June 5 – 8, 2013: Shelby, MT and Glacier National Park   2 comments

We left the Rest Area near Columbus, MT around 6 AM (MDT) and drove to Shelby, MT. Shelby is a town close to the Canadian border and a stopping point for us before crossing the border.


Along the way to Shelby, we saw the Rocky Mountains to our west. Shelby isn’t technically in the mountains, but the Rockies are close. We thought the low hanging clouds were kind of cool.

Since we had been driving long days, we needed to take a break and relax. We camped at the city park in Shelby. We set up camp, grilled some brats, and then walked a short distance to the softball/baseball fields in the same city park. We really enjoyed watching the kids play softball and baseball. It reminded us of the good ol’ days with our own kids. We also met a couple who were on their way to Alaska, Chuck and Ruth. They have been full-timing for about 10 years, I believe, and have been to Alaska previously. We had a great time talking with them and hope to see them again. June 6 was a true day of rest for us. We slept in (sort of) and watched DVD’s of Big Bang Theory and some movies. The break did us some good.


This is our campsite in the Shelby City Campground.

On Friday, June 7, we drove to Glacier National Park, which is about 80 miles west/northwest of Shelby. We were advised to go to the St Mary entrance which is the eastern end of the Going to the Sun Road. This is the main road through Glacier Park, but we could only travel about 13 miles into the park. The road was closed, either due to snow or road construction in the middle of the park. We heard both reasons for why the road was closed, and in reality, it’s a moot point. I think the park ranger told us that Glacier NP wasn’t going to fully open until June 21 this year. If you drive in from West Glacier, you can only travel about 15 miles or so. However, the 13 miles we were able to travel afforded us plenty of vistas showing snow-topped mountains, waterfalls, and lakes.


A view of the mountains in Glacier National Park as we enter the St Mary entrance.

Glacier is very pretty, but I have to admit that I like Yellowstone National Park better. Yellowstone just has so many different things to see, and frankly, whenever I leave Yellowstone, I feel like I’ve defied the volcano god one more time. We hope to go back there in a couple of years. Wish us luck with the volcano god when we go back again.  🙂


This is Lake St Mary with one of the many Glacier mountains in the background.

The park ranger recommended we look for a little island towards the end of the lake.


If you look past my right shoulder, you will see Wild Goose Island. Apparently, there is a goose that lives there this year.

There are many waterfalls that can be seen while driving through the park.  The next few photos are some of the falls we saw while driving along the Going to the Sun Road.


If we wanted, we could have walked along this underpass to the other side of the road to see the falls coming down from the mountain.


This is the same falls, just further down the path.


Just a stream alongside the road.


We never could determine the name of this falls. It “might” be St Mary Falls or Virginia Falls.

The ranger also told us that we would see the mountain that is used as the mountain for Paramount.  Well, we found two choices, so you can pick the mountain that you prefer.


This is Paramount choice #1.

My husband thought the second option might be the model used by Paramount.


Paramount choice #2.

The park ranger at the St Mary entrance recommended we also drive up to the Many Glacier entrance. This entrance is also on the east side of Glacier north of St Mary. In theory, this is the area of Glacier where we could see the most wildlife. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky this day. Except for a curious fox crossing the road in front of us, we didn’t see see any other wildlife, save some birds. Well, we were only a week into our adventure, so we felt like there would be plenty of other opportunities to see wildlife.


We did find this nice “little” fast-flowing stream. It’s pretty, but cold.

We drove back to Shelby and spent the evening and next day resting up for the next leg of the trip – the Canadian national parks of Banff and Jasper.


2 responses to “June 5 – 8, 2013: Shelby, MT and Glacier National Park

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  1. I agree with Ken – I think it’s choice #2!

    • Hi Donna. Finally have adequate wi-fi to reply. What does Ken know? Actually, you could be correct. I suspect it also matters what angle the picture was taken from. Anyway, I hope all is well with you. This has been a real adventure. Hope we survive.

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