Stepping off the trail near Skiumah Lake, one realizes the enormity of the Great Bear Wilderness.
After hiking about two miles through a dense forest you see an opening in the trees.
Thick foliage seems ready to burst with autumn color. Mist simultaneously hides and reveals different features in the peaks above.
Just beyond the meadow, the canyon opens up into a bowl revealing the small Skiumah Lake. Tiny, purple flowers dot the grass along the lakeshore.
On the hike back down to the trailhead, Skiumah Creek cascades over boulders and logs.
The undergrowth becomes thick as the trail drops to a creek crossing that is ankle deep.
The ferns and brush are never so overgrown that you lose the trail, but they are thick enough to soak your pants on a drizzly afternoon.
HOW TO GET THERE:
From West Glacier, travel east on U.S. Highway 2 for about 11 miles.
Turn right off the highway at a large, brown sign marking Skiumah Creek.
Stay right at a fork in the road and travel about a half mile to the trailhead.
The hike to the lake is about two miles with moderate elevation gain.
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