Oh hey, I’m back for part 2 of this trip to Glacier National Park with my aunt, sisters, and niece!
I didn’t mention this in yesterday’s post, but I’m really proud of this group and how we travel together. If you’ve ever traveled with a group, whether it’s your immediate family, extended family, or just a group of friends, you know that all sorts of conflict can arise. We’ve done so many trips together, and as much as I’d like to say that means we never have conflict anymore when we travel…that’s just not true. We’ve just learned how to deal with it better! We’re sisters and family and so of COURSE we have our disagreements and squabbles. But we love each other more than anything, so we know we’ll always work through our stuff.
Honestly, at this point, we’ve all basically earned a degree in conflict management just from living in a very big family. Haha. I feel that we really hit our groove in traveling during this second day in the park and the rest of the trip was smooth sailing!
Day 2 in Glacier was our WATER DAY!!
We drove into the park and went to Apgar Village to look into getting some boats to take out on the water. We initially thought it might be fun to take turns kayaking (one group could kayak while another stayed back with the baby), but we saw those little motor boats out on the water and thought they looked way more fun!
The max number of adults per boat was 4, and we had 5 adults + a baby. So we divided into two groups and took two motor boats on Lake McDonald.
Lake McDonald is a stunner. This is the largest body of water at Glacier National Park. It’s a long, skinny lake that’s about 11 miles from end-to-end and 472 feet deep at the deepest point.
One of my favorite parts about this lake is the homestead residences along the edges! There were a handful of homes that were already on the lake before Glacier become an official national park in the early 1900s, and those home owners are now grandfathered in. As long as they don’t sell the house, they can continue passing it down in the family! (Apparently, if they try to sell it, the house becomes official property of Glacier National Park.)
I asked the staff to give us the fastest boat they had…and that 100% did not happen. Kylee and Jeanne shot right past us!
We had SO much fun on the water! We were laughing so hard and I had tears running down my face basically the entire time. It takes about 1 hour to go all the way across the 11-mile lake, so we went to the end and turned around and came back.
The ride down was nice and smooth.
Cara living her best life!!
And then those dark clouds came in, the wind picked up, and the trip back home was choppy! I had to munch on goldfish crackers and keep my eyes on the horizon to keep from getting sick. Ugh. I was officially the one with the weak stomach on this trip.
These hours out on the water might have been my favorite part of the trip! We had SO much fun!
We dropped off the boat and I immediately went to a coffee shop at Apgar to get a mocha to warm myself up.
When I return with my fam someday, I think we’ll stay right here in Apgar Village. There’s a small motel with a few rooms, a restaurant, an ice cream shop, and places to rent bikes and boats. It was a precious little area right by the entrance to the park.
^ That’s the little restaurant/bar. So cute!
We had a bit of time to kill and found a quiet spot to enjoy some snacks and warm drinks.
Next up we had a 1/2 day of whitewater rafting booked. Glacier Raft Co was amazing! We arrived 30 minutes before our designated time slot to get all our gear on.
At first I thought all the gear was overkill, but when they dropped us in the 45-degree water I was very glad for al of this! A wet suit, a fleece, waterproof booties, a waterproof jacket, a PFD, and a helmet. It’s a good thing they allotted 30 minutes for us to get our gear on!
This is the only picture I have of our rafting trip because I didn’t bring my phone with me! But we rafted through 7 different rapids (all around class 3) and laughed SO hard! It was an absolute blast! Jeanne took the spot at the front of the raft and got absolutely soaked, and Kylee and Jeanne both decided to jump into the water near the end of the trip. Yikes!
By the time we made it back home that night we were all very ready for a home cooked meal, a glass of wine, and a hot shower. (Psst: I made this recipe that I’ve made approximately 100 times. It’s great for an airbnb stay because it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients or kitchen gear.)
I snapped this picture around 9 pm because it was so weird that it was still bright outside! We went to bed a bit earlier that night so we could get an early start the next day.
Good morning! On Wednesday we did our long 7.5-mile hike.
Court and Ky, all ready to go.
The beginning of our hike was deceptively flat and then it VERY quickly inclined.
We were lucky and only got about 30 minutes of rain during our entire visit to Glacier! It was nice and sunny on the hike up, and then we had a small downpour on the downward hike.
6 happy hikers.
I mean…views for day!
The trail was pretty exposed, so there wasn’t a lot of shade. But that also meant that we had these unobstructed views of the valley and the mountains in the distance. I soaked up every single moment of it.
^ … baby backpack!
At the top of the climb was a lookout area that had a view of Lake McDonald (the lake we were in the day before.) We all packed sandwiches and chips and cookies for lunch, and I threw in this Montana pilsner at the last minute that we all shared. I love a few sips of beer on a hike, actually!
Someone tell my why PBJ sandwiches taste soooo good out in nature?!
Can you see Lake McDonald way down there? It looks so tiny, but it’s an 11-mile lake. We were pretty high up!
It was this sweet babe’s nap time and she was about ready to conk out for the climb down the mountain.
One quick rainstorm and a few backpack changes later, we finished our hike.
It was lovely.
^ My view for the final mile of the hike.
Oof! We finished that hike and we were all starving and ready for a beer! We went back to Apgar Village and got an outdoor table at the restaurant that we had seen the day before. Burgers + beers all around.
Cheers to an excellent day!
Huckleberry is apparently a big thing in this part of the country, so Jeanne got a huckleberry margarita.
We went back home to our cute cabin and dropped off our gear and then walked back to…
…that little pizza place right by our Airbnb!
We had some good eats on this trip. 🙂
I finished off my meal with a few scoops of huckleberry ice cream.
This evening was summer solstice, so we enjoyed the longest day of the year by hanging out on the back patio until 10 pm and watching the hummingbirds fight over the sugar water. (Geeeez these hummingbirds were aggressive!)
And that was a wrap on our Glacier trip! I think in the future I’d love to plan an extra day or two. 3 full days wasn’t enough! But it’s what we were able to do with all of our various work schedules, and I’m so grateful for all of this time with my aunt.
The next morning we all packed up and checked out of the airbnb. Everyone went to the airport to fly home, and I got to drive back to Utah with my sister to help out with the 9 hour drive with a baby.
I got a bonus 24-hour visit to her sweet home in Ogden, Utah!
Hello, fur babies.
Sparrow is probably the prettiest cat I’ve ever met.
We spent the day doing what I do best: brewery hopping! We started off the afternoon at UTOG Brewing.
Utah has some very silly beer laws, so you’re not allowed to order beer at a restaurant without also ordering food. (?) So we got a plate of sweet potato fries to go with the beer. Haha, and unlike the visit to Paul Bunyan Grill in Montana, these fries did NOT take an hour to arrive at our table. Haha.
^ Ogden Beer Company was a new (to me) spot since I last visited Utah back in 2018 and 2019.
The weather was gorgeous and we soaked up the outdoor time together!
^ Such a cute spot.
The upstairs patio is 21+ so we couldn’t sit up there with a baby, but I snuck upstairs to check it out. I mean…look at that mountain view!! There are definitely not breweries with views like that in Austin.
Haha. Apparently I ate a lot of sweet potato fries on this trip.
And this, my friends, is the final photo I have of my trip. I ate a lot of delicious food, soaked up the cool weather, and loved spending so much time with my family. I feel very thankful and happy for every moment of this trip.