (the flowers are a pretty yellow), some smaller mountains, plateaus, and buttes, and then finally to Billings for the night.

View from the ridge above Billings.

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