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August 14/Day 28. The Highline Loop Trail is a 12-mile excursion that starts at Logan Pass and ends on the Sun road at a point called The Loop. It wends its way among the mountains and over a high pass to Granite Park Chalet, one of several such destinations built around 1913 by the railroads as a way of luring rich clients onto their trains with visions of an untamed West. Unlike tourists today, those from an earlier era rode horses up from a train depot near my campsite in the valley. It was considered quite a ritzy deal, very expensive and upper crust.

To reach the chalet, I hike a pencil-thin trail past precipice and across talus slopes, over numerous swift-running rills of snowmelt, and past weeping walls glistening in the sun, festooned with flowers thick like hanging baskets. I’ll let pictures tell the tale:

This fella's the size of a very large cat. Can't think what he's called right now.

Highline Trail crossing talus slope

Granite Park Chalet

By dusk I’m back down off the mountain, sitting exhausted and inert in the camper, unable even to remove my hiking boots, when I suddenly realize—I’ve got to hit the road first thing in the morning! I miscalculated, thinking I have another day in Glacier when, in fact, it will take me two days to reach my next venue, not just one. Despite being completely drained, I force myself to ready the camper for a pre-dawn departure. Who knows if I’ll ever return? Truly, I’m not ready to say good-bye to Glacier.

And the sky above

Long way down...

Across the valley

Watch your step


The chalet, top center

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