Granite Park Chalet

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drm
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Granite Park Chalet

Post by drm » July 26th, 2022, 2:45 pm

The Granite Park Chalet is an historic stone structure in Glacier National Park that I was amazingly lucky to snag a reservation for. This is one of those things where the entire summer becomes available one morning in January. You don't actually reserve, you just put in your request and they let you know. When I submitted mine, it said thank you, you are request number 959! So I assumed I wouldn't get it. But two days later I got an email otherwise, and last week I drove out there.

It's a hike-in only facility and the hike gains 2300 feet in 4 miles. Normally you might hike in on the Highline Trail, but it is carved out of a rock face like Eagle Creek and the NPS installs the cable each year, but is at 6500 feet, so the snow had not melted yet this year.

Although they told us that there is actually not even a smidgeon of granite in the entire area, it's still a spectacular spot. It's kind of no-fills. There is a community kitchen where you make your own meals on their propane stoves. And you have to trek a quarter mile to fill up your water jugs (or pay them $7.50/liter). They do sell freeze dried food, snacks, and candy bars at a decent markup.

Here are a few selected shots below. My full trip report is at https://static.deanmyerson.org/glacier- ... -park.html
gnp_05.jpg
The Chalet - built by a RR company around 1915
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Griz!
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Swiftcurrent Mountain Lookout - 2.3 miles and 1700 feet above the chalet
gnp_19.jpg
View from near Swiftcurrent Pass - one mile from the chalet
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Another view of the chalet
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View from the Going to the Sun Road
gnp_36.jpg
I spent one night after camped on the Lake McDonald shore

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BigBear
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Re: Granite Park Chalet

Post by BigBear » July 26th, 2022, 5:12 pm

I'm quite jealous. The Garden Wall Trail is #3 on my all-time list of hikes with Grinnell Glacier #2. (Sahalie Arm in North Cascades is #1). I've only done the car shuttle (bus shuttle now) once, back in 2003 when a can of Pepsi was $2 at the Chalet (probably 60 or 70 cents down at Lake McDonald at the time) and it was worth it. My favorite national park, and over the years other people seem to be ranking high on their list as well). Wow, what a nice place to be.

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drm
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Re: Granite Park Chalet

Post by drm » July 27th, 2022, 7:04 am

I guess the Garden Wall is the section of the Highline I had intended to take in - between Logan Pass and the Chalet?

The logistics and crowds are too much for me. I am happier visiting less crowded areas where I can be spontaneous. I last visited Glacier NP 30 years ago and it will probably be 30 years before I go again, except that by then I doubt I will be hiking, assuming I haven't been composted.

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adamschneider
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Re: Granite Park Chalet

Post by adamschneider » July 27th, 2022, 7:11 am

drm wrote:
July 27th, 2022, 7:04 am
I guess the Garden Wall is the section of the Highline I had intended to take in - between Logan Pass and the Chalet?
Sort of. It's the west face of the Continental Divide above that section of the trail; it's labeled on the USGS maps. There's also a short "Garden Wall Trail" that angles up from Highline up to a notch that overlooks Grinnell Glacier.

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BigBear
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Re: Granite Park Chalet

Post by BigBear » July 27th, 2022, 8:07 am

I've seen three different names for the trail: Continental Divide Trail, Highline Trail and Garden Wall Trail. Since the features along this ridge include the Garden Wall (Piegan Pass area) and the Ptarmigan Wall (Iceberg Lake area), I've always been partial to referring to this section as Garden Wall because it's more specific to the topography than the other two names.

By whatever name, it full of flowers, falls, views and goats. Makes me long for a 7th visit. (Just get rid of all the damn tourists...except for me). I've heard that in 2021 the park started issuing passes to drive the Going to the Sun Road and that the time lines to be on the road are strictly adhered to. In 2018, the Many Glacier Road was closed between 10 am until after dinner because all of the legal parking places had been claimed by then. During the pandemic, demand has only increased. Ugh.

justpeachy
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Re: Granite Park Chalet

Post by justpeachy » August 4th, 2022, 10:05 am

Granite Park Chalet and the newly-rebuilt Sperry Chalet are on my bucket list. Someday!
drm wrote:
July 26th, 2022, 2:45 pm
This is one of those things where the entire summer becomes available one morning in January. You don't actually reserve, you just put in your request and they let you know.
This is how Glacier NP does backpacking permits too, which is so frustrating. I prefer how Olympic does it: you reserve backcountry sites on recreation.gov and you know right away what you got. With Glacier you submit an application in the spring and then wait for months to hear back whether or not you got it. It makes it super difficult to plan the rest of the trip in the park, because by the time you hear back about your permit all the campgrounds and hotels have been booked up for months.

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