Continental Divide – Hiking on a Goat Track



The wind whipped across our trail. I tugged my hat down, pulling my gloves tighter. Five minutes before, I’d been in a t-shirt and shorts. But this was Glacier – land of extremes – and we’d just climbed 2,450 vertical feet to reach Dawson Pass and the Continental Divide.

The view was stunning and a little dizzying. Rock and scree fell away at a sharp angle on both sides, leaving breathtaking views of glacial lakes in the clearest blues you can imagine and rugged pines far below.

We walked on top of the world, in the midst of open air, on a goat track about a foot wide. Yes, an actual goat track. It was impossible to follow the old rule of “Don’t look down,” because the sights were far too amazing to miss! So, we carefully picked our away along, admiring anything and everything.

Until the wind hit.

People always joke about being able to lean into the wind and have it support you. On the Continental Divide, I actually could. It was a little freaky at first (and freezing!). We had to walk crouched over to keep the force of it from throwing us off our footing, but once we compensated for that it was such an exhilarating feeling.

We’d been told before starting our hike that the three-to-four miles along this stretch were some of the most spectacular in the entire park—I’d say that’s an understatement.


22 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I've felt a similar wind when climbing - we came up to where the mountain suddenly opened to a ridge and the wind blasted us all back and almost knocked us off the mountain!

    Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom
    www.mithrilwisdom.com

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  2. Now those are pics for the family scrapbook!!!

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  3. Wow! Amazing. Slightly hair raising though, I imagine. :)

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  4. Looks magnificent! I'd love to take that hike.

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  5. Beautiful photos! I know all about high winds. Live close to what used to be called the Cape of Storms.

    Sometimes the wind is so strong while I'm sprinting that it blows me to a complete stop.

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  6. Those are amazing Photos! LOVE! :)

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  7. The sights are sure beautiful! Feels like you had a wonderful time out there.
    P.S. Your pictures are adorable :)

    Kriti
    Regards
    [Stopping by from AtoZ Blogging]

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  8. Beautiful pics and story. Wonderful memories!

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  9. Great pictures! I love camping, but I'm not a big fan of backpacking. I need a few comforts like a cot, pad, giant sleeping bag, chairs, tables, nice big tent, dutch ovens, etc. :)

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  10. oh wow! what an amazing view! Love those pictures
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  11. That's amazing! However, just looking at the pictures scares me a little. Yes, I am afraid of heights. And I should be. I'm very clutzy. I'd totally fall off the edge. ;)

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  12. Leaning in to the wind is a weird feeling! I'd be a bit freaked out doing that on a mountain hike. Those pictures are spectacular, though, well worth the hike against the headwind.

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  13. Wow, stunning photos and what a cool trip. That area is gorgeous. I'm dying to hike to Desolation Peak this summer. It's in my neighborhood and a literary gem, too. This post inspires me to hike!

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  14. I love not far from a Glacier. It's really cool listening to when a chunk breaks free and hits the water below.

    Great photos.

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  15. Crikey, that's some walk!!

    New follower :)

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  16. Spectacular! I am visiting from Bob's link.

    Kathy M.

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  17. Sounds amazing! I'm itching to get out in the wild to do some backpacking this summer. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  18. I so want to go hiking on the continental divide. Love the pic., too.

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  19. Gorgeous pictures. Must have been a great experience.

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  20. how cool is that!
    wonder where you'll take us next!

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