Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

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Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby tibber » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:52 am

July 8th, Day Two of Six: Elizabeth Lake Foot (ELF) to Elizabeth Lake Head (ELH) with the thought of day-hiking up to Helen Lake. We took our time getting ready for our short hike up to Elizabeth Lake Foot. Our main hope is that it wouldn't be as buggy as it was here at the foot. Even when I was taking pictures of the lake on this sunny beautiful morning, you could see the skeeters in the video. I had my bug net on. We took only the food we would need for the day and morning and left the rest in the Bear Box with a note that we would be returning the following morning to retrieve it.

While we were having breakfast, the service dog we heard came running into the Food Court area. We were quite surprised that the dog was allowed to roam free but I guess that's better than being leashed up as bear bait and left at the tent site. The Glacier Guide fellow was in the process of making a very nice breakfast for his charges. We visited with all of them a bit more. A couple also passed through on their way back from Helen Lake campground. Only one of the Helen campsites was open due to snow cover and the bridge was washed out as well.


We finally loaded up and started on the trail. It's so nice to be able to hike next to the lake in the open for the most part altho you do go thru some forest. Right off the bat there is lots of Sitka Valerian and a big patch of Blue Stickseed; the biggest patch I had ever seen. And of course, high above you is Natoas Peak and the beautiful intensely blue water of Elizabeth Lake on the other side of you. (Elizabeth Lake named for one of Ranger Joe Cosley's girlfriends, Helen is one of the others; we would be below Sue the next day).
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There were lots of wildflowers along the way, some I had not ever seen before. And as you look far to your left you can see the Ptarmigan Trail below Seward Mountain that leads to the Ptarmigan Tunnel which was slated to be opened July 12th. A crew would be heading up tomorrow to camp up there and blast it open. And now we would be hiking right on the beach for a bit and then back into the forest, back on the beach and our last trek thru the forest to the campground. As we were hiking on the beach I wondered if people had ever encountered a bear here as that would be an interesting scenario.
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Once at camp we started looking for the food bar. We were looking high and did a couple circles before we finally saw it. It was a tall one! We were very careful not to wrap our skinny rope as retrieving it from there would not be an option. We went and set up our tents after looking at a couple different options that would accommodate both of our tents nicely. We had lunch and loaded up what we would need for our day hike to see Helen.

It was a little warm as we continued hiking thru somewhat high Thimbleberry Brush. We got to the one section that was absolutely people high and decided we just weren't in the mood to fight the brush for 2 1/2 miles and decided to head back to camp and spend the afternoon at Elizabeth Lake beach. We were also pretty tired from the previous day's hike. So we went back to camp, had some way too limey Margaritas from Packit Gourmet. While we were making our margaritas we got a brief glance at a very surprised marten that was coming across the little foot bridge. We then headed to the beach that was about 1/3rd of a mile to get you out of the forest.

Here we set up our camp chairs and enjoyed the beauty of the lake and the mountains. Plus there were some incredible waterfalls behind us that I got some great video of as the water tumbled down Natoas. It really was a glorious day :arrow: to spend here altho missing Helen Lake was definitely a disappointment but we just weren't up to it today.
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Not sure what time we headed back to make dinner. The weather was starting to close in on us after the dinner hour. I don't know what time our camp mates finally arrived. It seemed to take them awhile to set up their tents. I gave Tina a blow by blow play of their progress. I'm not sure they got to eat dinner before the rain started and never stopped. I filmed a little of the pitter patter on my tent, read a little and seemed to once again, fall fast to sleep in Glacier dream land.

Hike to Elizabeth Lake Head, a very beautiful hike: https://youtu.be/bMm2eqJA9eE
around Elizabeth Lake Foot area and a little rain at the end of the day: https://youtu.be/xworQX28Byo
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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby PeteE » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:39 pm

We were quite surprised that the dog was allowed to roam free but I guess that's better than being leashed up as bear bait and left at the tent site.


No, it is NOT better that dogs be allowed to roam free!

I spoke to a Law Enforcement Ranger last Sunday as he was starting his patrol of the Piegan Pass trail.
I asked him specifically about dogs on the trail
"Service dogs" are "discouraged" but are allowed in the backcountry. However they must be on a leash at all times.

However, I'm not surprised y'all saw the dog running free.
People in GNP continue to flout the rules regarding service dogs and so-called "comfort dogs" with impunity.
And it really pisses me off the NPS is not more aggressively enforcing the rules regarding dogs.

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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby paul » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:57 pm

This whole service dog thing is mostly a joke. Most people use it to get around the rules. You're right Pete, it really isn't right not enforcing the rules.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby Fairbanks142 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:17 pm

Great videos tibber -- thank you for posting!
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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby MarxMN » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:15 pm

Great pictures. I have not watched all your other videos yet but did enjoy these.

That is a huge patch of stickseed.

The rain on the tent is nice and soothing - I know that may not be the when one has to take the tent down and head out in the rain.

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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby Badgerhiker » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:54 am

I'm really enjoying your trip report Tibber. Now that's my type of beach, with views of mountains. Thanks for the write up.

My first experience seeing a "service dog" in the parks was last fall at the Grand Canyon. I was riding a bus when two people tried to get on with a lap dog. The driver told them no dogs allowed on the bus. They were like "oh but it's a service dog". The driver gave them a look like yeah right but he let them on anyway. They were probably to cheep to pay for a kennel like any other dog owner.
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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby tibber » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:03 pm

MarxMN wrote:The rain on the tent is nice and soothing - I know that may not be the when one has to take the tent down and head out in the rain.
Bill

yes, as you know, a wet tent is no fun to pack; especially for ten miles. But I guess we were lucky that the heaviest rain of our trip was while we were in our tents.

Thx everyone for the comments. It's always nice to know that all my hard work is not for naught. I do love re-living it all. It makes me really appreciate how much I LOVE hiking/backpacking there.

Next report is hopefully coming up tomorrow. I like to throw in some pics so I have to find a few, upload them to google photos and then do the https://ctrlq.org/google/photos/?_ga=2. ... 1566501534 process and downsize them a bit.

And really the most difficult thing about the videos is finding royalty free music, screening it, downloading it and putting it in. Sometimes my choices don't quite work out and occasionally people will comment about my poor choice :lol: . It's hard to find music that appeals to all the masses as they say. One time a person complained about hearing the walking/footsteps... these are hiking videos; go figure.

As to service dogs, I don't think they should be allowed in the back country; not that I've heard of anything ever happening but I think it's tempting fate.
If you're hiking in the middle of nowhere, then I don't think it matters as it's just you and the dog and the wildlife.
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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby PeteE » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:31 pm

tibber wrote:
MarxMN wrote:The rain on the tent is nice and soothing - I know that may not be the when one has to take the tent down and head out in the rain.
Bill

yes, as you know, a wet tent is no fun to pack; especially for ten miles. But I guess we were lucky that the heaviest rain of our trip was while we were in our tents.

Yup, backpacking a heavy load in the rain is NOT much fun. Been there and done that. I admire you and Tina both carrying those big packs. Makes me feel like a wimp 8)

Thx everyone for the comments. It's always nice to know that all my hard work is not for naught. I do love re-living it all. It makes me really appreciate how much I LOVE hiking/backpacking there.

Your reports get an A+ from me. I've enjoyed all your hard work.

Next report is hopefully coming up tomorrow. I like to throw in some pics so I have to find a few, upload them to google photos and then do the https://ctrlq.org/google/photos/?_ga=2. ... 1566501534 process and downsize them a bit.

And really the most difficult thing about the videos is finding royalty free music, screening it, downloading it and putting it in.
I like the music you've used so far. The difficulty you mention is one reason I haven't used music so far. The sort of music I like is either inappropriate for the videos, or copyrighted.
Sometimes my choices don't quite work out and occasionally people will comment about my poor choice :lol:
It's hard to find music that appeals to all the masses as they say.
Don't worry about the whiners Angela. Ya can't ever make everyone happy 8)
One time a person complained about hearing the walking/footsteps... these are hiking videos; go figure.
Geez Marie!! What is wrong with people?
Hearing the natural sounds of hiking/backpacking like footsteps, breathing hard, trees blowing, slopping through puddles, rain on tent, thunder, etc. is what makes an outdoor hiking video authentic imo


As to service dogs, I don't think they should be allowed in the back country; not that I've heard of anything ever happening but I think it's tempting fate.
If you're hiking in the middle of nowhere, then I don't think it matters as it's just you and the dog and the wildlife.

Agreed, and Angela I did not mean to jump down your throat in my earlier post. Dogs in GNP are a real sore point for me! Probably because I'm in GNP all year long and see constant abuse of the rules regarding dogs. The last couple years during the 8-9 month "off season" Lake McDonald Lodge and the area around it has been overrun by dogs, often not on a leash.

I won't raise the issue again here on your trip report and would ask that everyone else to please do the same.
Maybe I'll start a thread on it in the Political section of the chat where we can debate/discuss the "dog" issue in GNP.



Great Trip Report!
Keep it coming :)

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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby Sue Z » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:53 am

Enjoyed the video, especially because I haven't been to Elizabeth Lake yet.
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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby tibber » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:18 pm

Pete said:
Agreed, and Angela I did not mean to jump down your throat in my earlier post.
Angela says: Didn't take it as such at all!

Glad you're liking my reports. Thank you.
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Re: Elizabeth Lake Day - July 8, 2019

Postby teapot57 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:48 pm

I am just getting caught up with reading the board.

I really enjoyed that walk from the foot to the head of Elizabeth Lake. The hills you encounter are gentle, and there are amazing views pretty much the whole way. Don't be upset if you request ELF and get ELH instead. It's only a little further and you will enjoy that final stretch to the head of the lake.

As for the dog, it was a muddy hike to Elizabeth Lake, and we were following paw prints the whole way after the ranger station. I was a little perplexed. I'm no tracker, but didn't think they were mountain lion. They seemed too small to be wolf tracks, and I guess they could have been from a coyote. Honestly, I didn't even consider they would be from a dog. I mean, what person that honestly needs a service dog would be that far into the backcountry? While Angela and I were setting up our tents, we heard a growl and immediately looked at each other . . . my first thought was bear, but the growl was followed by a laugh, so I wasn't too concerned. We learned later at the food prep that there was a "service dog" at the campsite next to us. The backcountry ranger who came to put up the sign about the Poia closure went over to the campsite with the dog to talk to the owners, and sure didn't look very happy when he returned.
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