We had big plans to revisit both our favorite hikes from our last trip to Glacier and to see as much new stuff as possible. Based on where we were staying and the weather, we figured we’d need to head out to the west side of the park for our first full day.
We saw a spectacular sight at Wild Goose Island just after sunrise. (Kelly has a shot from this morning for sale in our shop).
We got the second or third parking spot for Avalanche Lake and made the relatively easy hike up to the lake. In the grand scheme of things, this hike is easy but be warned that it does not always feel like that. Despite modest elevation gain, during the hike it really does feel like you are working hard on the way up. We had done this hike one other time and loved it so it was a must-repeat. All said, we clocked this hike at 6.5 miles this time, between extra traipsing along the lake and completing the Trail of the Cedars around the base of the hike. We had good luck with views of the lake and shot several time lapses. Kelly liked a photo he took well enough to put it up for sale as well (two keeper shots in one morning is a really good day for a photographer!)
After our hike to Avalanche Lake, we found ourselves on the west side of the park and wanting to see something new. We had a few options but the sound of the Apgar Lookout tower won out despite significant elevation gain. Indeed, the trail had a lot of elevation gain. But slow and steady worked out just fine for us and the three of us in our late 30s hiked at a comfortable pace that still pushed as past groups that looked to be much younger than us. This 7.2 mile round-trip hike is doable for a variety of fitness levels, especially if it is the only one you do that day. And it’s located on the west side where you may easily find yourself staying for some or all of the trip. Just take your time and appreciate the fact that you have views to absorb the whole way up. At the top of the hike is a fire tower that you can climb for great views of Lake MacDonald. It was the perfect place to enjoy lunch. Dave even got a selfie from the web cam at the lookout.
After the easy downhill hike back to our car, we grabbed ice cream at Apgar Campground, drove back over Going to the Sun road, shot some time lapses, and enjoyed the late afternoon sun. I can’t remember when or if we ate dinner that night but we made another drive up to Logan Pass for sunset, which turned into a wildlife viewing session in the Logan Pass parking lot (big horn sheep frequent the area, especially in the morning and evening).