Two Medicine Lake in southeast Glacier National Park, Montana, USA is a spectacular place.
Originally, the plan for the final day, and trip home, involved traveling the Going-To-The-Sun Road one more time. This engineering marvel is an incredible stretch of scenic highway spanning the park.
Construction delays on that road combined with the logistics of accommodation at Glacier Haven Inn suggest an alternate and new experience would be preferable.
The chosen alternative will be a drive east along Highway 2 and into Glacier National Park's East entrance at the bottom of the park for the unplanned opportunity to experience a bit of the Two Medicine area in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.
An early start beneath an amazing sunrise travels twisting, roller-coaster road with awesome mountain views across the Continental Divide one last time at 5,216 ft. (1,590 M) over Marias Pass, the lowest elevation pass on the Continental Divide in Montana, USA.
Marias Pass is also the boundary between the Flathead and Lewis and Clark National Forests. The name Marias was first mentioned by Captain Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, in his diary of 1805 when he named the Atlantic-bound, Marias River after his cousin, Maria Wood.
Long ago, the Blackfeet Indian Nation called it 'Backbone Pass'. Salish and Kootenai Indians used the pass to cross the mountains and hunt bison on the plains. Shortly past the turn into the East Gate of Glacier National Park, there is an opportunity to enjoy a unique and excellent breakfast omelet at the 'Whistle Stop Restaurant'.
In Glacier National Park along scenic Hwy 49 north, the exit into Two Medicine leads to parking near the shore of Two Medicine Lake. The incredible peace and beauty of the mountain-surrounded lake begs for a brief stroll.
A variety of parking areas and accompanying signs provide clear evidence there is a lot of trail here worthy of exploration.
Although previous efforts have left me nearly 'hiked out', there is an overwhelming temptation to check out a couple of the short hauls.
There is no doubt a return to Glacier National Park, Montana in the future, has become mandatory. A portion of the soul refuses to leave.
Continuing north on Highway 49, over exciting and fascinating road, the journey links into Highway 89, past familiar St. Mary Lodge where good memories reside, and swift efficient passage through Carway Customs onto Highway 2 for the drive north and home to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
If you believe a hiking excursion to Glacier National Park, Montana may be in your future, rest assured, there is something for everyone. Trails are well designed and meticulously maintained. Accommodation reservations are best made may months ahead.
The trails in Canada's Glacier National Park at Rogers Pass in British Columbia, are equally spectacular but the two National Parks which share incredible scenery and adventure within scenic mountainous regions provide substantially different experiences.
Glacier National Park in Montana, USA is a short drive beyond Waterton Lakes National Park in south-west Alberta, Canada. These two parks form the world's first and only International Peace Park as a model of cooperation between the shared resources of two countries.