Botanical Garden Hike to Chalet, Overlook, Swiftcurrent Pass
Our group headed to St. Mary to meet Ann and a stay the night at the River House before our hike the next day. Our accommodations were roomy and had a covered back deck which was nice. We ate dinner at the Two Sisters and then spent sometime in the evening checking out our backpacks to make sure we had everything that we needed for our trip.
We arrived at St. Mary Visitor Center early for the first shuttle to Logan Pass, which left at 7:00 AM. The Highline Trail did not have too many hikers to start but it became very busy as the day progressed. Haystack Pass was our lunch stop and then it was off to Granite Park Chalet. "It's like an 8 mile hike through a botanical garden!" Jean exclaimed. The flowers were so abundant, vibrant and profuse! There's no way we could begin to list all that we saw. Spectacular!!
We arrived at the Chalet in the afternoon and were given a tour of the kitchen and then settled in our rooms. Mary and Jean went for water which is a half of a mile walk so we could prepare dinner. After dinner we listened to a talk provided by the staff on the history of Granite Park Chalet, wildlife and also about the Heavens Peak fire of 1936. The only people that were left at Granite Park Chalet at the time of the fire were the staff and they were able to save the chalet by putting wet blankets on the shake roof so the fire passed over the building and was saved.
On day two, Mary and Ann hiked to Grinnell Overlook, they were rewarded with a look at Grinnell Glacier and lake. They returned for lunch and the hiked to Swiftcurrent Lookout in the afternoon with 360 degree views at the top. The rest of the group had a lazy day visiting with the other guests and enjoyed the pack train of ten mules that brought supplies to the chalet.
After breakfast we started our journey down to Swiftcurrent by going over the pass and then past Swiftcurrent Glacier. The trail descends about 2400 feet and gives a beautiful look at Bullhead Lake, Red Rock, Fishercap, Swiftcurrent and Lake Sherburne. Our hike was coming to an end as we arrived at Swiftcurrent to find our car waiting for us which had been moved by others so we could hike out the Swiftcurrent way. We ate a much needed dinner at Swiftcurrent and then headed home.