Glacier National Park 2

Many Glacier Campground to Fish Creek Campground via Going to the Sun Road

Sunday, August 8, 2021

We were so glad that we had slept in the car because it was raining heavily when we awoke. We didn’t start moving until about 10 a.m. The rain paused, and we contemplated hiking to Grinnell Glacier, but we decided that a shorter hike to Apikuni Falls would be more time-realistic. It was a nice two miles round-trip to an impressive waterfall. A highlight for John was seeing a fox; the man loves his wildlife.

Apikuni Falls

We drove to the St. Mary Visitor Center, which is where you get to the Going to the Sun Road from the eastern part of the park. To access this highly popular route – and the only way you can drive through the park – it is required that you have reservations for either Fish Creek Campground, Lake MacDonald Campground, Apgar Campground and Sprague Campground. We were staying at Fish Creek Campground for four nights but hadn’t had internet to have this proof ready by the time we arrived at the gate to enter, as we had been staying at another one of Glacier’s campgrounds. The ranger reluctantly let us drive through her station so we could utilize the wifi inside the visitor center. While John got this ready, I called Aspen (I was missing him a lot since his leaving us after Olympic National Park). John also watched a family of Osprey while waiting for me. Soon we were back through the gate and on our way.

An osprey at the St. Mary Visitor Center
The beginning of Going to the Sun Road

It was an on-again off-again day of rain, but occasionally the clouds would part a bit and we could get a glimpse of blue sky and the magnificent mountains.

St. Mary Lake

I start to go crazy with too much sitting; plus, there’s too much beauty to just see it from a car, so we pulled off of the road to hike down to St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls.

evidence of past fire on our way to the falls

It’s a pleasant, easy walk down. When we got to St. Mary Falls, there was a gaggle of geese that were fighting against the current created by the churning water. We watched them for as long as we could before a group of people made their way closer to us; it was time to go to avoid having to pass them farther up the trail.

St. Mary Falls

Virginia Falls was stunning. It started sprinkling on us, so we reluctantly turned back the way we came. John and I are fast hikers, but when we tried to pass a family of four (a mom, a dad and two sons) the guy said: “You think you’re faster? We’ll see.” Then he started running, and his family quickly followed his lead. What a tool! Any time we would catch up to them, they would start running again. He definitely had something to prove…

Virginia Falls

Back to the car, back to sitting. We soon reached an insane part of Going to the Sun Road that is so narrow with such a big drop-off that it’s definitely a no-fall/don’t-drive-off-the-side-of-the-road zone. Once we got through this section of the road, we stopped at a pull-out to make a backpacking meal and enjoy the views; it was spectacular, even with all the clouds.

Farther down the road we took another break to check out Red Rock Point. Words cannot describe the scene, and the pictures don’t do it justice. There was definitely some “glacial flour” action going on to make the water aquamarine.

Red Rock Point

We finally reached Fish Creek Campground. Our site was relatively secluded and had quick access to Lake McDonald. The only downside was that there was a group across the way from us that had a bunch of kids who, as John would say, screamed at the top of their lungs. You can’t have it all, I guess…

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