The second leg of our trip was to Glacier National Park, in northwestern Montana. What a gorgeous place. This park is in the Rocky Mountains, actually the narrowest section of the range at only 34 miles wide. We camped at Avalanche Campground on Monday night (8/28/06), but our visit to the park consisted mainly of a drivethrough, since we needed to get on the road and this park is close enough to La Grande that we can visit again fairly easily in the future. We will definitely be returning, because the park is breathtaking.
I got up before Shaun and Emma on Tuesday morning (8/29/06), and walked around the campground and on the Trail of the Cedars Nature Trail that went off around Avalanche Creek from the campground. It was a nice little walk with interpretive signs, and crossed a beautiful waterfall at Avalanche Gorge.
This picture doesn't do it justice. The gorge is made of a soft stone, and the water had carved it into curves and holes and caverns. The water was an amazing shade of turquoise, and crystal clear. I’d like to return and do the longer (4 mile round trip) hike up to Avalanche Lake and see the whole creek and the rest of the waterfalls.
We tore ourselves away from the campground and kept driving through the park, admiring the spectacular views all the way.
The road winds up through and around the mountainsides, and at some points seemed perched on sheer cliffs. (Seemed? No, it WAS perched on sheer cliffs!)
If you click to enlarge, you can see the road in the center of the picture, right through all that loose rock. It made me a little dizzy, actually. We didn’t let Emma get out of the car when we stopped to admire the views.
Onward to North Dakota!