Daily Miles: 15
2021 CDT Total Miles: 532
Overall CDT Total Miles: 2605
While it started off quite warm last night, at some point the temperature really dropped and it was really cold. We had condensation on our sleeping bags again this morning. Beardoh didn’t have too much since he has his bug net, but SweetPea’s was wetter since she didn’t have anything above her.
We were on the trail by 7am and started to see day hikers right away. After about a mile, we came to the Going To The Sun Road and crossed over it. Our first six miles of the day were all climbing up to Piegan Pass. After crossing the road, the next few miles were pretty steep, but then it really backed off and the grade was very gradual.
We saw more day hikers going up to and coming back from the pass. We aren’t really used to seeing more than one or two people each day, so this feels quite different. The trail was a bit overgrown with thimbleberry plants for a few miles, but then turned into a really wide and clear trail.
Shortly after a break, we saw two bears in the trail. They were pretty good sized and they looked to be black bears. They didn’t seem too bothered to see us and just casually got off the trail and headed into the woods. We could see them for a bit just walking through the woods.
The final stretch before the pass was exposed trail and we had spectacular views of the valley below. The day was clear and it was just a perfect sight. The amazing views just seem to keep coming.
When we got to the pass, we sat down for a break and just admired the view. We could see mountain goats near a glacier across from us. There was hardly any wind and we just enjoyed the sun.
Once we left the pass, we had a big descent down to Many Glacier where we had our designated campsite for the night. When we got to the campground (which is mostly used by car campers), we were told by the ranger that because of grizzly activity in the campground in the last few days, they had banned soft-walled shelters in the campground. That meant no tents or hammocks.
Their solution for us was a bit baffling…they walked us over to the staff housing area, which is right next to the campground, and told us we could camp in the “staff potluck” area which has picnic tables and a grill. It seemed weird that they would be ok with us camping in tents/hammocks, and that they would situate us next to an eating area – all not more than a couple hundred feet away from the camp area where tent camping was prohibited. We know that they have set up a trap for the bear, but we will probably all be sleeping with one eye open.
Once we had set up our shelters, we walked down the road a short distance to a lodge where we had shipped our final resupply package. There is also a store and restaurant there, so we got some ice cream for an appetizer and then ordered pizzas and salads. We were thoroughly stuffed and still have extra pizza for breakfast tomorrow.