Glacier National Park, Part 4: Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake (Sept 2017)

piper01

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Oct 27, 2013
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Glacier National Park

Part 4 (of 4): Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake
September 13, 2017
****
part 3 here

Starting from the Many Glacier campground, the trailhead was a short easy walk away.
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Gradually getting closer.
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The destination: the top of that pass. Just a few switchbacks stood between us.
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Hikers for scale in the lower left
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Looking down trail from halfway up the switchbacks
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Folded rock
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The tunnel
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The valley on the other side looks like a whole new world. It was also a bit chilly, with the entire trail in the shade. I would have loved to explore further along the trail, but we had neither the time nor the energy.
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Mountain goat!
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Sedimentary details
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These vertical features look like they may be trace fossils of marine animal burrows.
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Colors and more colors
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View of the tunnel from the far side.
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Hiking back down
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On the trail that branches off toward Iceberg Lake
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Fuzzy puffs. I'm sure that must be the scientific name.
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By late afternoon, clouds started descending below the mountain tops ahead of the cold front.
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The lake before Iceberg Lake.
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Iceberg Lake. We briefly shared it with one other small group, then had it to ourselves. No icebergs floating in it this late in the season.
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30 min later, the clouds kept creeping lower and lower.
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The water would have been even bluer with direct sunlight.
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Time to hightail it down the mountain ahead of these clouds. We had rain gear, but I didn't want to have to use it.
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I took this photo as we were leaving at a similar location as the photo 4 pictures above. See how much lower the clouds are, 45 min later!
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Ominous...I'm glad we weren't up there.
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We timed our last hike impeccably. As we drove out of the park in the morning, we saw fresh snow on the mountains.
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A little bit of fall color. I bet with this cold snap, the leaves must have been quite impressive a few days later.
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We saw our second bear of the trip while leaving the park!
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We drove to Browning to have lunch and visit the Museum of the Plains Indian. The original plan called for camping at Two Medicine that night, but sitting around the campsite in the cold weather with rain/snow sounded too unpleasant, especially to my usually non-camping husband, so we poked around the village in east glacier and drove back around the southern edge of the park. On the west side at lower elevations the weather was much nicer and the worst of the wildfire smoke had dissipated, so we ended up spending the night at the Apgar campground.

Still some lingering smoke over Lake MacDonald
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Charred tree debris washed up along the lakeshore. I assume the varying levels reflect how much water the firefighters were taking from the lake.
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And one final day for travel and non-hiking tourism. We drove back to Spokane, whence our flight would be departing the next day. We made a few stops along the way; if you get a chance, stop off at Radio City Brewing in Kellogg, Idaho. The interior was amazing!

The river through Spokane, WA
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Best playground ever!!! I really wanted to go down the slide, but there were children using it and I don't think their parents would have appreciated me elbowing them out of the way.
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That's all folks!
 

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Titans

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Aug 18, 2018
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Beautiful place, thanks for sharing. Great to also see a photo with hikers on the trail on their way to/from the pass- you really get a sense of the scale of everything at Glacier NP. That slide looks awesome! And he, he..... that was funny, didn't expect the "Frightening Grizzly".....
@Miya recently posted some amazing close up photos of a black bear and a cub looking right at her in Yosemite!
 

Ugly

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I like descending clouds. Parts 3 and 4 were both great! thank you
 

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