The siren call of fresh air and vast vistas, far from the crowds of Glacier National Park, brought us back to Sperry Chalet for a second summer. After last year’s two night stay, Meg and I decided that we needed an extra day of hiking from the Chalet, so we opted for three nights this time. We also invited our New Hampshire family–younger son Michael and his wife Sara– to join us. The Chalet does not have any electricity and the rooms have no running water. We shared a room together with easy going banter, and easy communication.
The Chalet was constructed in 1914 by the Great Northern Railroad to bring tourists to the Park on its railroad. The railroad turned the Chalet over to the park service in 1950, and it is now run by a concessionaire which as been family run since 1954.
“Chalet” is glorified title for a beautiful two story rock and beam structure with twenty basic rooms. It provides an easy way to spend time in the back country. All one needs to do is hike 6.5 miles and gain 3300 feet from Lake McDonald, packing in clothes and personal gear. Neither tent nor sleeping bag is needed, and wonderful food is provided in the dinning hall, cooked over propane stoves.
We enjoyed two outstanding day hikes. This set of pictures show our first hike to Lake Ellen Wilson. The bear grass filled the meadows and rocky ridges, stretching the eye and the imagination. Mountain goats periodically interrupted our hike, watching us with curious expressions, and posing nicely for pictures. These views opened heart, mind and soul, and the lake also refreshed the body with a cold swim.
|meadow above Lake Ellen Wilson|
|Mountain goats, Lake Ellen Wilson|
|Sunset, Lake McDonald, Sperry Chalet|
|On the way to Lake Ellen Wilson|
|Bear grass and waterfalls above Lake Ellen Wilson|
|Lake Ellen Wilson|
|Lake Ellen Wilson|
|Meg returning to Sperry Chalet from hike|
|Sunset, Sperry Chalet, Lake McDonald|
|Sara and Michael reading in front of Sperry Chalet|
|cliffs above Sperry Chalet|
|Meg and Michael hiking through bear grass to Sperry Chalet|
|Sunset, Sperry Chalet|
|Meg at start of trail to Sperry Chalet|