My son drives us to the west side of the Purcell Mountain Range, for a hike to Monica Meadows. Until now he never had time to explore the trail, so none of us will know what to expect. We bring food, drinks and the special outfit for the dog. We all “hop” in the car (for me it takes a bit longer…) and start our adventure.
The access road towards the trailhead is not easy! It is 90 minutes driving over a bumpy gravel road! The wonderful views are a good distraction.
Finally, we arrive at the quiet parking lot. During the weekends it can be packed with other visitors, but on this Wednesday morning there are just a handful of hikers. The weather is superb; no wind and clear skies. The dog gets prepared and we have our trekking poles and bear spray ready. This is Grizzly bear territory!
We are now going for a steep walk up, with an elevation of 650 meters and seven switchbacks. My partner and I are going slow, now and then we are totally out of breath! The dog is running between the three of us, to see if nobody is staying behind.
Once up the mountain, the trail levels out and we arrive on an alpine plateau at 2360 meters. This is called Monica Meadows and it is just breathtaking!!! I have travelled all over the world and I have been very fortunate to witness the most beautiful places, but Monica Meadows is jaw-dropping! The bright colours of the larch trees are contrasting with the white of the fresh snow, the pristine alpine lakes with crystal clear water, the glacier peaks and mountain ranges on the horizon; it all makes it a complete magical wonderland. No other people, just silence.
My son continues the trail to the top of the mountain and finds another lake.
We would love to explore the mountain a bit further, but we still have to hike all the way back and drive the bumpy Glacier Creek Forest Service Road again. Definitely, a place to visit again! Maybe in summer, when all the wildflowers are blooming?