Places: Glacier National Park

By Beacon Staff

Whether a local or a Fourth of July vacationer, there is no better time to visit the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park.

With most of Going-to-the-Sun Road now open, visitors driving up Logan Pass are leaving plenty of hikes, like the John Lake Loop, lightly populated at the lower elevations.

The John Lake Loop is an easy 2.4-mile hike that is perfect for shaking the dust of the hiking legs. Connecting with trails that take explorers to McDonald Falls or even Avalanche Creek and Lake, the trail is great for a spur-of-the-moment hike. It is also a popular trail for horses.

With the larch tree needles sprouting through their winter buds, this is a perfect time to enjoy the more than 700 miles of trails the park has to offer before the mid-July heat has a chance to take hold or smoke from regional fires confines explorers to their cars.

It is also appropriate this year to stop along the Going-to-the-Sun Road to marvel at its engineering and aesthetic beauty. The road was officially dedicated in 1933, marking this year as its 75th Anniversary.

How to get there:
From downtown Kalispell, take East Idaho Street (U.S. Highway 2) east. Turn north on LaSalle Road (still Highway 2). Drive through Columbia Falls and Hungry Horse. Entrance to the park is on the left.