Day 98 - the end of an incredible journey (20.0 miles)
August 15, 2021
Miles: 20.0 miles
Managed to wake up at 4:45am. I figured my best bet to get a hitch out of Chief Mountain Trailhead was to get there as early as possible. With the border to Canada still closed there would be no traffic coming and going on the road.
I had just 20 miles to go and I thought it would be mostly flat. I was very wrong as I had one big pass to go over.
I started off while it was still pretty dark at 5:30am. It seemed the smoke had gotten worse over night and seemed warmer than most mornings. I guess the smoke trapped all the heat.
It was basically all uphill the first 8 miles but most of it was gradual on level trail so not too bad.
Then I came up to a lake where I got my view of the pass and could see the switchbacks to the top only I couldn’t see exactly where it went over
I started the switchbacks and kept looking up for the top then I saw that the trail went straight through the mountain near the top.
The walk through the tunnel was pretty cool and opened up to an amazing view. On the other side the hazy didn’t seem as bad at the time.
Then it was a long descent to the lake to where the trail stayed flat for awhile while I followed the creek.
I figured that it would be flat all the way to Canada. I was wrong again as the last 2 miles were uphill. It wasn’t that steep but mentally wasn’t prepared for it so my calves started hurting.
I did run into a small black bear about 5 miles out from the end of the trail. Just glad it was more scared of me than I was of it.
I knew I needed to start running into people heading towards the trailhead about getting a ride back to East Glacier. Right as I was finishing my early lunch a guy stopped to chat and asked about a ride and he was more than willing to help as he was head that way only I was going to have to wait as he was hiking much slower. I had no problem waiting, just glad I didn’t have to worry about find a ride as I didn’t see too many more people.
Got to the border right around 12:15pm and got my picture right there at the monument.
I even found a welcome to Montana sign.
My ride showed up about an hour later and dropped me off at the hostel in East Glacier. Of course I had to celebrate with pizza and a Dr Pepper. They even gave me a free dessert for completing the trail.
After eating I checked into one of the rooms at the hostel and relaxed the rest of the day.
Still have a few more days left here in Montana before I fly home. Got time reflect on the hike and go through all my pictures and videos.