A May 2001 trip
to Montana by Tombrew
Quote: I attempted to escape the Atlanta heat over the Memorial Day weekend by going to Montana. Trouble is, they were having a record-setting heat wave!
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 2, 2001
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 2, 2001
Once you drive into the park, go to the Visitors' Center, at least to get your first view of Lake McDonald (see photo). This is a beautiful lake, with the snow-capped peaks in the background. Also in this area, you can see the thousands of tourists who seem to have gathered here and go nowhere else - which is great, because that means you can hike in solitude.
Drive about five miles up Going to the Sun Road to the point where you see a lodge on the left, on the lake. Park here, and cross the road to the trailhead for Snyder Creek Trail. From this point, it is about 4.4 miles up (and I emphasize the UP) to Lake Snyder. The hike starts with a very steep climb for about a mile. On your right is the creek, which is rapidly flowing back into Lake McDonald. As you climb, you begin to overlook the gorge cut by the creek. Look back for a good view of the lake. And make noise - ther are Grizzlies in here parts.
The views along the trail are wonderful - snow-capped peaks, forests. At the 3.5 mile point is an area covered in rocks, like a moonscape. When you reach the lake, enjoy the beauty for awhile. Even though it was 85 degrees when we started, there was snow on the ground.
Then hike back down. This is a wonderful hike for experienced hikers.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 4, 2001
Your walk will take you about a half mile to an old trestle, which is now a bicyclist/pedestrian bridge. Cross here to the south bank toward the University of Montana campus. As you take a right to the west, the views over the city area really nice, wiith the mountains in the background. There are a lot of signs along the trail here, explaining the geological formations, some of the history of the area describing the mills, and the history of the Native Americnas who had populated this area. Walk for about a mile, and you will see a small botanical garden to your left. In the background is another wonderful building that now houses some sort of lodge. There are signs in this area describing the former ecology of the area, and an area where this plant life has been recreated. At this point, you can cross the brige to the north back to downtown, and enjoy a nice iced coffee or drink after your walk. There are a lot of small cafes in the area. Or you can choose to keep walking, where you can observe some of the older houses in the area. All in all, I spent about three hours on this walk, and found it to be a treat.
Marina del Rey, California