Two waterfalls and a lake on a hot day
The flowers, particularly purple hues of showy fleabane daisy and harebell, dotted the trail and really popped against the still-green grass and other foliage.
About one mile in, we decided to take the short trip to see Aster Falls, which didn't disappoint in beauty and short distraction from the trek to the main attractions of the day: Rockwell Falls and Cobalt Lake. Another mile and a half down the trail and the gals faced the hanging bridge over Paradise Creek. If the bridge weren't enough of an obstacle, than the very widely spaced, steep stairs on the far side presented another challenge as some of the gals had to toss their poles and use their hands to make it down them.
The full group of nine made it to Rockwell Falls, enjoying the view at the base of the falls and snapping many pictures, but then climbing a few switchbacks higher to have lunch out of the way of the other hikers who were approaching the falls. This nice spot overlooks the second tier of the cascade and has some shade, perfect on a hot day.
After lunch, Toni and Katie lingered a while longer to relax by the water, chat with other hikers and then take a leisurely walk back to the parking lot and camp store, while the others braved the extra five miles--two of which are uphill--to Cobalt Lake.
After a quick lunch at Rockwell Falls, Gail, Susan, Stacey, Jessica, Chrissie, Catherine, and Kathy continued onward and upward towards Cobalt Lake. By the time we hit the trail, the temperature continued to rise and the seemingly high humidity seemed to zap our energy. Once we got to a little stream, Kathy suggested that the gals should soak their shirts to cool down a bit.
Doing so proved to be a good option, as it made the rest of the hike more bearable. As we hiked along, we could not believe the length of Mount Sinopah with its towering conical shaped rock formations which gave it a castle-like appearance. The wild array of exquisite wildflowers proved that God is the ultimate gardener and landscaper! The contrast of the beautiful array of colors against the green grass and dark rock formations were impressive. The peaceful “Zen Garden” rock garden area beckoned us to dally along to take lots of pictures along the rocky cliffs and rock shelves laden with moss. We saw so many different wildflowers that took our breath away. Even at this time of year, Glacier Lilies were in bloom and new shoots were popping up through the melting snow fields.
Along the trail we hiked along a creek that had small shelves of rock with narrow chutes that channeled the water into smaller tumbling waterfalls. Just gorgeous! As we continued our approach, we couldn’t wait to get to Cobalt Lake. Little did we know that we would have to make a steep ascent to then drop down into the landlocked lake. As we approached the lake we couldn’t believe our eyes at the sheer beauty of the lake surrounded by melting snowfields.
We quickly took off our boots to soak and cool our feet off in the icy cold water and get our shirts wet again. Some of the gals who had bandanas or microfiber towels soaked them to wrap around their necks to keep themselves cool for the journey back. After spending time taking pictures, we decided it was time to head back to the trailhead to meet Katie and Toni. We left the lake around 3:00 p.m. and made it back to the trailhead by 6:00 p. m. Once again, we could not wait to get our boots off and cool our feet off in Two Medicine Lake before going to Glacier Park Lodge for a lovely dinner with live entertainment by a pianist in the dining room.
Shortly after the group separated, two trail runners raced past Katie and Toni. While at the lake, the runners caught up to the rest of the gals; and the two guys took a plunge in the lake. It was lucky that they weren't a minute earlier as the gals had wet their shirts to cool off. The gals at the lake were treated to the most amazing scene of wild flowers, even Glacier lilies just starting to poke through the remaining snow patches.
Across the lake, the gals could see the ice and snow calving into the lake, but no icebergs were near the shore yet.
Toni and Katie reached the camp store around 3:30 while the others arrived at 6 p.m.After the hike, we all piled into the car and headed to East Glacier Park Lodge for a yummy meal in the dining room. Catherine ordered Total Domination, which gave us all a good laugh.
The day ended with Chrissie earning her 100-miler club mug! Congrats to Chrissie.
Who went: Kathy M, Chrissie, Jessica, Catherine, Susan, Gail, Toni, Katie and guest Stacy
Link to Katie's photos
Link to Kathy's pics