Last week I hiked in Glacier National Park for the first time! My favourite hiking buddy, Rachel, and I did Highline Trail a.k.a. Garden Wall. It was AMAZING, and now I am kicking myself for not getting down there sooner! I am moving to the Okanagan Valley, so this was Rachel and my last adventure before I leave.
Our goal was to meet at 6:30 am and head out, but we didn’t end up leaving until just before 7. This screwed up our plans a little, as the Logan’s Pass parking lot was completely full when we arrived at 8:10 am. We stopped at the entrance and asked for advice, and the park ranger told us to park up at the end of the Highline loop, where we would finish our hike, and then take the hiker shuttle back down to the trail head. This plan worked almost perfectly…but there was a long line for the shuttle, and after 20 minutes of waiting, it came by and picked up only 3 people! A group ahead of us was done waiting, so they put out there thumbs, and the first truck that saw them picked them up…lucky! There was another guy hitchhiking, and after at least 10 minutes of trying, a vehicle pulled over for him. The driver said they had room for two more passengers, so Rachel and I jumped on that opportunity and hopped in! It was a cool experience hitchhiking; it felt like I met a goal I never knew I had!
We rode back to the beginning of the trail with our new hippie friends from NYC (the couple who picked us up), and Wisconsin, the man that hitchhiked with us (from Madison, Wisconsin).
Somehow I managed to cut my finger within the first 3 steps of the hike… it wouldn’t stop bleeding, and of course the only thing my first aid kit was missing was BANDAIDS. So with Rachel’s assistance, I threw together a make-shift leaf bandage…. #outdoorsurvivaltips #hardcore
The trail starts directly above the Going-to-the-Sun Road and follows it for a few kilometers.
The trail goes over the side of a mountain, which is nearly all the uphill walking on this hike.
A cool bonus on this trail is the Granite Park Chalet. It has rooms you can rent out, a small shop, and one seriously awesome feature- bathrooms!! There were a lot of other hikers at the chalet. Here’s the crazy part – every group we talked to was from Madison, Wisconsin!! WHAT? That is a 22 hour drive away… and no one knew each other… it was complete coincidence!
It was a long hike, so by the end I was all jelly-legged. We decided that on our drive back we would pick up a couple hitchhikers, you know, to pay it forward. So the first group we saw we let them hop in! It was a couple….and guess where they were from… yup! MADISON, WISCONSIN! ?!?! ?!
We stopped by Sunrift Gorge on our way out. Rachel tried sliding down the stair rail!
This is a hike that anyone can do – if you don’t want to go the full length, you will still capture the experience of it by going a little ways and turning back. (It is also a great hike for anyone who wants to meet people from Wisconsin!!)
It was so nice to have extra time to hang out with Rachel before I leave. We’ll have to come back down to Glacier next year and discover all that it has to offer!