Monday, October 3, 2011

The Best Of: Glacier's Waterfalls and Lakes

With roughly 200 waterfalls, and 762 lakes - 131 of which are named, including "No Name Lake" - many of the hikes in Glacier National Park end at a lake or waterfall. Below are a few of my favorites.

Redrock Falls is an outstanding choice for an easy hike in the Many Glacier Valley. You'll have great opportunities for seeing wildlife, it passes two picturesque lakes, and ends at one of the most scenic series of waterfalls in the park. Although the lower falls are far more interesting, the upper falls had this beautiful mountain backdrop:

Running Eagle Falls, also known as "Trick Falls", is located in Two Medicine area. The waterfall receives its nickname due to there being two separate waterfalls in the same location. During the spring run-off water rushes over the upper falls for a 40-foot drop, while obscuring the lower falls. By late summer the upper falls dries up. However, water continues to rush over the lower 20-foot falls, while seeming to flow out of the rock wall, as you see in this photo:

Okay, this isn't a lake or waterfall, but there is a lake below those mountains. This is a meadow that hikers walk through on their way to Medicine Grizzly Lake:

Below is the 50-foot Virginia Falls, perhaps one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen. And to top it off, there are three other incredibly beautiful cascades and falls you'll pass on your way up to this set:

Cracker Lake in the Many Glacier area has to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Prior to reaching the lake, about a mile from the trailhead, hikers will have this view of Cracker Flats. The mountains across the upper reaches of Lake Sherburne create this magnificent scene during the morning hours:

Five miles later hikers finally reach Cracker Lake. The best vantage point is from an outcropping of rocks where you’ll stand about a hundred feet above the lake. Directly across the lake is 9376-foot Allen Mountain. Towering above the south end of the lake is 10,014-foot Mt. Siyeh, and sitting like a gem more than 4000 feet below is Cracker Lake:

The lake is the most beautiful turquoise color you’ll ever see. If you could ignore the magnificent scenery of the surrounding mountains, it would still be well worth the hike just to see the amazing color of this lake. The deep turquoise color is a result of light refraction through its suspended load of glacial silt:



Dynamic Creator said...

I love your blog, thanks for the share.

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Thanks DC!

John Delaney said...

I heard there was a Giant Cedar old growth in Glacier. Did you find it?