Day 1: Chief Mountain trailhead

Sunday July 14, 12.7mi/20.4km

Chief Mountain Trailhead (0.0/5325ft) to Glenn’s Lake Head camp (12.7/4865ft) (MT)

I woke up early, and got a ride from the hostel at 6:30am to the Two Medicine Ranger station. Turtleman is a former AT thru-hiker, and he now lives in East Glacier and gives rides to hikers. I arrived at the Ranger station before 7am, and got in line. The backcountry camping permits are popular, but it turned out fine. I got a permit for a longer first day (12+ miles), and a normal second and third day (14-ish miles). I hitched a ride back to town, and took a nap at the hostel until 11am (checkout time).

After my nap, I walked down to the general store for lunch. I ordered a pizza, and did my resupply food shopping. I noticed that beer sales are prohibited this weekend, this happened last time I was here too!

I lounged around the town after lunch, since my ride to the trailhead didn’t leave until 5pm. I checked out the East Glacier Lodge, it’s huge inside!

I met TurtleMan at 5pm, and we made the hour-long drive to the trailhead. We had a fun conversation about all things hiking, and even about the Te Araroa in New Zealand. Along the way, it even felt like NZ, with several cows standing in the road.

We drove by Chief Mountain, which is sacred to the Blackfeet tribe, so I don’t think it’s climbed.

I got my traditional starting photo at the US/Canada border, and then I was off into the woods!

The trails here are so much nicer than back east. It was fun to cruise at 3.5+miles per hour!

And the views definitely don’t suck, either.

I enjoyed crossing the Belly River, it had a long swingbridge. So fun!

The views just kept coming.

It took me until 10pm to hike the 12+miles to camp, since I started after 6pm. But it’s daylight out until 10pm too, so all was good! I passed a group of three guys in the fading daylight, and one of them recognized me! “Hey, I think I met you on the Dart-Rees Track, coming out of Glenorchy”. (New Zealand). Holy cow! After my initial stunned reaction, I confirmed to him that he was right. I recognized him too, and Chris and I chatted for a minute before I took off down the trail. Small world.

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