Jackson Glacier Overlook

Since I’m infamous for my total lack of planning, it should come as no surprise that sometimes things don’t work out exactly as expected. That’s the fun part.

Glacier Park is famous for a few things – Going to the Sun Road, Logan Pass, bears, etc. We decided, on a whim, to pop up to Logan Pass to “have a look around and hike a ranger recommended trail.” It was less than 5 miles round trip, so we knew the kids could it. We woke up at normal time, took our time getting ready and headed out for an early afternoon adventure. All very relaxed. Easy breezy.

It turns out, Logan Pass in August is roughly the equivalent of the WDC Beltway on every Friday afternoon of July. EVERYONE is there and no one is going anywhere fast.

We circled the parking lot up there for well over 15 minutes. That maxed out Scott’s patience. Scott, “Nope, not today. Pick something else.” That caught me off guard because it was well over 90 minutes of driving to get up there on a road that was nothing short of terrifying. Going to the Sun Road feels like, one way or another, you might actually lose contact with Planet Earth. It’s similar to the road to Machu Picchu but with a few more guards in place as psychological lollypops (but sometimes I can be cynical – if your driver screws up, you were going to die a horrible, long death… that small block of granite is going to feel like a bump on your way to hell).

Me, “Oh. Huh. Really? Ok. Ummmm…” Always have a Plan B. Amateur, Traci. Get it together.

I picked up the park map, searched a bit down the road and picked a hike. I’ll be honest, I gave ZERO thought to things like “ability” or “correct shoes”. Is there parking? Yes? Great. {Upon reflection, the fact that there was parking was a clue.}

We pulled into a spot at Jackson Glacier Overlook. Sounded benign enough. The plan was to hike enough to get out into the park, then turn around and hike back out. Easy day. We did that but it was less “out into the park” and more “down into the park”. More like a mile straight down and a mile straight back up. It’s funny how a mile isn’t a mile isn’t a mile. ‘Down’ and ‘out’ feel very different.

We got a decent work out in and the kids did well (apart from Jack refusing to carry his own pack on the way out… POOR form that will be corrected). Would we have done the trail had we known more about it? Likely not. But we’re so glad we did. We had a quiet little corner of the park more or less to ourselves. At the bottom we were even treated to a hanging bridge a little stream that make me think of Bob Ross saying, “And let’s add a happy little stream right here.”

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The start of the trail.
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Also the start.
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The river at the bottom. Beautiful coolness for hot feet.
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