Glacier National Park, one of America’s oldest parks was established in 1910, but archeology tells us that Glacier has been regularly inhabited for over 10,000 years. We have visited Glacier several times over the last decade, but on this trip we visited The Two Medicine area in the southeast corner of the park. Two Medicine has a campground on the shore of a small pond adjacent to Two Medicine Lake, a ranger station, and a small park store. Far away from the summer crowds in the park at this time of year Two Medicine is, to my reckoning, the spiritual center of Glacier National Park. And, it’s great place to see the summer wildflowers of the Northern Rockies.
Trail to Scenic Point.
We could see Scenic Point from the shore of Two Medicine Lake. At 6.5 miles round trip this would be a relatively easy hike from the campground and promised magnificent views of the east side of the park. We rode our bikes, loaded with daypacks and hiking poles, to the trailhead about 1/2 mile away from the campground. We often ride to the trailhead if the distance is reasonable rather than drive. It saves fuel, builds muscle, and parking is easy.
Trail to Scenic Point.
The trail was rugged and steep, covered with loose shale and gravel, but beautiful. This was going to be a tougher hike than we had supposed. The trail wound up the valley between two peaks and as we got higher we could see Lower Two Medicine lake to the east.
We reached a saddle (low place between two hills or mountains) and found that we still had a mile to go to Scenic Point. This was feeling like a very long 6.5 mile hike.
Trail to Scenic Point – the point is out of the picture at left.
From Scenic Point we had good views to the east and the north.
Two Medicine Lake and Rising Wolf Mountain from Scenic Point.
Lower Two Medicine Lake from Scenic Point..
On the way back we had a big and pleasant surprise when we crossed the saddle.
Bighorn Sheep – Ram (Photos, courtesy of Elliot Hammer)
Six rams were grazing on the side of the trail. Cheryl had camera trouble but to our great good fortune we were hiking with a couple from New Orleans and they got these great pictures of the sheep and were kind enough to share them. Thank you Elliot and Elizabeth.
These Rams are quite willing to share the territory at this time of year, but in a few weeks, when the rutting season begins, they will be banging their heads together for mating rights.
Bighorn Ram descending a cliff.
As we descended, the rams crossed the trail and descended the steep cliff face on the north side of the saddle so we hurried back up to catch a view of them going down.