Every once in awhile I like (love) to take off my camera and binoculars and trade it for the lightest running pack I have. On Sunday, Kristen and I lightly loaded up our running packs and headed for the hills.
We arrived up at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park along with a string of cars around 7:30am and found a parking spot. There were not many left. Here’s my big, national park pro tip: Eat your breakfast at the trailhead! We sat in our car, ate our still warm breakfast and watched as the parking lot finished filling up by 8am.
We headed out on the Hidden Lake Trail to go and climb Clements Mountain. Just past the visitor center we looked up at Clements Mountain towering over the boardwalk. Our next stop? Hidden Lake Overlook.
While very busy, the view of Hidden Lake Overlook never gets old. It’s always changing with the clouds, the light, the snowpack. To the west, we had clear skies, but as the chilly wind moved the air up into the mountains, clouds were forming. This cloudy ceiling blocked the sun and its warmth.
We continued past the overlook as the trail began to drop down to the lake’s outlet. The climber’s trail took off from the main trail and we began our traverse up the flowered, terraced slope. Instead of following the trail all the way to the saddle between Mt. Cannon and Clements Mountain, we broke a bit early and did some moderate climbing/scrambling up to the ridge.
From our new vantage, we could see the entire ridgeline to the summit. Clements had been my very first summit in Glacier and I remembered the super fun and kinda sketchy goat traverse on the last main hump before the final push to the top.
We found a nice goat trail that took us to the ridge where views down into Birdwoman Basin popped. From there, we worked our way up until we arrived at the sweet goat traverse. This one is not for those with a fear of heights. It’s very navigable and a decent shelf, but the drop-off isn’t messing around. The views, however, are incredible! We also spied a White-tailed Ptarmigan along the way. 😀
Once past the longer-than-I-remember goat traverse, we had the ridgeline push to the summit. A little picking around and mostly following the ridge led us to the top. We randomly rand into a friend of ours who we seem to randomly run into often when we get in Glacier National Park! Emily took a few pictures of us hanging around the summit.
I love the views from the top looking down at Hidden Lake and over to the Logan Pass Visitor Center. These sprawling views are humbling and I love that overwhelmed feeling I get from plopping myself in the middle of it all.
The sun was not able to break through the clouds long enough to negate the chilly effects of the stiff wind. It didn’t take us very long to turn around and begin our descent back down. We found a little spot with a little wind and a little sun where we had some lunch.
Of course I couldn’t help myself to take a couple more photos of Hidden Lake on my way down. While we were past the peak bloom of Beargrass, we still found a few jaw-dropping stands of them.
From Hidden Pass down to the visitor center, we jogged out the rest of the way. A delighted family took our parking spot as we pulled out and headed home.