Our first hike was memorable for two reasons. First, it was the first real hike I’ve ever been on and, second, it drained me. We started the hike with the intention of just going to Iceberg Lake (10 miles!) and returning back to the campsite. But, then the idea of going to Ptarmigan tunnel was tossed into the air… and of course we had to do it. The hike to Ptarmigan was beautiful and probably holds the most incredible views I’ve ever seen, but that does not mean the hike was easy. In fact, the hike was actually really hard. The moment we started Ptarmigan (an extra ~5 miles!) I could tell it wasn’t going to be a usual hike. First of all, unlike the trail to Iceberg, the trail was pretty void of people. This made our group feel a real intimacy with the wilderness around us. Second of all, after walking just a little bit on the trail, we came to realize that the trail had turned into one giant incline. Oof.
Nevertheless, we continued to push on. But, then another hardship came by our way. We all began to run out of water – more specifically I was the first to run out of water. This happened about halfway up the trail. That meant I had to go ~8 miles on a rationed water supply. And due to the heat that is always present at midday, this wasn’t an ideal situation. But, after careful consideration and water-sharing among the group, we decided that we could still make it, because, after all, when would be the next time I’d have to chance to make it up to Ptarmigan Tunnel or even visit Glacier National Park. So, with that reasoning egging us forward, we pushed on and I’m glad we did!
The views on the trail to Ptarmigan tunnel were, in my opinion, the most spectacular views I saw at Glacier. From the trail we could see dense packages of trees and the tan and pinkish mountains hovering over them. And, then at the end of the trail, we were granted a picturesque view of a valley that extended for miles and miles from a perch near the top of a mountain. And it was then, looking out into the valley, that I realized that this was going to be the most memorable view of my time at Glacier. And even as the days went on and I saw many beautiful sights, the view from the perch at the end of Ptarmigan still ranked number 1 on my list.