Throwback Thursday Vacation Edition: Montana Road Trip

I’m still on vacation, drinking Syrah in Tain l’Hermitage and desperately plotting how to smuggle as much back as humanly possible.  As I’m still in vacation mode, I thought I’d recount one of my favourite mountain vacation adventures, so today I’m stepping into my time machine and going back to 2011 when I adventured in Montana. In the process I discovered two of my favourite things:

1. Highline Trail (Logan Pass to Loop Trail Head)
Distance: 11.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 250 m over the first 7.6 miles, then drop 670 m in 4 miles
Important Details: You can take a shuttle from the Loop trail head back to Logan Pass to avoid an out and back hike. If you start this hike from the loop trail head and work towards Logan Pass you’d get a much better workout and I think you’d have better views too. I just didn’t do the research because, you know, I’m lazy. No matter the direction, it’s stunning views from end to end and there’s a good number of spur trails you can hike up to look towards Waterton Lakes mountain ranges.

There’s all sorts of stuff online about how terrifying the path is with steep drop-offs. While there are drop offs, the path is several feet wide and you never have to be anywhere near the edge. Unless you’re seriously afraid of heights and exposure, you’ll be absolutely fine. I say this as someone who’s pretty intensely fearful of exposure and who had zero discomfort whatsoever on this trail. You will likely encounter lengthy snow fields on trail so exercise caution crossing those. I saw way too many people in casual walking shoes walking across very sloped and very slippery snow fields and it made me terribly anxious. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves in terms of selling this trail.

See? Not narrow. Not terrifying.
Oh yeahhhhhhh.
So. Much. Green.
This was taken in the last few days of July and there is still substantial-sized snowfields. This one was flat, at least, but you could hear water running underneath it.
I named this guy Cletus. He made me get off the path so he could keep moving along.
I took a trail up to a pass that hikes down into the valley. Views all the way to Waterton!

2. My second favourite thing from this trip? The most mountain-kitschy of cabins you ever did see.  I’m not kidding. It was a feast for the eyes and took this road trip to the next level. I’ve never seen so much kitschy goodness in one space, and I’ve stayed in a LOT of mountain chalets. Still don’t believe me? Pictures speak louder than words.

Yes, that is a deer pelt with a Montana shaped map on it. No, I don’t know why such a thing exists.
One of many kitsch-tastic table top ornaments.
This “salmon in a river bed” was hung inexplicably high on the wall but I think we can all agree it’s fabulous nonetheless.
Animal print, animal hide lamp shade? Check.
Bear as hunter, an artful addition to the window sill.
I wanted to howl at the moon from the sheer joy of this cabin’s decor too.

I think this firmly establishes that I am not a liar. Also, it should firmly establish your need to visit Montana.


2 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday Vacation Edition: Montana Road Trip”

  1. So jealous! Rode the train from Chicago to Seattle, and seeing the Montana landscape blew me away. Definitely want to spend time on my feet in that place, and these pictures solidify that.


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