Freezeout WMA and wildlife encounters in Glacier National Park

On the way to Glacier National Park we stayed at Freezeout Lake WMA near Choteau, MT.  It is free to stay there (up to 14 days) and we had the whole place to ourselves.  It is a pretty flat, open area which brings in many migratory birds like duck and geese.  We were lucky to see a beaver swimming along shore.

View out our front window at Freezeout Lake WMA

View out our front window at Freezeout Lake WMA

Tucked in and all alone in our free spot at Freezeout Lake

Tucked in and all alone in our free spot at Freezeout Lake

Since we washed the truck and camper in Great Falls, we didn’t want to have to drive too far on a dirt road so this spot was perfect — just a 1/4 mile dirt road to get to the lake.  Nearest town is Choteau and it is neat – we stopped at the Visitor Information  office and asked about a laundromat.  The lady had me in stitches because she told where the laundry was and made sure I knew the bar was conveniently located right across the street. 

After we finished up laundry we headed to Glacier National Park.  We went through Browning and since we wanted to go to Two Medicine Lake first, I routed us the shortest way.  The only thing the map said about Rte 49 was that it was closed in winter.  Well it should have also listed the vehicle length limit of 21 foot.  There is a warning sign, but not until you’ve already turned onto it and once on it — you are not turning around.

MT 49 -- 21 Foot Limit

MT 49 — 21 Foot Limit

At Glacier we stayed at Two Medicine Lake and Many Glacier.   We had purchased the America the Beautiful Access pass at Theodore Roosevelt park and so we saved the $25 entrance fee into the park.  The breakeven on the access pass is  to use it 3 times a year since it is $80.

Many of the campgrounds in Glacier were still closed and not all trails were open.  The up side of going early is fewer people even though you are more limited on trails.

View from near our campsite at Two Medicine

View from near our campsite at Two Medicine

To avoid even more crowds, the East side of the park is less used anyway than the West side.  ‘Going to the Sun’ road has been going through renovations the last couple of years and the East side is closed this year.  Two Medicine Lake is really remarkably beautiful.  The rocks are tri colored and the mountains surround the lake.  We had a 10-11 mile hike which surrounded the lake.

Our hike map for Two Medicine

Our hike map for Two Medicine

We were able to do many small stream crossings, see waterfalls, see fresh bear scat (yes we had bear spray on us), and young moose.

Our bear spray next to a bear print on the trail

Our bear spray next to a bear print on the trail

Fresh Bear Scat on the trail

Fresh Bear Scat on the trail

 

We then went up to Many Glacier to spend a couple of nights and hike.  It was pretty as well – just not as dramatic from the campground — you had to hike for that.  We did a trail that went up, up, and up but we were rewarded with beautiful Ptarmingon Falls and amazing vistas.

View from the top of trail

View from the top of trail

Caite hanging on and hoping Glenn won't shake the bridge

Caite hanging on and hoping Glenn won’t shake the bridge

Big Horn Sheep near trail

Big Horn Sheep near trail

Marshy area near Two Medicine Lake

Marshy area near Two Medicine Lake

Huge falls near Phtarmingon Pass

Huge falls near Phtarmingon Pass

Our view at lunch from near the top

Our view at lunch from near the top

 

Glenn walking across suspension bridge

Glenn walking across suspension bridge

 

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2 Responses to Freezeout WMA and wildlife encounters in Glacier National Park

  1. Ed Matter says:

    great trip guys

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