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three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

New York City, New...
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three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

I’m going to visit GNP with my family during Sep 15-17th: Four adults, two youths and two elders around 60(the elders are not good at hiking).

Here's my plan, please give me some advice, thanks a lot!

Sep 15th: arrive west glacier at 2pm, then drive along the Going-to-the-sun road to the east. Along the way, take a few stops at Sunrift Gorge, Sun Point, Rising Sun, and we’d hike Saint Mary Falls/Virginia Falls Trail(and/or baring falls trail) and take some dusk photos at wild goose island. Stay at swiftcurrent inn for the night.

Sep 16th: take the 8:30 am boat to hike Grinnell Glacier Trail. I heard the last part is pretty steep and difficult for old people, so we may not go all the way to the end before we return. Later that day, maybe I’ll hike Swiftcurrent Nature Trail with my wife. In the night we’ll stay at motel outside the east entrance.

Sep 17th: take sunrise photo at wild goose island in the early morning, then hike the Hidden Lake Trail(we’d like to go all the way down to the lakeside). After lunch, we’d like to rent a kayak for an hour in the McDonad Lake. In the afternoon we drive along GTTS road to the west and leave west glacier.

The following are some questions I’m considering:

1. Any suggestions for the trail choices? Basically we’d like to hike some easy or moderate trail with nice views, not too long, as my parents are not good at hiking. Considering the mid-September season, are the trails I chose easy to hike in mid September? As there won’t be any flowers I guess, will those trails still be beautiful?

2. Which lake is the best for kayaking?

3. Is there anything to do at night in the GNP? Is it dangerous to be outside in the dark?

Whitefish, Montana
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1. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

Well to start with the last boat in Many Glacier is on the 15th of September

glacierparkboats.com/Many-Glacier_W3601.cfm

The views along the Grinnell Glacier Trail are great even if you don't go all the way to Grinnell Glacier

www.glacierhikers.com/grinnell-glacier.html

The photo at the bottom of the above page is the view of Grinnell Lake from Grinnell Glacier Trail and is about 3.5 miles from the Swiftcurrent TrailHead.

RedRock Falls on the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail is fairly easy

www.glacierhikers.com/redrock-falls.html

Not sure that I would wait for sundown at Wild Goose before my first trip to Swiftcurrent Inn.

You have to leave the park to get to Many Glacier and it is Open Range which means that cows and horses have the right away. Lots of the cows are dark colors and difficult to see at night.

I'd suggest . . . well I just went and checked on when SCI closes and it turns out that it closes at 9 am on Sept 16 of this year.

Many Glacier Hotel is open till the 22nd so I guess you could see if you can make reservations for there.

Won't be any boats for rent see above

These trails are beautiful with or without wildflowers.

Stargazing

montana slow hiker

New York City, New...
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2. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

Thanks very much Montana_slowhiker!

Is RedRock Falls better than Swiftcurrent Nature Trail?

How is the Iceberg Lake Trail? Is it easy to hike? Is it beautiful even if we don't go all the way to the lake?

North Carolina
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3. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

The Iceberg Lake trail is a moderate 9 miles, with mostly the uphill coming at the very start. The views along the way are nice, but you don't see the lake until the very end, and that's the big payoff.

You mentioned Sun Point in your original post. Keep in mind it's closed due to road construction.

Detroit, Michigan
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4. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

May want to point out the beginning of Grinnell Glacier gains quite a bit of elevation as well as the last jaunt to the Glacier itself is strenuous! This is a ridgeline hike very exposed no shade! Take plenty of water, sunscreen, and hats.

Hidden Lake is a great shorter hike with incredible vistas in every direction, one not to be missed!

If your non hikers really do not want to hike let them take the car while you hike.

I may suggest a drive over to Waterton for the non hikers although you must have your passports. The views from the Prince of Wales Hotel of the Waterton Lakes is spectacular. If those of you that like to hike join them, from the visitor center across the street go up Bear's Hump (short but strenuous) for outstanding views! There is also Red Rock Canyon that is beautiful no hiking required and a short waterfall hike. There is also a waterfall right in the town center. Not sure when Prince of Wales closes for the season.

Edited: 12:33 pm, August 29, 2013
New York City, New...
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5. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

Thanks for the information, I guess I'd have to give up Iceberg Lake Trail for this time.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

Thanks for the advice mzambo, we will definitely try Hidden Lake Trail, and consider travel north to Waterton maybe:)

indiana
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7. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

I'm going to chime in here and tell you that the trail to Hidden Lake Overlook involves a lot of steps on a boardwalk. These steps bother my knees more than any trail in the park and just wanted you to know. They are not like regular stairs, but more spaced out and not as high. I almost think that is worse than regular stairs. Just wanted you to know. Good suggestions of Swiftcurrent as far as you want, maybe Red Rock Falls, mostly flat and also Grinnell Lake, maybe 5 miles RT from the hotel but mostly level walking.

Edited: 4:55 pm, August 29, 2013
Detroit, Michigan
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8. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

Hikes brings up a good point about the stairs on the Hidden Lake Trail they are not normal stairs, but a friend of ours who will admit he is very out of shape in his 60's took it at his speed and did it. It was his accomplishment for the trip. He loved it. So it is a matter of what they feel they can do. I will say the scenery drives you on.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

thank you hikes and mzambo, I'll have some backup trails in case.

10. Re: three day plan in mid September, need advice please.

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