Tuesday we took a short day. We all needed the rest after Cobalt Lake, and we moved camp from Two Medicine to Many Glacier. We drove up the east end of the Going to the Sun Road until the closure point due to avalanche destruction. The trailhead for the falls was kind of intermixed with the road construction site.
The first waterfall, St Mary was broad and full of water. Downstream the river was gorgeous too, overflowing with bright blue glacial water. It looked inviting to swim in until I considered the fact that it was probably near freezing from all the snow melt, and the current was really fast.
This was definitely a tourist trail. There were people the whole length. Most of the way up to the second falls, we let Isaac down to walk on his own. He did quite well. Every ditch was tested for mud or water. All the flowers by the trail were admired. But he hiked up to the base of Virginia falls, and after a break there, hiked to the higher viewing spot. At that point, much to Isaac’s dismay, we stuffed him back into the carrier to keep him from falling off any precipices. This second waterfall was quite tall. It generated a strong breeze and sent cold spray everywhere. There was a large rock platform where everyone stood to have their picture taken in the wind blast and wet. Mom and I braved it and came back soaked.
For lunch, we turned off onto St Mary Lake Trail for some peace and quiet from the crowds. We saw no one else headed out that way, probably because the trailhead is over twenty miles away. Just as we finished up lunch, some menacing clouds moved in. We were a little concerned about Tyson’s boots sitting on top of the car to dry, so Mom and I hustled back. Once we climbed the hill on the far side of the lower falls, we saw that the menacing clouds were limited to the peaks and the rest of the sky was clear. And it turned out that we had not hustled very fast because Tyson and Dad caught up to us on the uphill.
The biggest indignity of the day was that not 200′ shy of the trailhead, the construction workers posted a great big road crew sign closing the trail. There was another way back to the parking lot, but it meant backtracking our last half mile up the hill and then hiking back up a different mile or so long trail back to the parking lot.