Yellowstone National Park | Glacier National Park July 3-7
We got up, ate breakfast, and went straight to the Brink of The Lower Falls. That is, we thought we would go straight there but we got distracted (again) and went to see the beauty of Gibbon Falls. The Gibbon Falls is upstream from the confluence of the Gibbon River and Fire-Hole River. The Gibbon Falls has a drop of 84 ft. There is no historical record on how the waterfall got its name, but the name is most likely from U.S Colonel John Gibbon (Yes that is seriously his name). Next, to the Brink of Lower Falls.
The trail to the brink was a little steep, in a zig zag pattern, and kind of gravelly ( That’s a real word). Otherwise, it was a good path. It did not take long to reach the bottom. Maybe like 15-30 mins to get there. When we did get there, I got a lot of cool slo-mo’s and saw the famous green racing stripe on the Lower Falls.
From the brink overlook, we could see the Grand Canyon of the YELLowstone and I YELLED out to see if it echoed. The people next to me promptly moved back like I was crazy. I’m pretty sure that I am not crazy. As I looked over, I could see double rainbows defying gravity. Rainbows are made out of light so they can do that.
That was the last thing we had planned for Yellowstone and we spent the rest of the day exploring the town of West Yellowstone. The first place we went to was an Ice Cream shop to cool off during the hot day. I don’t know which flavor I chose, but I think it was something chocolate. Then we shopped for souvenirs, meaning magnet time. But after that it was resting for the whole day.
We checked out of the hotel early in the morning after we ate some breakfast. Then we went as fast as we could to Glacier National Park. We passed through a lot of towns, one lake and the Welcome to Montana sign. Even though we started in Montana ( that’s where West Yellowstone is), we had to go to Idaho for a little bit to then get to Glacier National Park.
We reached our destination two hours after lunchtime (we ate lunch on the way). We went inside the park through the Saint Mary entrance, (I think that’s what its called), and then we went to Many Glaciers near Swift-current Lake. Fun Fact: many of the lakeshores and tips of the mountains at Glacier National Park are red. They are red because of the iron oxide (rust) in the rocks creating a red hue.
Fun Fact: Glacier National Park is said to be the paradise of hikers and glaciers. Fun Fact, Again: there used to be 150 glaciers in Glacier National Park but now there are only 25 glaciers. This is because of Climate Change or Global Warming. We went to Many Glacier hoping to see some bears but we did not stay at Many Glaciers long.
My dad took photos with his phone and sunglasses, making cool shading effects, while my sister ran around being weird. Then we saw the sun reflecting on the lake really brightly and it looked like the lake was glowing. But then we went to catch a sunset at McDonalds (No, the lake is not McDonalds® property). We had to go along the Going to the Sun Road, which had a lot of attractions along the way.
Some of those attractions were Wild-Goose Island in Saint Mary Lake, Waterfalls, the Weeping Walls, and the Mountain views. First, we got off just before Logan Pass to see the surrounding mountains. But there were too many mosquitoes there. All the mountains, valleys, lakes, and geological features in the park were formed by glaciers, and it was clearly evident at the place we stopped at.
Next, we passed Logan Pass and saw the magnificent views down the other valley and also saw the weeping walls close to it. The Weeping was not actually weeping, rather water veins got exposed during the building of Going to the Sun Road. Sometimes the runoff from rain and snow gets absorbed by the ground, creating even more powerful weeping walls.
We passed some glaciers on the way to Lake McDonald. Or big chunks of ice that slid down close to the road from higher elevations. The ice was pretty dirty so I’m not sure which. But I got in to a hole in the glacier; a part that was melted from the heat of the sun and atmosphere. No, I did not stay there for the rest of the trip, but I took a photo inside instead.
We quickly got to McDonald Lake soon after and we tried to take a photo of the sunset. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy and we could not take a photo of the sunset. So I’ll tell you guys some facts about the Lake. The largest lake in the park, Lake McDonald, is 10 miles long and is over a mile wide. It does not belong to the National Parks but rather the McDonald® fast food restaurants. Ha HA. Just Kidding. All the National Park Features belong to the U.S Government since the NPS is part of them.
As we left the park we saw fireworks because it was July 4th. The fireworks were set off right beside the road so we could see them as they blasted off from the place they were put at. I just hope aliens won’t come like in the Independence Day Movie. We stayed in Kalispell and checked in at night (It was night by then). It was a TraveLodge® hotel.
We woke up early morning, ate breakfast from there, (normal routine). Then we went straight to Glacier National Park. We passed through the tunnels and we went to Logan Pass where we saw some Mountain Goats. They were chilling a bit up in the mountains, so no clear photos, but there was a lot of wool there. I could tell they were still shredding–sorry shedding. Shredding*, (this means look at the end*) it’s not like goats can use guitars. From Logan Pass we went to the Trail of Cedars/Avalanche Creek Picnic Area. That’s where we parked, though it took a long time to find a spot. We were going to Avalanche Lake that day. Avalanche Lake is 2.25 miles to get to, which means it is 4.5 miles roundtrip. Not a lot of distance, but it would take a long time.
Before we went to Avalanche Lake, we took the Trail of Cedars (we did not loop back though instead, we went to the Avalanche Lake trailhead). We saw many waterfalls from the creek and a lot of spiderwebs. They did not bite me, so I did not get to be Spiderman. We reached the lake after about three hours. Avalanche Lake is 63 feet deep at maximum. Avalanche Lake gets its runoff water from Sperry Glacier. We took A LOT of photos. It took us another three hours to get to the Picnic Area from Avalanche Lake. Both the Glacier and Lake were named after and named by Lyman B. Sperry, a key person in promoting Glacier to a National Park. We were hungry when we came back to the Picnic Area.
We couldn’t stay in the Picnic Area to eat because of two reasons, one because the picnic tables were full and two, because people mostly used that area as a parking space for the Avalanche Lake Trail. So we went to the Lake McDonald’s parking lot and ate our lunch. Right next to the parking lot, we saw a Deer peacefully foraging for some leaves. It let me get close, but not close enough to touch it. The Deer soon ran off. We sped all the way to the roadside glacier and saw a Mountain Goat climbing up to where we were standing, at the edge of the road. Then we went to Logan Pass, where there was an overlook. The paths of the overlook and the roads beside it along with the ice wall near it were all flooded with goats. One of the goats almost hit me. There were some Mountain Goats down the road too.
There were Bighorn Sheep too along the way and we took a lot of photos and videos of them too. We saw what I think was the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep when we were at the Valley of Fire in our 2019 trip. Bighorn Sheep are also called rams and are used by Dodge as a symbol for their cars. Fun Fact: their horns can weigh up to 30 pounds! After that, we went to Goat Lick to see more Mountain Goats. But first, we were hungry, so we went to Rising Sun Pizza and the Pizza was so good. We ate on the way, and reached Goat Lick after a long time at dawn. There were no Mountain Goats though so we started back soon. So we decided to go to Two Medicine Campground to catch the sunset in the lake. Along the way, we saw the Amtrak Train too.
We did catch the sunset, but the outside of the car was crawling with bugs and mosquitoes, so I did not get out. After the sunset, we went back to the hotel and slept after the exhausting journey.
The next morning, we decided to take a drive around Going to the Sun Road to see if we would have more luck spotting the Grizzlies. If you guessed that we did not see ANY Grizzly Bears, as in ZERO Grizzly Bears, then you are correct. We started to go home fast after that.
Long after, we saw a lot of cherry trees so we bought cherries and ate them along the way to our home.
On our way home, we saw the Cadillac Ranch and decided to go see it. The Cadillac Ranch is actually 10 Cadillacs buried nose-first all at the same angle. All of the cars are graffitied and that is actually encouraged, so bring a spray can the next time you visit the Cadillac Ranch. One is the 40s model, six 50s models, and three 60s models.
They are all at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza. The cars were moved from their original spot 2 miles west. People have stolen stuff from the car and the axles and wheels were melded together to prevent further theft. We didn’t graffiti the cars but we saw other people doing it. We started going back home soon after though. That was it for the Road Trip of the Summer of 2021. Until next time…………
Shredding*- a very fast, intricate style of rock lead guitar.