Backpacking & Rafting in Glacier NP, 2006


These photographs are Copyright © 2006 by Ken Reek.

  • You MAY view these photos on your computer.
  • You MAY make prints of these photos for your own personal use, or to give to friends or family.
  • You MAY NOT sell, publish, or make any other commercial use of these photos, or copy them to any web site.

Click on any photo to see a larger image of it.

In the next several weeks, I will be putting photos from Glacier National Park on my web site for sale.

If anyone can identify the flowers that I have not identified, I'd appreciate hearing about them. Thanks!

I used my GPS to track the route we hiked, and then transferred this track to a topo map. The yellow line on the map shows our route, with our campsites marked by blue labels "N1" through "N3." The elevation profile of the route is shown below. We did not do 7100 feet of elevation gain, contrary to what the profile reports--this difference is partly due to small errors in the positions recorded by the GPS. The distance, nearly 33 miles, is accurate however. Click here to see a full-size image of this map (1.17 MB).
Our four day backpacking trip started out on the highline trail on a warm sunny day.
The "Garden Wall." We weren't looking at the scenery too much along here. Note the Going To The Sun Road a little further down the hill and the cable pinned to the wall of the cliff.
Some nice scenery a little further along the trail.
Wildflowers were everywhere.
This shot, taken near the end of day one, shows a typical part of the trail we hiked.
The chalet at Granite Park. We didn't stay here, though we did buy some cold sodas from them after our hike.
Nice picnic spot just outside of the chalet.
One of the campsites in Granite Park campground. That's Margaret hiding behind the bug net.
We had to wait quite a while (and swat quite a few bugs, as I recall) to get any sunset action that first evening.
The second day dawned overcast, which was ideal for a 12.5 mile hike on a trail with very little shade.
Fireweed. The flowers haven't yet opened.
Flowers and rocks--good thing they were pretty because we saw a lot of both.
A field of wildflowers.
Hiking through an avalanche chute that burned years ago.
The Ahern snowfield. Trail workers had used dynamite (sounds like fun to me!) to blast a path across this, complete with steps. No crampons needed :)
More flora.
Stopping for lunch on day two. I vaguely remember that this was Cattle Queen Creek (but it might have been Ahern Creek). Lunch was "all you can eat" cheese, crackers, and tuna salad.
Crossing another snow field. This one had no trail blasted into it, but we crept slowly across without incident. The crampons might have been nice here but we did fine without them.
We saw this mountain goat near the end of the second day's hike.
Looking down from a height of land (let me catch my breath) to 50 Mountain Campground (which is in the trees in the distance).
Relaxing while our guide Don cooks dinner. If Don was ever pooped, he sure didn't show it, even though his pack had to weigh twice what ours did.
Evening light on the peaks. This is probably Mt. Kipp.
One of the many salt-starved deer that were to make our intimate acquaintance over the next two nights.
Another nice sunset.
Deer armor--to protect our backpacks and their straps from the ravaging salt-starved deer. Silly us, we thought we all we had to worry about was bears!
Day three, climbing up to Flattop Mountain.
The weather looked threatening at times, but we didn't get more than a few drops of rain.

Meet Bambo!

Like all of the deer we saw, this guy was not very afraid of humans. Unlike the rest of the deer we saw, I was somewhat nervous about this one.

Bambo getting too close for comfort to some other campers.
A scene near camp.
Day four, and Don is demonstrating his versatility by making some alternate hiking footwear for Jalena.
A cool rock that Margaret found in the creek.
Waterfall on the trail down from Flattop Mountain.
Rivulet and flowers.
Fireweed thrives in burned areas.
Our tired but happy group at trail's end! Lunch awaits! In the back, from left to right: Ken, Don, Howard, Tara, Jalena, and Jeff. In front, left to right: Adrienne and Margaret
We're starting our two day raft trip. The company calls these "float & bloat" because of all the food they can carry (and we eat)
This was our equipment raft.
Relaxing in camp after our extremely strenuous first day on the river.
Katie and Turner whipped up a gourmet steak dinner with fresh corn-on-the-cob. You can't bring food and gear like this when you're backpacking.
Katie is fishing after dinner.
Tara is moving to a better neighborhood.
Our campsite was just up the bank from this peaceful scene.
A beautiful end to day one on the river.
Breakfast consisted of eggs, bacon, English muffins, pineapple, cantaloupe, juice, and I think there was sausage as well. (Float & bloat.)
Day two on the river, approaching the point where the gear raft leaves (taking my good camera with it). Look at all the different colored rocks in the riverbed.
This rapid was called Bonecrusher. The photo was taken by an outfit affiliated with the raft company.
Getting wet in the rapids. The water level in the river was low enough so that the rapids weren't terribly risky, but high enough so that they were still fun. This photo and the next were taken with my cheapie $20 waterproof camera. I got better pictures from the pinhole camera that I made from a shoebox back in college.
Getting wet after the rapids. A great way to end a great trip (except that doing this caused my wristwatch to quit working).