Monday, September 21, 2015

Park Creek in Glacier

Last mountain goat survey of the season: Park Creek, Glacier National Park.

I can tell why they needed someone to do this site— it’s 11 miles into the backcountry.  To pull it off in one day requires 22 miles.  Plus, this southern section is not a popular area.  One friend say this area is “boring” and that it’s “just trees.” All of this suits me perfectly!
Just trees.
At the survey site, I spot them quickly: three mountain goats, mere specks on the distant cliff.  Now that I’ve got the search image after a whole season of doing surveys, they jump out at me.  Still, I scan for a full hour, just to see if I missed any.
Borrowed gear for the mountain goat survey.  As a VIP volunteer, I even get an NPS radio!
Doing surveys on my hikes gives me purpose in where I go on my days off.   It is fun to be engaged, to be observant for a reason.  To wonder about the goats, to feel like I'm doing my part to help them.  Like I am making an effort to protect this place and the wild creatures that live here. 
Can you see the mountain goat on the distant cliff face?
Afterwards I find out I have volunteered over 160 hours this summer doing surveys at 22 sites.  I may not have hiked anywhere near the number of miles that I did last year, but somehow seeing the tally of my volunteer hours fills me with a deep satisfaction that can’t be quantified.

How else can you respond to this overwhelming beauty?
Fall in Glaicer.
For more information:
Volunteer for Glacier National Park's Citizen Science Program
Hike the Park Creek Trail from Walton Ranger Station.


  1. Looks like a very interesting and satisfactory hike to me, especially all those fall colors. It's not a typical Glacier NP Disneyland, but then again, it the trail less taken that holds the surprises. You only need another hundred hours for a free NP pass. I believe I just read 250 hours is the requirement.

    1. That's for sure it wasn't like the more popular areas at all. I loved it though! Yep, maybe I'll find a way to get another 100 in before sometime this winter. But just having that radio is really reassurring. Though I haven't weighted it yet. I think it must be like 3 lbs. :)

  2. Gorgeous photos! I can't see the goat in the third one though, a hint pretty please?!

    1. Oh sorry, way too far away to see on this photo. :)

  3. Park Creek. we did a lot of flying in there on a search for a missing hiker a couple years ago. I thought it was a nice area.

    1. This area was gorgeous! I really want to go back and do the entire route all the way from Two Med.