On Day 6, the clouds parted, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. As I left Golden, headed west on Trans Canada Highway 1, I was in a pea-soup fog, but when I looked straight up, I saw blue sky. So it only made sense that when I started gaining elevation, headed into Glacier National Park, I rose above the clouds (which were quickly burning off anyhow), and suddenly blue skies and awesome peaks appeared.
On the way up to Rogers Pass, it seemed like I was stopping every minute or two. Around every corner was another view of the surrounding mountains…
… which at times towered directly over Highway 1.
Watch out for drunk mountain goats. You can tell by their red reflective noses.
There’s a grass-roofed visitor center just below Rogers Pass, which had already closed for the season. Two neighboring businesses (Glacier Park Lodge and a gas station) were disappointingly low on souvenirs. I guess by mid-September, the tourist season is nearly over.
Just up the road, I stopped once again, to mark the exact location of Rogers Pass. The Memorial Arch commemorates the completion of the highway over the pass in 1962.
The boardwalk through Hemlock Grove takes only a few minutes, but it’s a nice place to stretch your legs and breathe some fresh air. It was especially enjoyable on this day, after the clouds and fog had just cleared, leaving everything soggy and cool.
The short boardwalk trail passes through an old-growth forest. Untouched groves like this one are rare, since most of Glacier National Park’s valley burned at one time or another, after the railroad came through.
Take a few moments to enjoy the sun bursting through the dense forest, then get back in the car and keep heading west.
Skunk Cabbage Trail
Skunk Cabbage Trail is actually in Revelstoke National Park, not Glacier National Park, but it’s so far away from Revelstoke’s other attractions, I decided to include it here. Headed west, after you pass Hemlock Grove, you’ll exit Glacier National Park, travel 16 kilometers, then enter Revelstoke National Park (Highway 1 skirts the southern edge of the park). The only thing to see in this part of Revelstoke National Park is the Giant Cedars Trail (which I skipped), and the Skunk Cabbage Trail.
The boardwalk passes over the wetlands that border the Illecillewaet River. In the springtime, before the snow melts, the leafy vegetation known as Skunk Cabbage blooms, with “fragrant” blossoms.
Here’s the time-lapse dash-cam video of the drive from Golden to Hemlock Grove…
… and from Hemlock Grove to the entrance to the road up Revelstoke Mountain: