Friday, July 8, 2011

Exploring the West Side of Glacier National Park

We spent Tuesday through Friday night's in Whitefish Montana and drove back to the west side of GNP park for our daily adventures.  Many of the more spectacular sights near Logan's Pass were inaccessible due to high snow cover and flooding of the roads and trails.  I guess I'll have to return in the future to experience them first hand.



Actually the high snow is good for the park.   It may help delay the retreat of the remaining glaciers.  There were approximately 150 glaciers in 1850 and most of the glaciers were still present when the park was established in 1910.  In 2010 there were only 25 glaciers left larger than 25 acres in GNP.  It is predicted most of these will be gone by 2030(http://www.nrmsc.usgs.gov/research/glacier_retreat.htm).

Wednesday the temperatures hit 80+ degrees and we rafted the middle fork of the Flathead River with the Glacier Raft Company located in West Glacier. The river was running high and fast, and the mountains looming over us made a spectacular view as we rushed down the river.  We covered over 27 miles on the river in less then 5 hours including a hour on shore for a BBQ lunch.  Later in the season when the water levels are much lower, the same distance is covered in a 2 day trip.



Thursday we went horseback riding through the woods and marshes at the Apgar area of the Park, located by the West Entrance of the Park.



Friday morning we hiked in GNP, and in the afternoon we checked out the Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort. We didn't ski, but I did take Hayley on her first chairlift and alpine slide ride. Saturday we wondered around the town of  Whitefish before we headed to the airport to fly home.

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