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.