Hollis Scouts hike in Montana’s Glacier National Park

Editor’s note: This article was submitted to The Hollis Brookline Journal in December.

HOLLIS – From Sunday, Aug. 4, to Monday, Aug. 12, the Scouts and leaders of Hollis Boy Scout Troop 12 traveled to Glacier National Park in Montana for a week of hiking.

The group hiked a total of 2,069 miles, with some Scouts and leaders managing more than 80 miles in the six days of hiking.

Hikes ranged from the “easy” category of around eight miles to more lengthy hikes of 17 or more miles.

Each Scout had to be at least 14 years old and be first class in rank. All who attended the trip enjoyed it thoroughly and are looking forward to the next one.

Hikes were preplanned, and were either in the Many Glaciers or Two Medicines area of Glacier National Park. Scouts had the opportunity to choose which hikes to do and who to hike with.

These groups would all travel together in one of the five rented vans to the trailhead of their hike. When the group was finished hiking, they would return to their vehicle at the trailhead, and as most trailheads were quite large and had public buildings, most Scouts and leaders got soft-serve ice cream.

The “Troop 12 Big Trip” is a biannual event. Each Scout will have an opportunity to attend two between the acceptance age of 14 and the age-out of 18.

Being from New Hampshire and used to hiking in the White Mountains, the Scouts were prepared to hike to distant places to see the best the park had to offer.

“Hiking in Montana offered breathtaking views around every corner of the trail, be it cobalt-colored lakes or the glacier-capped mountains,” said Alex Baryiames, a senior Scout.

Montana certainly delivered; the views were spectacular on almost every hike.

A total of 18 hikes were completed. One of the most popular was Swiftcurrent Pass. It offered fantastic views of several blue and cobalt-colored lakes, and for the adventurous, a 360-
degree view from the fire tower on a mountain top on the side of the pass.

Another was Grinnell Glacier, which led to the glacier and Grinnell Lake, a great place to eat lunch and see floating icebergs.

Also, Dawson Pass and Flinch Peak Saddle offered fantastic views of the mountains of the Two Medicines area while hiking on a rather sloped mountainside.

The scenery in Glacier National Park was certainly a sight to see. On every hike, mountains loomed with glaciers shimmering in the sunlight. Waterfalls ranged from a few feet high to more than 100, and a few even fell off cliffs and evaporated into the air. Some of the hiking groups also got to visit small lakes fed by glaciers, which were usually populated with some small icebergs.

The park also has an abundant amount of diverse wildlife, which we got to see on our hikes – or for a fortunate few, right in our campsite. Wildlife included moose, deer, a bear or two, and for one hiking group, a wandering pack of bighorn sheep that got within 10 feet.

The troop stayed in a group campsite for the course of the week, with a few exceptions. One group of Scouts and leaders had the fortunate opportunity to stay overnight in the Morningstar Campground, which the Scouts and adults enjoyed thoroughly.

After all the hiking was done, and when just about everyone was quite tired and sore, the troop took an overnight flight back home.

All in all, this year’s “big trip” was a huge success, and everyone who attended will certainly not forget the wonders and beauty of Glacier National Park.