I have never been too much of a hiker. I grew up right outside of Glacier Park, and while I grew up hiking, it was sometimes a struggle to get me to go. But I’ve been forcing myself to get out and make that change.
A few weeks ago, we had plans to go hike Mount Aeneas. We had gotten a late start (thank you Whitewater Fest), and figured it would be a good starter hike to the season. Little did we know, the road was snowed in for the last two miles.
Not wanting to waste the day, we started throwing ideas out there. Unfortunately, none of them were very good, so we pulled out the Glacier Park map to see if there was anything at all we might be able to do. I stumbled upon Scalplock Mountain, a hike none of us had ever even heard of.
It seemed like something we could easily do. Only 4.7 miles each way, and 3,000 feet of elevation. Ummm…..was I sniffing glue? Scalplock Mountain was not. easy. at. all.
Truth be told, it was absolutely killer for the first hike of the year. The trail had a lot of downed trees, and the last half a mile was completely snowed over. We had to break our own trail for part of it, and let’s just say, I was really happy to have a set of poles with me for that part of the hike.
In fact, it was so difficult that I gave up early. We came upon a big clearing, and I could see the lookout at the top, and it just seemed impossible. So I sat down, told my mom and our friend Brian to go on without me, I was just done.
But I hate being a quitter.
I ended up eating my sandwich and deciding to press on and finish about ten minutes behind the group. I made it to the top, with a lot of huffing and puffing. Doing the last half mile of the hike alone was reflective, and more of a mental challenge than I could imagine.
This was my first fire lookout hike, and it won’t be my last. Now I want to do all of the lookouts, hello addiction. They are challenging, but the views are amazing and so rewarding.
Distance: 4.7 Miles
Elevation: 6,919 Feet
Elevation Gain: 3,079 Feet
What to Bring: Water, Good Boots, and Poles if you’re hiking in the late spring/early summer