Jackson Overlook TH to Reynolds Creek Campsite 8-7-2021

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tibber
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Jackson Overlook TH to Reynolds Creek Campsite 8-7-2021

Post by tibber »

with teapot57. This is my trip log I put up on hikearizona.com:

And so the Glacier hiking finally begins. HOWEVER, this was Plan B as we were supposed to be backpacking to Gunsight Lake for a couple nites but Mother Nature had other plans. The day before we had to scramble for lodging for two nites and we consider ourselves lucky to have found a room at two different places without costing a fortune. The one fellow at St Mary Lodge quoted us a price for a room and when we winced, he said how much would you pay and we ended up taking the very small room as he came down about $50. This was a much better choice than having to stay at the campground in our tents, our last option; especially in light of the weather that came.

We had booked our first nite a the cabins at Johnson's and FYI, it is a very nice cabin with an awesome view. Sadly Johnson's restaurant didn't have "dine in" so we ended up at Two Sisters where we didn't have the best food per the normal fare we've had there in the past. So we had time to kill trying to play with the weather and we came up with two hikes for the 7th.

Before starting the hike we stopped at St Mary's VC to get a couple of our Shuttle bracelets as you can validate 72 hours before your travel. Our next concern was would we find parking at the Overlook TH and luckily we got a spot (we would have had to go back and catch the shuttle if we couldn't find parking).


On to the hike which started off with us going the wrong way to a dead end after coming down the steps but it was not far and easily corrected. You end up going down through the forest for most of this hike and it is a bit steep in places. The vegetation is quite high as we had been hearing. The weather was good with overcast skies and the wind wasn't blowing as hard here.

The first stop is Deadwood Falls which I remember really liking when I was last here with Ambika and Guru in 2010. There was a family sitting on the rocks as Tina and I surveyed the Falls and I tested my slo-mo function on my phone camera for some of the cascades. There was this one beautiful pool the water had created over the eons and it was absolutely fabulous... the colors :arrow:.

After getting our fill of this scene we continued down Reynolds Creek. Here we had encountered some additional hikers that were coming back from Gunsight Lake. There is a swinging plank bridge to cross; looks pretty newly rebuilt based on the color of the wood. Tina was going to try and cross without touching the sides and made it to the 3/4 mark before having to touch. Two years ago we saw a Glacier Guide with a fully loaded backpack cross the swinging bridge at Cosley at almost a full run it seemed; very impressive.

We headed over to the campground. We saw a few guests, took a short snack break and then headed back. Several CDTers make the wrong turn coming out of this camp and have to backtrack. You have to go back across the bridge to line up with the CDT. The park should maybe consider putting signage there.

Everyone talks about that hill climbing out but we seemed to do just fine with it for some reason. Of course, we didn't have our overnite packs. I started eating thimbleberries on the way up so maybe that's why the up didn't seem too bad. I did that with Wendy when we were going up to Brown's Pass; we berried our way up.

I'd say we encountered maybe ten hikers or so on this part. When we got back on top, the lot was pretty full still as is per normal at this park.

On our way back to St Mary we got caught in a bear jam, ranger was there too and a couple people were on the side of the road watching the activity. I had a pretty decent angle but still had to use almost full zoom. I did get some good pics and a few movies before the jam moved. We got a real good look at how a grizzly eats the huckleberries off the bush and you can kind of see that in the video.

We stopped at St Mary's Park Cafe that hasn't had a good reputation of late but we had a wonderful meal. I had a grilled cheese and bison chili followed by the best huckleberry pie I think I've ever had AND huckleberry ice cream. Technically, my trip could be considered complete now :lol: . Our next stop would be the Beaver Pond Loop I last did as a ranger-guided trip in early July 2013 after the 100th Romain Homestead Family Reunion.


1) video from the hike https://youtu.be/09nZ4Kwq034
2) short Huckleberry Grizzly Bear video https://youtu.be/CON5wLrfzew if you don't want to watch the video from the hike

Here are the videos for the drive in on Going to the Sun Road the previous day. The weather was much better, though it was smoky:
McDonald Lake to Logan Pass https://youtu.be/JKTPrYd_euU
Logan Pass to St Mary https://youtu.be/yGhwjnNbQG8

To see the photoset that includes description and IDs, click on this link (if you don't want the advertisements, if they come up, register for free - no hassles from the site, just like here) https://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=63497
Last edited by tibber on Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jackson Overlook TH to Reynolds Creek Campsite 8-7-2021

Post by indiana hiker »

Tibber, I really enjoyed the bear video. Glad you were able to negotiate a hotel price! I have avoided the Park Cafe the past few years, so it is good to hear the food has improved. Look forward to more trip reports from you.

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Re: Jackson Overlook TH to Reynolds Creek Campsite 8-7-2021

Post by paul »

Hi Tibber,

Thanks for posting your report. What weather event cancelled your backpack? It seems like Gunsight lake would have been pretty nice.

-Paul
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Jackson Overlook TH to Reynolds Creek Campsite 8-7-2021

Post by tibber »

Thx Indiana Hiker (sorry I don't know your name)... We had an additional meal at the Park Cafe and I had a huckleberry milkshake that was very, very good. Your choices for eating this summer are limited so you're almost forced to try everything and anything.

Paul: the rain and cold came in for a solid day and 1/2. The rangers said it was good that we cancelled as you couldn't see anything and it was cold and miserable. Just looking outside our small room at St Mary Lodge showed that as well as limited visibility and the next morning it was drizzling pretty good on already very wet ground. We were just happy to have our rooms rather than having to stay in tents at Johnson's if we couldn't have found the rooms.

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Re: Jackson Overlook TH to Reynolds Creek Campsite 8-7-2021

Post by paul »

Oh that's too bad about the weather. You made the right choice to skip the backpack. I had a similar thing happen on my Wind River trip this year.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Jackson Overlook TH to Reynolds Creek Campsite 8-7-2021

Post by Jay w »

The rare trip report. Excellent. It's been years since I've been on the "Ranger Cabin hike" and quite a while since Deadwood Falls (a favorite).

Thanks for posting.

Jay
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Re: Jackson Overlook TH to Reynolds Creek Campsite 8-7-2021

Post by tibber »

Jay w wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 2:53 pm
The rare trip report. Excellent. It's been years since I've been on the "Ranger Cabin hike" and quite a while since Deadwood Falls (a favorite).

Thanks for posting.

Jay
Thx Jay. It's been ten years since I was last at Deadwood Falls and I agree, a good favorite to have.

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Re: Jackson Overlook TH to Reynolds Creek Campsite 8-7-2021

Post by MarxMN »

Thanks for the trip report.

Such a contrast between the weather you had in Glacier and what we had a few days earlier. We had warm temperatures and almost no rain - just a few sprinkles on the tent one night and drizzle near Cobalt Lake on our hike there. But the weather in Glacier is unpredicable.

Bill

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