Monday, July 23, 2007


A couple weeks late and a few new Subarus short, but we finally made it to Glacier to do some whirlwind sightseeing. Since we didn't have time to go all the way to Banff, we decided to at least "dip our toes" into Alberta to say we'd been there. We drove along the east side of of the park all the way up to the Canadian border where the park then turns into Waterton Lakes National Park.

Waterton's prime attraction is the gorgeous, grand, all-wood Prince of Wales hotel. Just as we passed the scenic turnout, the sun came out from behind some clouds to light up the hotel and it's hillside (ok, Photoshop helped out a bit here as well, but the scene really did seem this magical). Behind the hotel and down the hillside was the quant little Welsh-inspired village of Waterton, where we enjoyed a traditional fish and chips lunch while overlooking the lake.

In the afternoon, we back-tracked to the U.S. again to begin one of the most "must see" scenic stretches of highway in the country-- the "Going to the Sun Road" (which bisects Glacier from East to West). Besides the scenery, the road is equally famous for it's bright red tour buses with their peel-back canvas rooftops. I wish we would have had time to ride in one.

We spent the night in Kalispell (west of the park) so that we could drive the GTTS Road twice in two days, and we weren't disappointed....breathtaking mountains and waterfalls, a big horn sheep, and turquoise blue glacial waters.

Lake McDonald

Wild Goose Island

Avalanche Gorge

On our second day, we decided to tour the other grand lodges on the East side of the park. On our way to lunch at the Many Glacier Hotel, we spotted this black bear nibbling on her own lunch!

Our final stop was to the "original grand lodge", the East Glacier Hotel and it's incredible four-story-tall timber lobby built about a hundred years ago for wealth tourists from the East who arrived with their steamer trunks at the railroad depot a few hundred yards from the hotel's front door. Amtrak still makes stops there today! A delightful perennial garden lines the pathway between the depot and the hotel.

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