|Hike Name:||Glacier National Park - Boulder Pass Trail|
|Trip Date:||July 30, 2010|
|Trail Traffic:||Light to Moderate|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 61-70, Low: 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||The sunrise over Upper Kintla Lake was worth getting up for today. However, I sacrificed my breakfast to an admiration of the sunrise as I had to get on the trail by 700AM to be able to complete the day's hike by time my ride arrived at the trailhead at 100PM.
The hike to the other end of Upper Kintla Lake was uneventful, although I did alarm a bald eagle perched on a stump near the lakeshore. Of course, his flight across the lake was much quicker than my hand on the camera, so no picture. There was quite a bit more up and down than I expected on this hike, so I broke a sweat on what was supposed to be a stroll through the woods. It was 5.5 miles from the Upper Kintla Lake campground to the divide between the two lakes. The divide is a ridge of glacial till with a stream cutting through it. While watering up at the stream, two pairs of backpackers passed me going up.
Back on the trail, I encountered the NPS trail crew working on a boggy area above the lower lake and thanked them for the work they do. Shortly after that I passed the Top of Kintla Lake campground, one of the larger backcountry campsites. Here I acquired 3 companions for the hike to the trailhead, 2 girls and a guy (in their 20s) from Idaho. They had only hiked in as far as Upper Kintla Lake campground (doing it in 2 days) and were retracing their route out. I think they were very heavily loaded for such a short trip.
Along Lower Kintla Lake the trail traffic started to increase by mid-morning, first with backpackers on their way in, then with day hikers and lots of them. We passed through a recently burned area, and there we caught the first warming sunlight of the day. There was also what seemed like a gratuitous 300' climb around a ridge, it might as well have been 3 times that height for as tired as I was getting.
About 2 miles from the end of the trail, I had to stop and remove my boots. Yesterday's hike through the snow had caused my boots to get wet, and now that dampness was making my socks wet, too. So I changed to a pair of dirty but dry socks, and dressed the hotspots on my feet to avoid blisters. My hiking companions pushed on without me, so I did not catch up to them until I reached the trailhead where they were just about to have lunch.
At the trailhead is a car camp and boat launch -- luxuries of civilization. Even though this particular camp is as far from civilization as one can get by car in Glacier National Park, it still seemed to be an overly comfortable way to play. Time on trail today 5hrs and 30min, total distance 11.6 miles.