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The Trail to Oldman Lake
Glacier National Park

Our hike to Oldman Lake will take us about 13 hours, round trip. This is a moderate hike, that will start from the Two Medicine Valley. We will start at the campground and cross the footbridge, take the right fork on the Pitamakan Pass Trail. This will take us into a lovely forest, along the side of Pray Lake.
As we enter this spruce and fir forest, we will immediately notice the music all around us. We will be serenaded by the many different birds that live here.
This lovely setting, takes away your worldly cares. We can find tranquility here, as the breeze whispers through the evergreens. Take a lesson from these tall trees, as they teach us to always reach for the sun and to stand straight and tall. These trees grow and remain strong in spite of storms, and harsh times. They provide true hospitality for the many birds who call their branches home.
Our trip through this forest, not only treats our eyes, to the taller older trees, but to a rich undergrowth of Beargrass, Snowberry, wild roses and the Indian Paintbrush. The joyous Nuthatches, Chickadees,and Blue Jays all enjoy this lush growth closer to the forest floor.
Our trail goes north and along the foot of Rising Wolf Mountain, which stands at an altitude of 9,513 feet.

As we walk along the base of this mountain, we gradually begin to ascend toward Oldman Lake. We now go through another grove of trees. This time we find the lovely Aspens. If your hike is in the fall, these aspen trees will be dancing in their lovely bright yellow colors, against a backdrop of dark green Douglas Fir and sub alpine fir trees.
We will soon see an avalanche chute that crosses our trail, on the eastern side of Rising Wolf Mountain. This was brought about by a tremendous amount of sliding snow pack at one time.
From here we will once again go into the forest. This time we notice that the trees are home to an abundance of red squirrels. They seem to chatter constantly, as they perform their acrobatics for us. They jump from limb to limb collecting cones and scolding their neighbors to keep them away. These ambitious little fellows do not hibernate in winter, but make burrows through the deep snow to find the supply of food that they have stored away. They especially like the mushroom caps that grow on the ground. These energetic little scolding machines, may live as long as 10 years, even in the cold harsh winters of Glacier National Park.
Our trail will now wind down to the dry fork of Two Medicine Creek. Once again we hear the voices of many birds. What a lovely song fest.!
At the trail junction, the signs will tell us which way to take to get to Oldman Lake, which is about 4 miles from here. We will go into and out of lodgepole pines as we continue. We will cross a creek and at the 3 mile mark is a footbridge. Our trail leads us up hill through yet another forest at this point. As we leave this section of forest, there will be delightful views of a waterfall, where picture taking is certain to be on your list. This waterfall is not named, so name it as you like.
The miles ahead of us show what a fire can do, and how long it takes for the trees to recover. This fire happened in 1925. We will go through large open spaces and only find small groups of sub alpine fir trees. These will be standing on the south side of the mountain.
We soon come to a sign that tells us Oldman Lake is to our left. Our last mile will take us through whitebark pine with lots of open spaces. Huckleberry bushes grow here abundantly.
We find Oldman Lake at the base of Mount Morgan. To our right we will see Pitamakan Pass and Flinsch Peak. To the east we will see the effects of past glaciers.

The Trail to Oldman Lake, written by Verna Parks




Glacier National Park is located in the northwest corner of Montana, just north of Columbia Falls. The park encompasses more than one million acres and is home to grizzly bear, moose, elk, along with 63 varieties of wild mammals. While most of the roads in Glacier National Park are closed off during the winter, this provides miles and miles of tracks for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Visitors are seldom around in the dead of winter, so the muffled hush of the snow covered woods is especially enticing and serene.

A ski or snowshoe trip along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is one of the most scenic roads in North America, is a great option, according to park rangers. The road is closed to cars from September or October until snowmelt, usually in June. Several short hiking trails branch off from the road, which would be excellent for snowshoeing or skiing in the winter season.

 Once you have your gear, head up to Glacier National Park for an exciting adventure. Guided snowshoe trips are available, led by a park naturalist, and are highly recommended. If you are looking for an informative tour, snowshoeing is an easy way to explore the winter wonderland of this unique park. Snowshoeing will provide even the novice an effortless activity so your senses are more in tune with your environment and your guide's knowledge on the history, wildlife, geology, and biology of this precious ecosystem.

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