Mid-June is definitely not summer in Glacier National Park. The snow is starting to recede, and the wildflowers are just starting. Nights are cold, but the long days and lack of crowds make it a great time to visit. Last year we had such a great weekend at Many Glacier campground in early June that we went again last weekend. There were a few folks in the campground, but not many.
A group of big horn rams visited the campground one evening. They’d probably been hanging around for a few weeks, and were doubtless perturbed that people were suddenly invading their space.
We hoped to be able to hike a good part of the way to Iceberg Lake, but the snow stopped us after just a couple of miles. No worries, though – it was still a spectacular hike.
The Iceberg Lake Trail is not only a favorite of hikers: the bears are quite fond of it as well. Having my bear spray along helps me feel more comfortable, for sure. There were four of us hiking on this trip, and we all had bear spray: if a bear had indeed surprised us I can just imagine the foggy fiasco as we all sprayed each other! Just to be on the safe side I tried to hike at the end of the line. This trail is one of my all-time favorite. It’s about 5 miles to the lake – which usually has ice chunks floating in it all summer – and only climbs 1200 feet in that 5 miles. And the views! Here’s a sample from just the first couple of miles:
Flowers, too. Pasque flowers, glacier lilies, indian paintbrush, forget me nots…
The chipmunks love the flowers as well:
We didn’t see a single bear on our hikes, but one guy did spend some time in the trees near the campground. He wasn’t too cooperative about having his picture taken, though!