HIKING INTO THE BACKCOUNTRY AT GLACIER

Early last year, Zach's parents reached out to us with a proposition. Would we join them for a trip to Glacier National Park and spend a few days hiking through backcountry? I had no idea what I was getting myself into, so of course we said yes. As a kid, he grew up hiking and camping all over the Rocky Mountains. As for me? Well, I've never slept in a tent in my entire life.

 

The prospect of hiking many miles through backcountry was an intimidating one, so we tried to prepare as best we could. But nothing could have prepared us for how beautiful the scenery would be. Immediately after landing at the airport in Kalispell, Montana, we drove across to the park's east entrance, stopping at Lake McDonald to wade into the cool glacial lake and bask in the sun, in complete awe of the mountains around us. We made a loop of the Going-to-the-Sun Road and headed into Canada with wide eyes.  First destination? Waterton Lakes National Park, where a baby black bear greeted us in the parking lot of the Prince Wales lodge. Backcountry hike who?

After exploring the Canadian side of the International Peace Park, we headed back to the US and hiked into Glacier later over Logan Pass on the Highline Trail. Totally unreal. Hours later, we made it to our destination: a Swiss-style hiker's chalet in the middle of the mountains. Our time at Granite Park Chalet was wonderful; we saw endless fields of wildflowers, had quiet time to reflect, and witnessed some of the most amazing skies I've ever seen. It almost made the long trek back to civilization seem bearable.

Sperry Chalet, see you next summer!  

All photographs shot with my Hasselblad 501CM & Zeiss 80mm lens. Fuji Velvia forever and ever.