We woke up with all our muscles so painfully sour that hiking another trail did not seem possible. The original plan (hiking the Sun Point Nature trail down to Virginia Falls) changed when we found parking next to Logan Pass Visitor Center. Without making a conscious decision, we started going on the Hidden Lake trail. After a steady fight with the snow, we found the lake, took a few pictures of/with it and called it a day. As planned, at noon we were back in the car, driving back to Richland.
As early in the morning as we could (which happened to be around 9 am), we woke up and went to have breakfast next to the McDonald Lake. It was interesting to see a deer coming to drink water from the lake, then searching for food around the picnic area. We took the Going to the Sun Road and stopped at almost every turn to take pictures. The scenery became more impressing after the Loop. We decided to visit the Many Glaciers area of the park before taking a trail (according to the home-made plan, we were supposed to take the Loop Trailhead to Granite Park Chalet and continue on the Highline Trail to Logan Pass). Saint Mary Lake offered a few spectacular views on our way out to the east.
It took about an hour to get back in the park in the Many Glacier area. After lunch we decided that it was time to step on a glacier, so we took the Grinnell Glacier trail. This was one of the best trails we hiked, it offered nice views of lakes and mountains almost all the way. Unfortunately the trail was closed at some point because some snow did not have the courtesy to melt and was considered hazardous. We turned back without the glory of touching the Grinnell Glacier.
Contrary to all expectations, Lida was ready to hike more and she decided to compensate not walking on a glacier with seeing an iceberg. We started hiking on the Iceberg Lake trail at 6 pm. The trail was not as nice as the Grinnell Glacier trail: except for a little waterfall (Ptarmigan Falls) we only saw some trees. Things changed a little as we got closer to the lake: we entered another mountain amphitheater, enclosing a lake. Some dirty ice was still floating on top of the lake, but it did not impress us much. The fear of meeting a bear at night (it was already 8 pm) forced us to head back as fast as we could. After two hours of singing in the woods we made it safely back to the parking lot and we promised ourselves not to do such stupid things in the future.
Two hours later we made it back to the west entrance of the park, where the park police caught me speeding (42) in a 25 miles/hour section. This delayed our arrival to the motel for 30 more minutes (until they decided to let me go with a warning only). We were so tired that we slept without even hearing the drunks yelling in the bar across the street.
We started the trip later (around 9 am) than we planned (8 am). The drive was quite boring for most part in the Washington State. It became quite interesting when we got to Coeur d’Alene, but then it got boring again all the way through Montana. It was only close to the Park that we started seeing the real mountains. We checked in at the motel (West Glacier) and enjoyed the first hike in the park: the Avalanche trail. We were not very impressed with the trail itself, but we ended up in a mountain amphitheater surrounding the Avalanche Lake which was quite breath-taking. On the way back we stopped next to the McDonald Lake to admire the calm water with the tall mountains in the background. We got back to the hotel to get some sleep, wake up early and hit the Going to the Sun Road. Unfortunately, we were not exactly in the middle of the nature (as we expected when we booked the room), so instead of birds chirping we heard drunks yelling at the bar next door, and kept us awake until after 1 am.