Auto Ads by Adsense

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Glacier National Park 2021: June 26th Mt Aeneas

 The morning came, and we drove up again on another dirt road to get to the trail head, this time it was even steeper and more washboarded, but the car was lightly loaded and we were in no hurry. The trailhead was surprisingly full, and we had to park down the road from the official parking lot, which was named Camp Misery. The boys were excited that they could  see snow by the side of the trail, and from then on any time there was snow on the trail I would get pelted with an icy snowball.

The hike started up some non-descript woods, but soon we were granted views of the Flathead Valley, with wide open spaces. The morning had started out warm and was getting warmer. 
At the intersection with Birch Lake we had to choose, and the trails were all marked with numbers (like all Montana trails that weren't in the National Park) None of the trail signs came with destination markers, and the map in the book was just as useless. Looking at the official map now, the correct move was to follow trail 68 and then split right after that, but that was definitely not in the book's map. Instead, we made the fateful choice to follow everyone else up 717 to Mt Aeneas, which would have taken us to the Picnic Lakes anyway!

After a quarter mile we ran into a bunch of hikers who told us they did not see a trail that went to the Picnic lakes. Nobody seemed to have a good map. But they told us the trail was worth it, and that there were goats at the microwave tower.

Sure enough, once at the Microwave tower, we saw a goat. We were told that an entire herd of them were there. We broke out lunch and stared at the area, including the Picnic Lakes, which were ice and snowbound. Indeed, some snowboarders had shown up with snowboards and had snowboarded down the incredibly steep sides and then climbed back up with the snowboards.

We debated whether to pushed on to the Aeneas summit, since there didn't seem to be a way down to the Picnic Lakes that didn't look dangerous. The kids were tired. The decision was seemingly made for us, when after lunch, hikers came down from the summit to warn us away as a grizzly bear was sighted on the trail to the summit! Now Boen was determined to see the grizzly bear if he had a chance!

After a bit of waiting, the hikers who'd been isolated at the summit came down and told us the grizzly was chasing the mountain goats, and had then dashed down the other side of the ridge. We were still nervous about going, but more hikers showed up and proceeded to hike up the trail, which meant that we would have warning if the bear were to return. The goats from the summit also sauntered slowly back down towards the microwave tower, so now Boen and Bowen were both emboldened.

The hike up looked easy, and was much less scary than many ridge walks that I had done, but both Bowen and Xiaoqin were feeling a bit worn out. That left me and Boen to finish the hike to the summit, which revealed a peek into the Hungry Horse reservoir and Handkerchief Lake.
At the summit, Boen caught a lady bug, and then we proceeded down, only to find that Bowen and Xiaoqin had gotten a second wind and decided to summit after all. Boen and I hiked down to the microwave tower to wait, and the others caught up with us shortly. The hike down was unev
entful except for seeing a family with 2 adults with pistols strapped to their sides.

We had an early dinner at the Flathead Lake Brewing Company, with excellent burgers. Returning to the resort, we borrowed the paddleboards for a quick paddleboard. Others were also paddleboarding, but falling off their boards. They watched with surprise as I took both kids out onto the Lake on one paddleboard with no incident. I told them that they just needed more people on their paddleboards.

We made arrangements to meet with Arturo the next morning at 9:00am, for our access to Glacier National Park's Going to the Sun Road! Xiaoqin made noises about running out of laundry, so I also searched for a laundromat opened early so I could do laundry.

No comments: