The Trip Out......
My buddy at work laughed when I told him we were trying to get to Glacier again in the little plane..... he called it my "White Whale". The last 4 years we have tried and failed to get there. Wx, fires, work, and family events all conspired against us. We did not even plan to try this year until last week - I told Andi - I think we should go. Low key affair, camp with the plane, casual tour of the park, get some pics, and come on back home.
We tried to leave Saturday, but the winds over the mountains (and on the ground)were over 40 knots, so we stayed home til Sunday. We launched early at full gross and made our way west. No photos of Minnesota or the Dakotas as we have seen those before - still beautiful country tho!
I had long been interested in an area called the Missouri Breaks, and our route took us right over them. They did not not disappoint! Stark desolation and beauty.
Here is Fort Peck Lake as we started into the Breaks
Heller Farm Airstrip right on the banks of the Mighty Mo - might be a fun place to camp for a night or two. I think you would find some peace and quiet!
Two wider views of this amazing area - it is just beautiful! We plan to visit again......
Next stop Glacier! We landed at KGPI to pick up a car and grab a quick bite after 6 hours in the plane. 9er-Pop-Hotel was trooper, Full gross, 2300+ hours, no problem, she just keeps ticking! Andi drove the car over to where we were camping, Ryan Field, just outside of West Glacier, but I got to have the thrill of flying in. It was a bit challenging, but the payoff was spectacular!
Note: If you want to visit - read up on the requirements and consider making a donation to the RAF they are great people helping keep really cool little airstrips alive.
The pics don't really do it justice......
Just landed and a bit overwhelmed
2500 ft of paradise right outside Glacier NP.
The Golden Hour........ Tied down and camp set up
Nice camp fire on Sunday night to cap off a great day. (Note- Monday the airfield was closed to new arrivals and all fires due to dry conditions)
Monday morning dawned cool and crisp, we were ready to explore!
We've all seen the pics of Glacier, but it really is different in person. There was smoke from the Cali fires, but even so it is breathtaking. Here are some of my favorites:
St Mary's Lake - this is near the end of the road since the east side of the park is shut down.
One of the many amazing falls after hiking in a bit. Teens and my goofy wife went swimming.......
Beer Break! The Wasatch Apricot Hefeweizen was our best of the trip!
More stunning lake vistas
Did I mention falls...... so many pretty falls....
We would just sit and stare.......
Since the Going to the Sun Road was kind of a zoo - we went up the west side of the park to Bowman Lake. One of the prettiest places you will ever see. It gets 3 pics....
We got back to camp and the field was officially closed.........
Weds evening we sadly broke camp and got ready to head home. I flew back to KGPI to get gas and we got cleaned up at a hotel before the long ride home early Thursday morning.
Just departed Ryan Field - we will be back!
We got an early start on Thursday and the views over the mountains were unreal!
We followed US 2 even tho we were above the top of the peaks
First morning sun over Glacier looking north
Not much to add........
We dodged some rain over the plains and got home to mail, email and the need to clean our gear and the plane. Working on that stuff now!
What a great trip! The park was a zoo, but that left us with a great reason to return. Get out there!!!
Wow, that's some stunning views! We've been wanting to go to Glacier NP, but have hesitated b/c I've heard of issues with the weather (how unpredictable and rapidly it changes). What was your experience?
It was 85 and sunny during the days and 48 and crisp at night. We saw no rain. Winds over the mountains were our only obstacle. It is really dry there right now - they need some rain.
It is stunningly beautiful.
On the Bucket list
Glacier National Park is one of my 'fly to bucket list ' items, and has been for years. I have photos of myself on the shore of Bowman lake when I was about 8 years old. Never been back since.
I retire this year, so perhaps next summer!!
Great photos and thanks for the trip report!
Heller bottom Farm is a great little spot. They have a cabin you can stay at. I love the last bullet point on the welcome sign.
I was there on a 4-wheeler, not a plane, yet.
Beautiful area to fly.
Glacier NP is awesome. The scale of the place is so huge that it's really hard to photograph in a way so that the enormity comes across.
We flew there as a stop on our "17-day Road Trip by Air" in 2008. Got a rental car but only managed to get 1/4 of the way into the park as the highway was closed due to avalanche... in July.
Did you travel up to Polebridge and get their Montana Sunrise?
Pete & Jeremy, Wonderful Photos! Thanks for posting.
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