After long days of hard hiking, we decided to take a somewhat easier day and hike a relatively flat path out from Two Medicine Lake to Upper Two Medicine Lake and back. Somewhere along the way, this plan morphed into a 12 mile hike. Not exactly an easy day.
But it was beautiful. The Two Medicine area of Glacier is slightly less crowded than other regions and because we got our traditional early start, we had most of the day on the trails to ourselves. In fact, we enjoyed our entire lunch break at Upper Two Medicine alone, leaving right when a small family arrived to enjoy the view themselves.
Our day started off with watching a black bear grazing in grass along the road and then a short hike out to Roaring Falls (also known as Trick Falls). This waterfall is actually a stacked waterfall with the upper cascade tumbling over and in front of the lower falls. When water is high, the falls blend together in a giant display of rushing water. Because we visited in early summer, when snow is still melting from the peaks, this is the view that we got.
We found our trailhead in the campground and headed out for our primary hike. Long smooth trail paralleled Two Medicine Lake. We eventually made our way to another set of waterfalls (Twin Falls) and then out to Upper Two Medicine Lake. The day was windy and choppy so we hung out behind some trees for our lunch break.
As part of our whole ‘making the day longer’ decision, we headed back towards Two Medicine Lake along the south shore, making a side trip to Aster Falls along the way. By the time we got back to the boat dock, we had hiked nearly 12 miles. The camp store was open and we delightfully grabbed some soft drinks for the remaining walk back to the car. It was a long day and our feet were tired but it was also a fabulous sunny day in Glacier National Park, something we never take for granted.
How to find the hike: To get this mostly flat, 12 mile loop, we strung together a series of trails. The trailhead where we parked is in the campground at Two Medicine (not the boat dock or camp store area). The hike ends back at the boat dock, so you’ll have to walk back on the road just a bit (1/4 to 1/3 of a mile) to make it a loop. You can do the full distance we did by doing the out and backs to Twin Falls and Aster Falls. Neither is too long and both are beautiful sites. If you need to cut the distance a little shorter, you’ll be happy with your day even without those sites.
The drive to Two Medicine from the St Mary’s area was long but shorter than a drive to the west side of the park, so definitely check it out if you are staying in that area.