Glacier NP : Triple Divide Pass, via Cut Bank

I ended up having the day available to take off of work on Wednesday, so I decided to go ahead and go on another hike in Glacier! The park was packed on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and I ended up just deciding to head off to Triple Divide Pass over the course of the afternoon. It was more than worth the adventure!

I knew the hike to Triple Divide Pass from Cut Bank Campground was supposed to be over 14 miles, and I didn’t want to hike at night. However, I figured that I could just turn around at any given point if it began to get uncomfortable, and I set myself 17:00 as the time I would. I packed up my stuff and hit the trail right around 13:00, with that in mind.

IMG_5584Starting off in mixes of dense forest and beautifully wildflower colored meadows, I was really loving a lot of the hike. The trail passed largely looking down at Cut Bank Creek as well, with a beautiful backdrop of the mountains encompassing the valley I was walking into. Although being loud to scare off any potential bears, I was nonetheless awestruck by the beauty all around me.

Prior to the first split of the trail, I ended up hiking behind a couple of guys who had passed me on the trail as I stood, gazing at some of the scenery. They ended up going all of the same path as me, up to Triple Divide Pass, and we ended up chatting for a decent amount of the time up.

IMG_5614The whole trail going up kept getting more and more amazing to stare at, even as it kept seeming to get more and more steep with every step. As we arrived with a view down at Medicine Grizzly Lake and the hidden, hanging lake above it, I couldn’t believe everything I was seeing. The trail was somewhat skinny and almost frightening to look down the mountainside from, but the amazing diversity of rock and plant life kept me absolutely intrigued. We even stopped to soak ourselves in a waterfall on the trail at one point as another hiker headed down and encouraged us to continue the climb to the amazing view at the top.

IMG_5659It was over 7 miles to the top, where the view opened up on both sides of the pass. For all of the beautiful scenery that we had seen all of the way up, the pass itself didn’t fail to leave me breathless and amazed. I even scrambled up some of the rocks for more of a view of everything. It was simply stunning and amazing.

Tons of squirrels and marmots shared the top with us as we ate more than a snack and filled our body with fluids, preparing for the long descent. Some part of me didn’t want to leave that spot, but as I kept an eye on the time, I kept getting increasingly concerned.

IMG_5683It was a quick descent down the same way that we came. The views down the valley still left me in awe as we passed, and I still was somewhat apprehensive to leave the mountains and get back to camp. It was such an unexpectedly beautiful hike, and I was beyond happy to have taken it on, despite it not being my original intentions for the day.

At the end, of course, I was happy to get back to camp and open a nice cold beer that I had set in my cooler prior to leaving. I sat there with a campfire as my neighbors came to visit, as they were planning on doing the same hike the following day.

A lovely day on the trail!

Pictures

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