Today was the day it was supposed to be clear up at Logan Pass. A little bit of fog in the morning, then sunny by mid day. Perfect. We worked until about noon and then set out to give the Highline Trail a second shot today.
Not looking so clear and sunny, is it?
The proper way to do this hike is to park your car down at the Loop, then take the shuttle up to Logan Pass and start there. It's 12 miles back to the Loop and though long, it's mainly not much elevation gain (overall it's downhill, actually). Unfortunately for us, the shuttle stopped running about a week ago, just after Labor Day. We opted to park at Logan Pass and just do an out and back.
Within the first half mile the trail cuts alongside a giant craggy rock wall and you get a cable to hold onto if you feel the need. It was super foggy and kinda eerie (and after our return trip with the sun out, we can say that it's much scarier in the fog).
It's a fairly far (and steep) drop off the edge, and if you fell it would be seriously bad, but somehow not being able to see just how far down it is makes it MUCH further.
The hike out in the fog and clouds was actually quite nice, even though we couldn't see any of the "breathtaking views, expansive vistas, and glacial glaciers" in the distance as promised:
But we did see a friendly little hoary marmot:
The extreme slope of the landscape, plus the trail in the fog made it a little disorienting at times:
We stopped for lunch and enjoyed the view as the fog and clouds started to burn off.
Hey look! Expansive vistas!
That's the Going to the Sun Road way down there:
And see….this is the part I showed you first, with the fog:
This is a spectacular hike. It's impossible to capture in photographs the vastness of the landscape you're hiking through. There are enormous mountains surrounding you, and on one side huge rock cliffs, and on the other side steep green slopes. We saw mountain goats and big horn sheep (and chipmunks and squirrels and a couple marmots).
Next time we'll get here before Labor Day and do the whole 12 miles down to the Loop. We did about 8.5 miles today.
I think we're going to go back to the Belton Chalet for dinner tonight after we finish up some more work — because we're mostly out of groceries and because we're tired and don't feel like cooking (and because it was so good the last time).