Sometimes, getting older is not always a bad thing.
When I was younger, I was never much of a nature nut. I always loved curling up with a good book or watching a movie more than hitting the trail. It wasn’t until I lived in New York City for two years that I started to appreciate the more natural surroundings I had grown up surrounded by.
For my twenty-fifth birthday this year, my father took me up on the Highline Trail up in Glacier National Park. While not much of a difficult hike, it was definitely one of the most beautiful ones I have gone on. It’s amazing to think that some of the most gorgeous sites you will see are ones right in your backdoor.
I grabbed my daypack and some water along with my camera and we began the 6-mile hike to the halfway point of the trail. The beginning was not for the faint of heart—it’s a sheer drop down to the bottom of the Going-to-the-Sun Road with no barrier to keep you from falling. In fact, there’s a rope that you can hang on to if you feel the need to grab on for dear life.
I was astounded by the amount of animals I saw. Baby mountain goats, marmots, and chipmunks were all friendly and allowed you to get close. Because no one can harm them in the park, they’re not afraid to get up close and personal.
Every turn brought a new view of the gorgeous mountains drenched in summer sunlight. I stopped to take a picture every few minutes, amazed that this was my home and how I could have missed its beauty before. I have been so fortunate to live and travel all over the world, but there is something about coming home and seeing those mountains that will always make me feel like I am truly home.
If you are planning on taking the Highline, I would recommend taking the full hike, though the last stretch can be a little tricky if you are doing an overnight. Bring plenty of water and your camera—you’re going to want it for all the fantastic views you will see. Also, make sure to arrive early—sometimes it can be a little difficult to get parking.