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My Life Outdoors

Bowman Lake – Glacier National Park

This is day four and five of our five day backpacking trip through Glacier National Park. Click here to read days One, Two and Three

I’m sitting around the campfire at the Upper Bowman backcountry campsite. We have spent all day hiking over Brown pass. We are cold, wet, and exhausted. But we are not alone. A group of kayakers have paddled in seven miles from the other end of Lake Bowman. We talk over the campfire and before long consider them friends. Tomorrow they will hike up toward Hole in the wall. We, on the other hand, plan to take it easy with a layover day.

Our new friends ask us “What are you going to do all day?

“Oh I don’t know. We are thinking about pirating a few kayaks” our guide jokes.

“No one is going to be using them” our new friends say “Why don’t you guys take them out on the lake?

I think “you have to be kidding me.”

Our view from Upper Bowman Campsite

The next day we sleep in and take it easy. I stroll around camp…check out Numa Creek. Take a nap on the hikers bridge, but spend most of the day laying on the beach of Lake Bowman. At one point my wife looks out across the lake and says “What is that?” Something large and clumsy is swimming the length of the lake. “It can’t be a duck…Its too awkward.” I run back to my pack and grab a telephoto lens. “It’s a moose!” I say. Everyone around wants to take a look.

Relaxing on the shore of Bowman Lake
Numa Creek
My wife reading on the hiker’s bridge
A Moose swimming across Bowman Lake

I look down at the Kayaks laying on the shore of the lake…I have permission…I ought to chase down that moose and have a closer look. But I’m not sure how she will react to a strange creature floating on top of the water. Plus I don’t want to seem too anxious to use the boats. So I wait.

I lay on the beach some more…but I really want to be out paddling on the lake. Eventually my wife heads back to the tent to take a nap, and I take the opportunity to paddle out on the lake. But I have waited too long. Afternoon winds have picked up and make the water choppy. I paddle about mile into the wind before giving up. So I turn around and let the wind push me back. It was really quite peaceful…and the view was even better out on the water.

Kayaking on Bowman Lake

The next day it was time to head out. We had seven miles to hike along the edge of the lake. Our friends in the Kayaks head off at the same time and before long pass us on the lake.

Hiking out on the Bowman Lake Trail
Tall trees on the Bowman Lake Trail

As we make our way out we find a small batch of wild Strawberries. They are tiny, but delicious. The rest of the trail was mostly flat and uneventful. My wife was still suffering from painful blisters and had damaged her toe nails coming down from Brown Pass. We aren’t quite sure what kind of injury she has sustained but it is beginning to look like it is permanent…just the other night we were getting in bed and her toenail started to come all the way off. Her toe nails on both feet are black and damaged, once we find out more I will post in-depth about what has happened and how I think we could have avoided it.
Before we know it we come to the end of the trail. Waiting for us is another guide who has set up a picnic for us. I pile everything in sight onto my sandwich and drink an ice cold soda under the shade of a tall tree. It has been a great trip…but it feels good to be getting back to civilization.

Wild Strawberries in Glacier National Park
I’m not sure what to call this injury…Hikers toe?
Picnic provided by Glacier Guides

Our five days through Glacier’s backcountry were unforgettable. I want to say thank you to Glacier Guides for such an amazing trip. I also want to say thank you to Agion Active for offering such a great contest. If it wasn’t for them I would have never been able to experience such an amazing park in such a powerful way. Our time there has only made me want to see more. Glacier National park is truly an amazing place.

Kayakers on Bowman Lake
Bowman Lake Trail Map
Our hike color coded by day. Blue = Day One, Red = Day Two, Yellow = Day Three, Green = Day Four and Five

I used both the book and map featured below while planning my Glacier Trip. Buy them through these links and support MyLifeOutdoors

Related Posts:

Glacier National Park – A highlight video

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  • Bill H.

    September 14, 2011

    Beautiful! Simply beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing. By the way I am totally stealing the term hikers toe 😉

  • Steven Smith

    September 14, 2011

    Thats what I'm calling it until I know more about it. Feel free to use it anytime you get Hikers Toe.

  • Trail Sherpa

    September 14, 2011

    What a great trip! Glacier is on my life list, hopefully next summer. This report just builds that excitement even more. Good choice not to chase that moose by the way!

  • Steven Smith

    September 14, 2011

    Thanks Tim.

    I wasn't sure how nimble that moose was in the water, but I did know the number one cause of death in Glacier NP is drowning. Signs are posted everywhere. I didn't want to be the victim of the first moose attack drowning in the park

  • Norman Rick

    September 14, 2011

    Gosh, what a great time. I could only imagine it happening to me but I at least I can imagine it happening through your post and I am thankful.

  • Beth Wagenius

    September 15, 2011

    Beautiful photos! Makes me wish we had spent more time at Glacier. Where we used to live we occasionally saw a moose. Such interesting creatures!
    Your wife's poor toes! hmmm….I could probably have a theory about that….but I'll just keep my opinions to myself. I hope they're better by now.
    Have really enjoyed these posts.

  • Rita Wechter

    September 16, 2011

    Wow! I love your pictures from Glacier N.P. And it sounds like you had a wonderful experience in Glacier. I haven't been there in almost 20 years but your post makes me want to re-visit the park as soon as possible.

    Rita Wechter

  • sonja

    September 22, 2011

    I would have been on that lake in that kayak in a minute =) Sounds like a trip of a lifetime.

  • Pingback: Lake Francis – Glacier National Park

    April 1, 2019

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