Raw, Natural Beauty at Glacier National Park
We couldn’t have found a more beautiful place to spend a few days after having to leave the luxurious and impressive Paws Up resort. Glacier National Park…could be the last best park! Virtually untouched, amazing country. Although we arrived on a cloudy day with intermittent rain showers and 40 degree temperatures, I think it made for even more stunning pictures. The clouds kept swirling in and amongst the mountain peaks and at some points on the trail you felt like you literally were “in the clouds.”
Hiking the Highline Trail leads you through dense, forested paths, along lush, almost tropical flora and on the edge of cliffs at times…a little nerve-wracking if you have a fear of heights. I would have to say that this is one of my top ten hikes that I’ve ever done. The views are spectacular and the mix of lush greenery and vibrant wildflowers will have you staring in wonder around every bend. We kept our eyes peeled for mountain goat, bighorn sheep or even a grizzly bear, but no wildlife was to be found on this day (however, after seeing the stuffed grizzly in our hotel standing upright and reaching about 8 feet tall, I’m pretty sure we were lucky not to). I’m not sure the pictures even do justice to the beauty of this place, but we tried.
We stayed one night at the Grouse Mountain Lodge, which had a huge welcoming boardwalk style porch off the lobby. Our room was spacious with a large bathroom and dual sinks which is always nice. Again, it was great to see another hotel implementing ecofriendly practices by having soap, lotion and shampoo dispensers in the bathroom. That night we ventured into the town of Whitefish and were pleasantly surprised with the various shopping and dining options. Whitefish is a cool, hip town and I would have loved to have more time to explore. We had dinner at Latitude 48 in their underground bar which is very cozy and decorated in rich red tones. Great craft cocktails and small plates. We popped into the Great Northern Brewery to sample local beers – tried the Good Medicine Strong Ale – big bold flavor with good balance of malt and hops, and the Going to the Sun IPA – grapefruit nose, good strong hop flavor.
Don’t leave Whitefish without a visit to Casey’s Bar. Wow – I thought I had walked into the Russian Lady in downtown Hartford. The layout is exactly the same with a big winding staircase leading upstairs to a dance bar. And yes, they were actually playing awesome top 40 dance tunes up there! Try the Mexican Mule, their version of a Moscow Mule with hornitos tequila, freshly pressed lemon juice, simple syrup, ginger beer, salted rim, and lime.
We spent our second night at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake. What a beautiful property set right on the lake with a marina and boat club. Big, spacious rooms with comfortable king beds and a huge bathroom with slate tiling, huge glass enclosed shower and Jacuzzi tub, and sliding wooden windows that open into the bedroom and face the window so you can see outside while you shower! Their outdoor tiki bar was closed, but looked like a totally fun, lively place to spend your summer evenings. Even though it was chilly, in the 50s, we sat outside on the deck at the Boat Club restaurant and with two fire pits and rooftop heaters, it was very comfortable and perfect for viewing the amazing sunset.