Saturday, June 20, 2015

Cracker Lake in June

On Saturday, June 20, Patti, Mary and I hiked to Cracker Lake in Glacier National Park.  This was the second time I have been to Cracker Lake.

Blue = driving route.   Red = trail.

It was a long day. Patti and Mary picked me up at 7:40 am and we didn't get back to my house until 10:40 pm.  The driving time was about two and a half hours one way.  We also ate at the Cattle Baron's Supper Club in Babb, MT and that took several hours as the service was very slow.  This was the first weekend the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road was open and the Supper Club underestimated the number of diners.  Patti and I ate here several years ago after a hike and really enjoyed the food.  This time... we were pretty disappointed in the food quality.  It will be along time before we eat here again.

The trail distance to the campground mid Cracker Lake was 6.1 miles.  I think the old copper mine at the head of the lake is another couple tenths of a mile.  Then I hiked up to Siyeh Glacier and a waterfall.  I estimate I hiked 6.6 miles one way, or a total of 13.2 miles.

I had only planned to hike to the copper mine and not beyond.  Patti and Mary had been to the mine on other trips so they stayed and relaxed on top of the large rock above the campground (the rock can be seen on left side of photo several photos below).  By the time I returned to the rock Patti and Mary were gone.  They had started hiking back to Patti's car.  I caught up to them as they waited halfway back at a stream crossing.  It was nice that I didn't have to hitchhike home.

Red = trail.   Orange = route I took in my hike to Siyeh Glacier and the nearby waterfall.

The elevation gain to the lake is about 1400 ft.  I climbed at least several hundred feet higher to reach the glacier and waterfall.

On the way to Cracker Lake, when driving on the Sun Road along McDonald Creek, we saw a bear cross the road.  It was already across the road and into the trees by the time I got my camera out and took this photo of the bear.

Cracker Lake.  The left red circle is where I hiked up the hill of loose rocks.  The right red circle is where I hiked to the waterfall.

View from the hill of loose rocks.

View from the waterfall.

Part of why it took so long for this blog post to be written is I took lots of photos.  It was hard for me to whittle the photos down to be less.  So I would wait awhile then come back and whittle some more.  I finally quit when I was down to 54 photos.  Also, I was almost done with the post when a glitch happened (somehow) and my entire post was deleted before I could publish it.  So this post had to be re-written from scratch.

For 54 more photos of the lake:

Video 1: water flowing below the waterfall:

Video 2: waterfall:

Video 3: waterfall:

Video 4: waterfall:

Overview of the Cracker Lake trail: