Tag Archives: hiking

Glacier National Park: Apgar Lookout

In honor of one of my final weekends at home, my parents brother cousins and I went into glacier. I love glacier and its beauty and am so incredibly lucky to be in such close vicinity to such stunning country. 

Our goal was to hike the Apgar Fire Lookout on Apgar peak near you guessed it, Apgar Village. The trail head is located just inside the West Glacier entrance. To reach the trailhead, drive about a half-mile north from the West Glacier Entrance Station, and then turn left towards the Glacier Institute. Drive a short distance to the next junction and turn right (away from the Glacier Institute), then almost immediately make a turn towards the left just before reaching the Swan Mountain Outfitters horse corral. From here you’ll drive another 1.9 miles on a single lane gravel road to the trailhead. (for more info on this hike and countless others in GNP check out http://www.hikinginglacier.com/)

Before we embarked we drove part way up the Going to the Sun Highway (if you ever have the chance I encourage you to drive the whole thing and explore Logan Pass which is the peak of the road). We drove about a half mile or so past the loop trail and turned around due to time constraints

Going to the Sun Highway

99% precent of visitors to Glacier never travel more than 3 miles off of the highway. I encourage everyone to go out and explore more of the park it offers so much. 

So on to the hike….

The trail to the Apgar Fire tower Look Out is 3.6 miles each direction so 7.2 round trip.

It was recommended to me to start hiking a bit after noon so that once at the lookout the sun is on the west side of the fire tower. The reason being is the tower looks east over the entirety of Lake McDonald. With the sun to the west the views of Lake McDonald are stunning.

It is also a good idea to bring bear spray along since most of the hike is in thick underbrush (prime bear habitat) due to the 2006 fires in this area.

Apgar Lookout underbrush

Also due to the fires is the lack of shade so bring lots of water. 

The underbrush and scenery is beautiful the entire trail. Once you begin to climb up the mountain side you can see views of the Flathead river and into west Glacier and over the valley.

views into west glacier

 The wildflowers were everywhere. I was hopping to see some bear grass still in bloom but unfortunately it was done blooming in this part of the park.

Wildflowers Wildflowers Wildflowers 

About 2/3s of the trail is switch backs up to the top but the view is completely worth the effort.

 Apgar Fire Tower LookoutLake McDonald

I feel so lucky to have been able to spend quite a bit of time in Glacier over the years, and it never ceases to amaze me. Its a park that captures the hearts and imaginations of it’s visitors and leaves each one craving more. 


The Continental Divide Trail

Living near the Continental Divide I was always aware of the Continental Divide trail but for years never hiked a portion of it.

Here is the portion I hiked

continental divide trail

This past weekend some good family friends came for a visit so we decided to hike a bit of the Divide. We entered at the MacDonald Pass trail head off of Highways 12 in Helena and Hiked in about 2 miles or so. It was a extremely small portion of the trail in comparison to the thousands of miles it encompasses, but it was really neat to be on such a massive trail.

The Continental Divide Trail

It was a rainy/smokey day so the lighting was pretty interesting and the wildflowers were stunning.

Continental Divide Trail Continental Divide Trail Continental Divide Trail Continental Divide Trail Continental Divide Trail


It sounds lame and I know it does but I felt like I was part of something so huge and It was humbling. My tiny journey on the Continental Divide put into perspective just how small our worlds are which is also my reasoning for wanting to travel the world. I want to be able to see as many other “worlds” as I can in order to better grip what the rest of the world is really like.

I would love to be able to one day hike this trail in its entirety and maybe the Appalachian trail as well but for now I have a little taste.