Glacier National Park – St. Mary‘s Lake


Red Eagle Lake to Reynolds Creek Campground

15 miles

Other than a couple of thunder bolts last night had been very quiet. I woke up early to the sound of light rain on my tent. Once the dripping stopped it was windy and I waited for a while until at least my rainfly was half way dry. From outside. Inside it was wet from condensation. I couldn’t help it and packed together a wet tent.

The first part of the trail led through a burned area with dense brush vegetation. The trail pretty much followed Red Eagle Creek. Short before I would cross over a man on a horse came towards me. As he came closer it turned out that he was leading a group of mules (crossing between horse and donkey). He explained to me that he was about to pick up a trail crew further up. He would transport their tools and equipment on the mules while the trail crew hiked out. I wished him a nice day and a safe trip and went along the River to the next suspension bridge. “One Hiker at a time…”

Over the bridge the landscape was still the same and the trail led up a small ridge. I saw a coyote in the distance. It looked at me but as soon as I got the camera out it ran away. Scared of human beings. I could understand that!

I hiked around the next bend and got some first views of St. Mary Lake. The trail would follow along the southern shore of the lake for a long time. While I hiked along the lake I experienced four seasons in one day. It was nice and sunny at first and I sat down with Shadow from Holland and his hiking partner. We spread our tents in the sun and pulled off our wet socks. My feet wouldn’t be dry for long!

Short after I left the two behind it started raining again. I was drenched and not looking forward to be cold and wet at camp. After a while the trail finally left the lake and the next scenic place I passed was Victoria Falls and St. Mary falls.

Obviously a magnet for day hikers even in the rain. It was very scenic but also wet and cold. My personal highlight was a deer that was just walking along the tourist trail without any fear at all. Sweet guy, don’t you think?

I took off the main tourist trail and headed towards Reynolds Creek where I would share a tentsite with another CDT hiker. The trail was muddy and I was wondering how the campground would look like. At least it had stopped raining and me and my gear could dry a little bit.

A bridge went over Reynolds Creek to the campground . And here is what a backcountry campground in Glacier National Park looks like: first we have the food preparation area and the food hanging area.

Somewhere else are different campsites in the forest.

Last but not least there is a usually very good looking pit toilet away from it all.

Of course also the campsite at Reynolds Creek is packed with CDT hikers and me. We all sat together in the food area for dinner but I got cold and so I moved into my tent early. Tomorrow I’ll have to go over Piegan Pass which is supposed to have lots of snow on both sides. I hope it all works well and I can arrive on time in Many Glacier to get all my chores done and – of course – to eat a big burger!

2 replies
  1. Mary
    Mary says:

    I got caught up with your travels! I love your photos, beautiful scenery and flowers. I had not seen the food hanging set up before, the bears have not yet learned to cut the ropes to the food sacks??

    Hope the snow keeps melting and the trails easy to navigate!

    • lifetimetrails
      lifetimetrails says:

      Thank you Mary! Glacier is just incredible! You have to make it there someday. No, surprisingly the bears don’t know how to cut the ropes. So far no bear incidents.


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