The next morning we left the rest of our food and began the hike towards Stoney Indian. Today’s hike had us going 8.2 miles with elevation changes of 1725 ft up and 2800 ft down. Unfortunately, we were going to hike down to a river bed just to hike back up again. I hate having to go down to go back up. Its times like these that I wish there was a trail that kept you at the same altitude. The scenery was pretty.From the top of the trail you could see that the valley, Waterton Valley, that we were descending down into was a U shaped valley, created by a glacier. That is what Wendy told me anyway, but we were at Glacier NP, so who am I to disagree?
Several sections of this trail, while still seeing regular use, had plants and vegetation growing over the trail. It seemed strange that there wasn’t a wide trail corridor around the trail. Lots of thimbleberry plants were on either side of the trail, and their large leaves protruded over the trail. We found some berries while hiking and enjoyed the little sweet snack.
Once we descended down to the bottom of the canyon, it was a long descent, we hiked about another mile along the bottom of the valley before heading up to Stoney Indian Lake. It was another steep climb. Here you could see that park service employees had done some work on clearing the vegetation away from the sides of the trail. The trail paralleled a stream that flowed out of the lake we were headed to. Upon reaching the lake we were rewarded with a beautiful blue glacial lake.
It was a bit cooler by the time we reached camp. The wind was especially cold. We sat around camp in our warm clothes and did some reading. When it was time to eat, we went down to the food area and met with the others in camp for the night. There we met another couple from Washington State who we saw the next two days. The other group was two men that are locals. It was an enjoyable night sitting around getting to know each other.
We learned from the locals that in MT, there was no law against driving drunk. This was changed around the same time of the “reasonable and prudent” speed limit was lifted due to the federal government threatening to not give highway funds. We also found out that MT has the highest per capita death rate from highway accidents. It was fairly apparent from our time in MT that people here are not real fond of having the government interfering with their affairs.