We have wanted visit Glacier for a long time so even though it seemed crazy to drive 10 hours to the park with the kids, I decided we just had to do it. After camping in the Sprinter, Drew and I woke up at dawn, put down the top and started to drive. We left the kids sleeping in the bed in the back of the Sprinter and made it a few hours before they even woke up and asked for breakfast. Finally, rolling into the park a little after 3p, the kids got the junior ranger programs and headed to Lake McDonald for some outdoor rejuvenation. A couple days before, Mike surprised us and bought a flight to Glacier! We picked him up that night and had a taco feast! We were thrilled to have him join us on this park of our adventure……especially since our goal for the next day was aggressive: wake up at 5a again, pack up and get everyone dressed, drive nearly the entire Going to the Sun Road to the other end of the park, exit the park at St Mary, drive around and re-enter the park at Many Glaciers, secure a spot in the Grinnel Glacier Parking Lot before it fills up (usually by 8a), hike 10 plus miles with the kids- including little Lily and make it safely back out of the park and up through the Canadian Border to Waterton and the Canadian side of the park. Blessedly, it went without a hitch. The hike was GORGEOUS the entire way! Wildflowers abounded and stunning vistas greeted you at every turn. The lake at the top below the glacier was a true wonder to behold! I felt like we were back in Iceland! Lily was such a trooper—she walked the entire way!! We stopped to play in Lake Josephine on the way back and then took the old boat across that lake and Swiftwater, which was so fun for our kids, before walking back to the car. Great adventure! Being in grizzly country, Mike had carried bear spray with us the entire hike, but it was in Waterton, ironically, next to a Bear Crossing sign, that we saw our one and only grizzly! Thank goodness. I was very satisfied with the mountain goats and big horned sheep!
The first night we had slept at Lake McDonald and the second night we slept at the Rising Sun Cabins. Apparently, there is not enough parking in the park so we arose at dawn again and were rewarded with a parking spot and a beautiful breakfast backdrop in the parking lot at Logan Pass. Not wanting to push Lily too far two days in a row we did a lovely hike to Hidden Lake (6 miles round trip). The lake was freezing which didn’t stop Daisie, Mike and Drew from swimming, but certainly kept my feet on the shore! Lily loved the marmots and the sheep and goats we again encountered. The waterfalls, the wildflowers, the wild life and the glacial lakes put this park at the top of our list! We loved it!!