Glacier can be overrun with crowds in the summer season. So I wanted some sort of a get-away hike to really feel in the wilderness. A recommendation from a friend sent us to the Northwest side of the park to hike to the Quartz Lakes, which start from the Bowman Lake area.
If you are looking for a quieter side of Glacier, you can't go wrong with an escape up here. Miles of dirt roads (our four door rental sedan made it just fine though we might have felt more comfortable in a larger car) led to a wonderful lake perfect for a canoe or kayak. Our hike took us along Bowman Lake for a steep start to the morning. Then we crested over and visited and explored the Upper and Lower Quartz lakes. We saw only one other set of hikers on the trip, a couple who were camping along one of the lakes.
We tried squeezing this 12.8 mile hike in before rains came in for the day. But we were unsuccessful. The first 8 miles or so were fine but then torrential downpours changed our mood. We were soaked from head to toe by the end of the hike. Our trick of leaving extra clothing in the car paid off and we managed to get slightly more comfortable for the drive back to Whitefish where laundry and a much earned afternoon nap were waiting for us.
The rains weren't all bad, though, as they produced wonderful clouds and fog to view and drive through along back country roads. After our nap, we drove back out Going-to-the-Sun-Road and Kelly was able to produce this timelapse.
Total Distance: 12.8 miles, ~2500 feet of elevation gain