Friday, August 12, 2016

Whitefish, Montana: Day 4

On Thursday morning, we loaded up and drove up to the West Entrance of Glacier National Park, stoping briefly to pick up our second hiking pack from Glacier Baby Outfitters at Montana Coffee Traders in Columbia Falls {we also picked up a coconut milk latte and a couple cheddar kale chive scones - YUM! all their breakfast choices looked scrumptious!}. We were in the park {$80 annual pass for ALL national parks, forests, and monuments -- take that, Disney!} and parked at the Apgar Lookout Trailhead by 9:45. 

Apgar Lookout is 6.6 miles round trip and described as moderate difficulty with an elevation change of just under 2,000 feet.  The front half is pretty much all uphill as you ascend 3 long switchbacks through post-2003 Robert Fire new forest growth. We were told the summit features gorgeous views of Lake McDonald, but we'll have to take our guide's word for it as we turned around right at 2.5 miles for a total of 5 miles of hiking. B was pretty D-O-N-E at that point, poor guy! 

We rocked every single walking / carrying combo imaginable during this hike: B on my back and L on E's and vice versa, one kid walking and the other in a pack, both kids walking, me carrying B in my arms... We were quite the caravan. I will say, if you are contemplating a kid hiking pack, invest in a Deuter. E and I have remarked multiple times we wish we'd just sucked it up and purchased a second (and we've hiked with two Ospreys, a Chicco, and a Kelty for comparison) -- the Deuter is worth every penny! It's so much more comfortable for the adult hiker and the mini meatloaf cargo; our minions fight over who gets to ride in it {and that's saying something for B who doesn't love pack-hiking to begin with}. 

We listened to a lot of Hamilton {kept those bears away!}, picked up a lot of rocks, and admired a lot of flowers. About a mile from the trailhead on our way back, B decided hiking was the ABSOLUTE WORST and provided a good dose of birth control for the golden carefree college kids giggling their way past us. E was a trooper and jogged the last mile with our howling buddy while L and I meandered down together. My girl hiked over 2 miles on her own; so proud of her good attitude! 

After car peanutbutter and honey sammies and very late but much needed naps, we rallied the troops once again for a fantastic early supper at Buffalo Cafe & Nightly Grill {the mac and cheese was so delicious B came home with it in his EYELASHES and I stole at least 7 bites}. We also hit up Sweet Peaks for ice cream kiddie cups and the local playground to burn off that last smidge of energy! 

And now Phelps is killing it IM-style on Mountain Time TV and we're snuggled up in front of the fire. Excellent end to another excellent day!


  1. Kate - We are headed to Whitefish/GNP for our second time in September - the last trip we coupled it with a week in Jackson hole. (This trip we're adding a week in Banff). Love seeing your restaurant and hike reviews beforehand, and glad someone else has discovered how great Whitefish is!

    -Charlotte Whitlock

    1. Oh man, Whitefish is incredible! I'm so glad we were "forced" to switch! I would love to hear about your experiences in Banff -- my parents were there a few years ago and loooooooved it!


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