This blog is part of a six part series of hikes in and around the Whitefish area in coordination with Explore Whitefish. Check out their website at https://explorewhitefish.com to find out more ways to explore the area, things to do, places to stay, and how you can recreate responsibly while visiting.
While we’ve only been part way up Glacier View due to attempting the hike in spring. As part of some fall exploration, we decided to go up when the leaves we’re changing in the fall and the hike did not disappoint.
The hike up Glacier View Mountain provides fantastic views looking across the flat North Fork area all the way to the towering Livingston Range of Glacier National Park.
We stepped into the fall colors on a crisp October morning. We were late for most of the aspen/birch/cottonwoods and a tad early for peak larch season, but plenty were either turning or were in full yellow to make for a glorious fall hike.
What I love about this hike is that you get views early on and they continue as you climb up. I kept taking photos on the way up only to realize that the next switchback was just a little bit better.
The trail up to the top isn’t a gradual grade but is consistently steep, so we found ourselves stopping frequently to enjoy the views and catch our breath. Not only did we have views looking into the North Fork area, we had views as the North Fork Flathead River snaked in between Huckleberry Mountain to the south and us. As we climbed higher, views increased to the north looking all the way into Canada.
Numerous false summits along the way teased us as we navigated through stands of gray trees, remnants of the forest that burned, and new growth. With October comes migrating hawks and eagles along the ridges and we spied Sharp-shinned Hawks and Golden Eagles.
As we approached the summit, the trees all but disappeared and the trail leveled out as it began navigating the couple of humps at the top. We passed remnants of what appeared to be a radio tower before getting to the summit proper.
After enjoying some views looking up the drainages of Dutch Creek, Logging Creek, Quartz Creek, Bowman and Kintla, (to name a few) and the towering craggy summits at the top, we turned around and headed back down to experience the trail in reverse.