One of the cool parts about traveling into our national parks and to various campgrounds is getting the opportunity to see wildlife. Since sightings are never really guaranteed it is hard to really set your mid to seeing something. However in the days leading up to us going to Glacier National Park, I decided that we would have a high likelihood of seeing Mountain Goats. Sure I have seen them before through binoculars but I wanted to see them up close (25 yards away according to the rangers). The best place I could find in the park to have this opportunity was at Logan Pass on the Hidden Lake Trail.
To get up to Logan Pass you need to venture along the Going To The Sun Road. I had read about this road and how amazing it was. It might have been that I was paying a lot of attention to my driving, but after driving along the road, I really want all that impressed. It might be that it is very similar (although tighter) to some of the canyons that we have here in Utah so I was kind of already familiar with this type of trek.
Once we arrived at Logan Pass we set out along the Hidden Lake trail. The trail ascends up a mountain valley that is very reminiscent of scenes from The Sound Of Music. There were many wild flowers and some really spectacular views along the way.
As we continued up the trail we started to encounter a bit of snow still left over from the winter. Of course this spawned some fun play time and mini snowball fight. As we continued to climb some of the people coming down the trail would mention the Goats, which got me all excited. Then all of a sudden I heard somebody say, there right here. With a bit of added spring in my step I crested the hill and encountered my first Mountain Goat.
I was surprised how unafraid he was of me. I am sure that it is because humans pose very little threat inside the park. We ended up seeing several goats while at the overlook. A good portion of them were wearing radio and gps tracking colors. The University of Montana and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are doing a multi-year study to see how mountain goats are affected by roads, people, and trails near Logan Pass. The actual hidden lake overlook was really cool and again takes a minute to let the magnitude of the surrounding sink in. The actual trail from the overlook to the lake was close due to grizzly activity near the lake.
After the fun hike and the great time with the goats Lily wanted to cool off in Lake McDonald. The rest of us thought she was crazy, but she had a blast!