Glacier National Park, Roadtrip IV, 7/28/2006 - 8/05/2006:

Parke Peak, 2000. Trapper, 2003. Red Eagle, 2006.

Each of our last three visits to Glacier has been impacted in some way by a major fire. In 2000, we were supposed to leave from Kintla Lake for a backcountry trip over Boulder Pass and Brown's Pass. The only real impact that year was that they closed the Kintla Campground to use it as a firebase. We had to stay at Bowman and drive to Kintla the morning of our departure. We sat at the Upper Kintla Lake backcountry site watching the fire on a peak across the lake as the helicopters zoomed overhead dumping buckets of water on the blaze.

In 2003, we were coming out of a backcountry trip over Dawson and Pitamakin pass in the Two Medicine area. The Two Medicine store was a zoo, people filling the front porch and the parking lot jammed. We learned that the Trapper fire had caused an evacuation of Many Glacier. We had plans to spend this night at the Glacier Park Lodge in Each Glacier, which was also where all of the Many Glacier employees were now staying. Although crowded, our reservations held and all was well.

This year, we arrived at GNP from the east on Thursday, 7/27, and were staying for three nights at Cut Bank. Our plans called for a couple of day hikes, hiking in to the Granite Park Chalet via the Highline Trail, out over Swiftcurrent Pass to Many Glacier, and then a backcountry trip from Goat Haunt to Many Glacier coming out via the Ptarmigan Tunnel. The Red Eagle fire started at 1:15pm on Friday, 7/28, according to the Incident Command website.

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