Each year we take a family vacation during the summer months. Last year, as we continued that tradition of a family vacation, we put a camping spin on it by visiting Yellowstone National Park. This year we carried on the camping theme by hiking the stunning trails of Glacier National Park.
On July 25, 2015, our family hit the road after a weekend of hanging with our most favorite people in the world, our Willow Creek family! (If you don't have a church home, you should stop by sometime!) That note aside, we set off in the wee hours of the morning on our 1,308 mile journey, just shy of 20 hours. The first night was in the not-so-spectacular, yet friendly town of Broadus, Montana. Even though the sights weren't great, sleeping in a tent allowed us a close up view of a good sized thunderstorm.
This is our second extended vacation in a tent, which has been a really great experience minus the following example. The second night of our trip we made it to our destination, Lost Johnny Point Campground, just 25 minutes outside of Glacier. Due to a grizzly bear being very interested in a dumpster just thirty feet from our tent, we made the decision to move into the National Park. We are well aware that bears are also present in Glacier and are fine with that. They are not generally too interested in humans. However, the catalyst that caused us to move was that someone left a bag of food garbage on our vehicle while we were sleeping. If you camp in bear country, it is a well known fact to keep food and garbage in the appropriate containers. The campground host even seemed somewhat alarmed by this and the bear activity happening.
In retrospect, moving campgrounds was a huge blessing. We ended up staying at Sprague Creek Campground on Lake MacDonald. Sprague Creek is a small campground on the bed of a Cedar Forest. The Lake and the forest offered the best of both worlds. We could go out to the sunny lake for a swim or start a campfire on our site in the cool of the forest.
Similar to our trip to Yellowstone, some meals were cooked over the campfire, and other meals were cooked using a white-gas Coleman stove. We brought a lot of frozen meals for breakfast and dinner that just needed to be heated. Our lunches were always picnics eaten at one of the many very beautiful pull-offs along the Going-To-The-Sun Road or around Glacier. Meals were much easier than we had anticipated. We kept things very simple but pretty tasty as well. We were also introduced to huckleberries and all of the foods that they are used in. If you decide to visit Glacier, huckleberry pie is a must!
The Sights and Sounds
Another similarity to Yellowstone is the absence of noise. There is no cellphone coverage in the park, so we were able to put our devices aside and really enjoy all the amazing sounds of natures. Also, Glacier is known as the Crown of the Continent, and the hype did not disappoint. Both Londa and I enjoy taking photographs, and we had plenty of opportunities. You can see more of the photos I took here.
What to bring
- Jacky from Sports Fitness Advisor wrote a great article entitled, "How to Shop for Camping Tents." It is most definitely worth the read.
- Rei has a great list that you can add and subtract from here. I can't really do better, so enjoy.