In the early season, I can’t wait to get out hiking, especially into the high country of Glacier National Park. The deep snow keeps me from doing so, but there are a few sneaky-great options like the hike up Glacier View along the Demers Ridge Trail in the Flathead National Forest.
It features early season drier trails and sweeping views of the jaw-dropping Livingston Range of Glacier National Park.
The weather for Saturday looked like the perfect sunny day, so we made plans to head outside. I had climbed up part of Glacier View on Demers Ridge in the past. I’d loved it and wanted to explore it further.
Glacier View is located along the North Fork Flathead River, on the western edge of Glacier National Park. The trailhead starts right near the junction with the North Fork Road and Camas Road. It is all in Flathead National Forest, but the views are of Glacier, thus its name.
The ridgeline faces to the south, so the trail opens up fairly early. We figured we’d get to some snow, so we brought our snowshoes along and headed out.
After driving on the North Fork’s gravel road (and a flat tire… not pictured), we arrived at the trailhead. We began to climb the steep trail trail and only briefly encountered some snow. The air was cool and the sun heated us right up. Due to a burn a few years ago, there is no protection from the heat, but there is also little to block the views.
As we climbed higher, the North Fork Flathead River stretched out below us as it snaked along the North Fork area and through the mountains. Snow covered Huckleberry Mountain rose prominently to the south.
The real gem, however, is the stunning line of peaks that make up the Livingston Range in Glacier. Peaks like Rainbow Peak, Vulture Peak, and Heaven’s Peak create a serrated ridgeline that awes.
While I was watching a Mountain Bluebird, my wife discovered another animal that was out and about… the Rocky Mountain Tick. We began to discover that this one wasn’t alone. We began checking out hats, shirts, hair, packs, etc and ended up with an extremely unsettling amount (we were wigged out for sure!)
Spring hiking in Montana involves being aware of ticks. For more information regarding Rocky Mountain Ticks, diseases they carry, how to prevent them from getting on you, and how to remove one, head over to Montana FWP’s site on these little guys.
After switching to snowshoes for a bit, we stopped for lunch at one of the many prominent spots. We ate, found a few more ticks and decided to call it. Upon reaching the car, we found a few more hitchhikers, examined just about every piece of clothing and went home… promising to return and go all the way to the top.
Perhaps we will when there is less snow, less ticks, and more flowers.