Getting in/out of vans; driving about 50 miles each day, approximately 1.5 hours riding time. Hiking up to 8 miles throughout the day; maintained dirt trails, mountainous terrain that may be rocky and uneven. Maximum elevation gain 800 feet; maximum elevation reached 4,500 feet. Restrooms available at most trail heads.
At the hotel.
Setting out from the hotel aboard our 15-passenger vans, we will ride to Glacier National Park and explore Lake McDonald Valley. There will be several hike choices. Each will be led by a local expert who will provide interpretation along the trail. Trail selections will be made by the Group Leader and field instructors on the day of the hike and are subject to change based on weather, trail conditions, and group ability. Hikes may include the Avalanche Lake Trail, McDonald Creek Trail or Lake McDonald Trail. The Avalanche Lake Trail winds through an old-growth forest of western red cedar and western hemlock. The trail passes a narrow gorge carved by glacial water and ends at an idyllic, subalpine lake rimmed with waterfalls. The McDonald Creek Trail meanders through a mixed woodland of hemlock, western larch, and Douglas fir. The trail parallels McDonald Creek’s cascading turquoise waters and thundering falls. Observant hikers may get a glimpse of harlequin ducks that breed along McDonald Creek. The Lake McDonald Trail hugs the western shoreline of a glacially carved lake surrounded by towering peaks. The trail travels through the remains of recent wildfires, providing the unique opportunity to witness the rebirth of a forest.
On the trail, we’ll have sack lunches.
Our expert-led hiking field trip will continue through the beautiful Lake McDonald Valley where we will learn about the unique ecosystem west of the Continental Divide. After hiking, each group will load into their van and ride back to the hotel.
In our meeting room at the hotel.
We’ll learn more about Glacier National Park’s ecosystems, culture, and history from a local expert. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.