Mt. Brown Lookout
Monday, August 9, 2021
I awoke to my phone’s alarm and promptly silenced it and closed my eyes again. Once we finally got up, it didn’t take long to get ready, and we started our day with a trip to West Glacier for groceries and a breakfast sandwich. As soon as we left the park and saw the line of traffic on the other side trying to enter, John immediately apologized for the suggestion of getting breakfast in town. Luckily someone let us in and it took us only 12 minutes, exactly, to get back into the park.
We were easily able to get a parking spot at the Lake McDonald Lodge to reach the trail head for our hike up to the Mount Brown Lookout. But first we had to check out the lodge. Beautiful lanterns hung from the rafters, inspired by native art. It would be a nice place to come back to for warming up later…
We chose to hike to the Mt. Brown Lookout because it offered over 4,000′ of gain in about 10 miles. We took a left onto the Mt. Brown Trail from the Gunsight Pass Trail; had we continued we would have eventually reached the Sperry Chalet, which was severely burned in the Sprague fire the summer of 2017.
It was a foggy and chilly hike. We carried our bear spray and periodically called out, “Hey, bear.” It seemed like the perfect set up to see wildlife, but there was none to be had for us on this day. The climb was steady; we were actually happy about the switchbacks.
Once we had turned onto Mount Brown Trail, we hadn’t seen another person until about a quarter-mile to the lookout, where we passed three women who were heading back down. Knowing that we were not the only ones on the trail, we quicken our step and became a little more complacent with the “hey-bear” calling. I was ready to be done and get warm.
We had dinner in Apgar Village at Eddy’s Cafe and shared Huckleberry Cobbler with huckleberry ice cream (no, there was definitely not too much huckleberry). John ate fast to keep me from eating his share.
It was a relatively early bedtime for us because we would be waking up before the sun to ensure getting a parking spot at the Logan Pass parking lot. If all goes to plan, we would be hiking a Glacier National Park favorite: Highline Trail and the Garden Wall.
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