Glacier Lake Trail

Rich and Erik on the Glacier Lake Trail

We could have been on a hiking trail in northern Minnesota. We traveled over well worn ground carpeted by pine needles, deep in a green forest with only the earliest spring wild flowers displaying their colors. Sunshine streaked through the branches, showering us with light only when the canopy allowed it through. Sounds of rushing water in overflowing spring streams were easily confused with the rustle of the wind in the treetops overhead.

View from the trail

But as soon as a broader vista was available, the myth was dispelled and it was obvious we were in the Canadian Rockies. All it took was a bit of a break in the trees to see the snow covered peaks beyond. But even better were the overlooks, where we could see mountains in all directions. And every time we saw them, it felt new to us all over again. An amazing vista.

Today we were blessed with sunshine, blue sky and a return to summer! It helped that we followed the knowledgeable advice gained at the Information Center in Lake Louise and chose a hike at a lower elevation, known to be snow-free early in the season. It was a 9 km hike to Glacier Lake, which was over rolling terrain with one long climb up to a high ridge and then down to the shores of the lake. The spring runoff overwhelmed the trail at times, sending us scrambling for footholds or into the surrounding brush in an attempt to keep our feet dry.

Arriving at Glacier LakeBut arriving at the lake was the best part of all. We emerged from the woods to the shores of a turquoise blue lake ringed by snowy mountains. And not another sole in sight. We had a picnic lunch on the rocky beach, soaking up the sun and the view. A bit of quick exploration revealed Campsite viewbeautiful campsites right on the lake shore, and left us envious of others who would be staying the night in such a gorgeous location. We would all have traded our comfy cabin for a tent on the lake in a heartbeat. Even after significant lingering time, it was all we could do to tear ourselves away and begin our return trip. But then, it’s always better to leave wanting more.

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