My wife and I are reasonably fit, slightly overweight, middle-aged hikers who cherish our adventures in the great outdoors – and our visit to Glacier National Park in Montana was a highlight in our hiking history.
Knowing we were in for a memorable mountain trek, we decided to shoot a video account of our journey on the trail to Sperry Chalet. (See video above.)
The trail to Sperry Chalet rises 3,360 feet over slightly more than six miles from the Sperry Trailhead, located across the road from the Lake McDonald Lodge.
The guidebooks call this hike “strenuous” – but, despite the July heat, the bugs, and the challenging elevation, we call it doable: provided you take your time, bring plenty of water, and start off early in the morning to beat the heat.
Sperry Trail hikers will be rewarded for their climb to the chalet by fast-flowing mountain streams, a variety of dramatic waterfalls, magnificent trees, verdant foliage, carpets of wildflowers and air that’s as fresh as it gets.
When you reach your destination, Sperry Chalet does not disappoint. It was originally built by the Great Northern Railway in 1913, and is now listed as a Historic Landmark.
Many visitors to the chalet push on the nearby Sperry Glacier – but we opted to hang out at the chalet, enjoy the homey dining room, and take in the dramatic views.
The Sperry Trail was built in 1902 and 1903 by college boys from Minnesota, and was likely the first organized trail-building effort in the park. These two reasonably fit, slightly overweight middle-aged hikers wish to thank those industrious, visionary college boys.
Onward and upward!