We decided to go for Glacier in one long day. It took us 10 hours, but we quickly settled back into Loretta and took it easy the first day there. From our campsite at Fishcreek Campground, we had a short walk to a fantastic glacial lake (McDonald Lake) and of course had to show how brave we were by going in for a swim! The lake is shallow to about 15 yards then it suddenly drops off and at its deepest, it’s almost 500 feet deep.
While at Glacier we did a tour on an old boat around the lake (photo) and a full day of white water rafting on the Flathead River. The rafting in particular was memorable. We all had to paddle (which was a first for our 7 year old) and the trip was over 6 hours. We stopped for an incredible lunch prepared by the tour company and all of my boys (including dad) had to swim even though the water was 56 degrees! The second half was a bit more exciting with class 2 and 3 rapids which were thrilling. All in all, it was a huge deal because before we left home, our 7 year old was refusing to do such a thing!
Next we headed to Sex Peak Lookout Tower in Kootenai National Forest (if you want to know more about how it got its name you can read it here). The drive to get there had a 12 mile grind at the end that was treacherous driving but it was worth it. It was by far the most spectacular place I’ve ever stayed! Three hundred sixty degree views above the tree line, beautiful sunrises and sunsets and total privacy for miles! There wasn’t much to do there so two nights and one full day was just right.
We were scheduled for another lookout tower, the Up Up Tower in Lolo National Forest, but after speaking to the ranger, it sounded like it was not passable in Loretta so we changed plans and added a second night at Hell’s Gate State Park in Idaho. We were right on the Snake River so we enjoyed a day at the beach and left early this morning for Hood River as a stopping point on our way to the Oregon Coast.
Next Up: Oregon Coast and visit with friends and family in Bay Area.