I took Juanmobile IV for a long weekend drive to Montana. This time my destination was Switcurrent Mountain located in Glacier National Park. Visiting the park is not cheap, is $25 per vehicle plus $12 per head. I ended paying $25 to let Juanmobile IV go in after telling the Staff Officer I was going to stay for just one day.
Swiftcurrent Mountain and Mt Wilbur
The Swiftcurrent Pass Trail begins in the Many Glacier Valley and makes its way up and over the Continental Divide, where it connects up with the Highline Trail.
Some lakes are found along the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail - allowing for great fishing and just general sight-seeing. The scenery along the trail is also absolutely gorgeous.
In less than 1.5 miles (2.4 km) I reached Red Rock Lake. The walk up to this lake is mostly flat. The ridge of mountains in the distance is part of the Continental Divide.
Mt Grinnell, Red Rock Lake and Switcurrent Mountain
The Continental Divide or Great Divide is a ridge of mountains in North America and Central America which separates the major watershed that flows west into the Pacific Ocean from the ones that flow north into the Arctic Ocean and south-east into the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the divide follows the crest of the Rocky Mountains.
On my left I was looking at Mt Wilbur (2841 m - 9321 ft), climbing this peak requires more skill that most other peaks on this area. I heard about people climbing the peak without a rope but most climbers are smart enough to use some form of protection.
After 4.5 miles (7.2 km) I reached Bullhead Lake. This mark the end of the flat part of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail.
I crossed twice a dry waterbed on my way to the pass. The remoteness of Glacier National Park means less congestion than you will find in Yellowstone National Park.
Then I started the long climb up to the top of the Continental Divide. The upper section of this trail may be closed due to extensive snow cover (few high elevation trails are open in early June in Glacier).
Glacier is one of the few places in the world where all native predators and most of their prey survive in the wild. Gray wolves, grizzly bears, and bald eagles thrive in the park.
While walking on the rugged trail, my thoughs left me for a while and during that period of time I was inmersed on a dramatic appreciation of the wild, and while seeing its beauty somehow I was in peace with myself.
The glaciers in Glacier National Park today are all geologically new having formed in the last few thousand years. Presently, all the glaciers in the park are shrinking. As the climate changed over the last two million years, glaciers formed and melted away several times.
Geologists theorize that about 20,000 years ago the climate became cooler and/or wetter. This allowed for the formation of huge glaciers that filled the valleys with thousands of feet of ice.
Bullhead Lake, Red Rock Lake and Fishercap Lake
Most of the rocks exposed in the park are sedimentary rocks of Proterozoic age, which were deposited from 1,600 to 800 million years ago.
Finally I reached the pass. At this point you can descend to the other side of the pass via the chalet on the Highline Trail or continue upwards to the fire lookout.
Going upwards to get to the fire lookout for a 360-degree panoramic view added another hour to my hike. I was having fun passing people that minutes before looked like ants.
Reaching Swiftcurrent Mountain