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Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

West Palm Beach...
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Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

I am looking at the lake tours and ranger led hikes at Two Medicine and St. Mary's. Is it worth going on both? If you had to choose one, which would it be? We are going on the one at Many Glacier too. We like the lakes and did go on the lake tour of Lake McDonald last year.

I am also considering just the boat ride at Two Medicine and then a hike on our own or just the boat ride, due to wanting an early hike. The ranger led tour is later in the day.

If you take a 9:00 boat ride at Two Medicine, would there likely be lots of company on the hikes that originate from there? I know Two Medicine does not have as many people visiting. We loved that area and found it to be beautiful and serene last year. Perhaps with other trails still closed it will be busier this year.

My DH wants a ranger led tour, especially on a less traveled path, due to bears. We know how to be bear aware on trails and we will have bear spray, but he is antsy about it this year. I hope that will wane when we arrive like it did last year. On well traveled trails, like Va Falls, he was fine. I was surprised and happy he went on some trails with just the two of us starting out.

We will arrive July 9th, when some of the popular trails are not open. We are not big hikers but enjoy shorter ones. Last year we did Two Cedars, Trick Falls, Red Rock Falls, Virginia Falls and the short Many Glacier ranger led hike. I fell in love with Glacier and can't wait to go back!

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Lake McDonald
Lake McDonald
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Glacier National Park, MT
Virginia Falls
Virginia Falls
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Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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1. Re: Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

I would have no problem hiking with just two in the Two Med area that time of year. The berries will not be ripe yet and it is rare to encounter grizzlies in that area. I like the hike to Upper Two Med Lake and Twin Falls from the boat dock. easy and pretty. I have done that hike by myself.

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indiana
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2. Re: Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

In Many Glacier did you walk to Grinnell Lake? This can be done with or without the boat ride. Beautiful lake and you can usually find a secluded spot. I have not taken the boat at Two Medicine. It is a less visited area but every time I have been there, there are plenty of other hikers on the shorter trails. The St. Mary boat ride offers a chance to get off and walk to Baring Falls. This walk is fifteen or so minutes and on your own. You can also go on a guided walk to St. Mary Falls (which you have already seen).

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St. Mary Falls
St. Mary Falls
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3. Re: Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

I did all the boat tours and associated hikes available last year (late June/early July). You can't go wrong with any of them, as they are all unique. So I say do both if you want to.

If you can only do one, I would probably do the Two Medicine boat, since it would be a lot longer to hike to Upper Two Medicine Lake and Twin Falls without the boat. I really enjoyed the ride on St. Mary Lake, but you can get to Baring Falls and St. Mary Falls easily from the GTTSR. Also, if you do the ranger-led tour, the group at Two Med was smaller (and had an older average age) the day I did it than the St. Mary hike (lots of kids with bear bells on that one....).

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St. Mary Lake
St. Mary Lake
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Glacier National Park, MT
St. Mary Falls
St. Mary Falls
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West Palm Beach...
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4. Re: Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

Thanks. I will look into the Upper Two Med. Lake and Twin Falls. I guess we will just see what it looks like and how he is feeling that morning. We will take the boat ride, see how many are around, and make a decision then. I don't want to wait around for the afternoon ranger led hike.

The Baring Falls hike sounds interesting to do with the St.Mary's boat tour. Virginia falls was impressive. We might go back there but can easily access that from GTTSR.

I want to do Avalanche Trail in Lake McDonald area. That should be a busy trail.

Yes we went to Grinnell Lake with the ranger last year. Nice hike. We will likely repeat that this year. I know Grinnell Glacier will be closed. I think I read that it is open for about 1 1/2 miles at the beginning. That hike might have a lot of traffic on it with people going as far as they can. Does it go a different direction from the Grinnell Lake or does it continue on after that? There is not a morning opening yet on the boat, but I know we can hike around Swiftcurrent Lake if we can handle the additional mileage. I think we could.

Thanks for your insight.

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Lake McDonald
Lake McDonald
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Glacier National Park, MT
Grinnell Glacier
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Swiftcurrent Lake
Swiftcurrent Lake
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5. Re: Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

I second the Two Med boat ride.

Lots of people will be hiking to Twin Falls and Upper Two Medicine Lake.

The trail between Twin Falls & Two Medicine Lake will most likely have lots of snow cover.

Last year which was a lower snow year their was 10 feet of snow at Two Medicine Lake.

Cleats are handy this time of year in Glacier Park.

The Ranger Led Hike is at 11:30 am which isn't terribly late as this is a very short hike for Glacier.

Last year I did hike back on the North Shore after taking the ranger hike and there was more bear scat on that trail then I have seen anywhere.

glacierhikers.com/upper-two-medicine-lake-tr…

One of these days I need to go to Upper Two Medicine Lake when there isn't snow on the ground.

The lakeshore on that lake is choked with dead trees and branches.

montana slow hiker

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West Palm Beach...
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6. Re: Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

I don't have cleats and probably don't want to hike where I need them if that means hiking through snow. If I read the link to the guide about the Two Medicine Hike correctly, if you take the boat ride you do not need to take the North Shore part of the hike because it shortens it considerably, hence, perhaps avoiding that area where you saw all the scat?

It will be our first day in Glacier after waking up in East Glacier that morning, heading to Many Glacier that night, so I was hoping to get an early start, which is why I was thinking of doing the hike on our own earlier.

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7. Re: Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

Last year, there was no snow on the trail from the boat dock to Upper Two Medicine Lake on June 29. The trail status page for this year (…nps.gov/applications/…) says that it was 80% snow covered from Twin Falls to the lake on 6/20 - if there isn't an update online before then, you can check with the rangers before you start your hike to get the latest update on snow cover.

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8. Re: Which lake tour and ranger led hike/ shorter hikes?

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