The Crown of the Continent – Part 4

On our final day in the park, determined to see every corner of the map, we trekked across to the northwest side of the park to explore the town of Polebridge and Bowman Lake. But first, we finally nabbed a photo in front of one of the park’s entrance signs. I can’t wait to have a scrapbook full of photos of us in front of these signs. This trip has prompted us to visit at least one National Park every year for the rest of our lives. I really hope that goal sticks.

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DSCF1744The “town” of Polebridge is a popular stop for tourists because of a few shops, cute little cabins, and two cafes, namely the Polebridge Mercantile. From delicious Huckleberry Bear Claws to massive cinnamon rolls to savory pastries, this snack stop is a must.

Make sure your stomach has settled before heading to Bowman Lake because it is one seriously bumpy ride. The winding gravel road is very narrow and filled with pot holes. But the bumps are definitely worth it for this view. A serene lake surrounding by towering mountains, I had to be dragged away from this perfect place.

DSCF1757 DSCF1752We skipped a few rocks across the crisp flat water before setting out on a short hike around the lake.

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The Bowman Lake Trail is easy yet offers amazingly breathtaking views the entire time. It’s perfect for hikers of all levels and ages, our group ranged from ages 14-70.

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The only thing this wonderful area of the park is missing is waterfalls. Obsessed with them by this point in the trip, we decided to head back across the park for the rest of the afternoon to see the famous St. Mary and Virginia Falls on the East side.

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 Also an easy hike, we climbed down approximately 1 mile to get to the gorgeous St. Mary Falls.

DSCF1809 DSCF1807 DSCF1803Beautiful but only halfway to the magnificent Virginia Falls. On our way to Virginia Falls we stumbled upon a couple of skinny dippers crossing a goal off their bucket list. Kudos to them for braving the ice water! Had it been warmer, I may have jumped in myself.

DSCF1778Over the river and the through the woods to Virginia Falls we go.

DSCF1786Featuring a 50 foot drop, this gorgeous fall took the cake as our favorite in the park. The cold mist at the bottom was such a rush. I could have stayed there forever.

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What an amazing way to end the trip. Thinking it couldn’t get any better, we hopped in the car to head back toward our cabin to get some rest before our 15 hour drive back to Denver the next day. As we were leaving the park, we spotted something moving in the tree line about 100 feet away. David had been dying to see bears, so we pulled over, grabbed our cameras, and hopped out of the car to see a beautiful mama bear with two cubs. So cute!! (From a safe distance of course.) We also spotted elk and white tailed deer.

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DSCF1835An amazing end to a perfect trip, we grabbed our last glimpse of the park and unhappily said, “Until next time,” to gorgeous Glacier. Featuring fantastic trails, magnificent waterfalls, amazing mountains, beautiful rustic lodges, and much more, Glacier National Park is a magnificent park that I recommend everyone visit in their lives.

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