The Danny On Trail winds it’s way up Big Mountain, now known as Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort. The main trail is 3.8 miles to the top, gaining 2,434 feet. At the top, you can see into Glacier National Park and across the whole valley to Flathead Lake. This trail is beautiful by early July with the hillsides covered in wildflowers. My favorite time to hike the Danny On is in the early fall when the colors turn to reds and golds, and you can still pick a few huckleberries near the top.
Because it’s still early in the season, we decided to hike the trail up the face of the mountain and then come back down on the Danny On Trail. The trail up the face is short but steep, and it’s a good prelude for bigger mountains to come.
There are a variety of activities offered here including zip lining down the mountain. You can take the chair lift up for a view and mountain bike back down. They also offer gondola rides, so there’s lots of options besides hiking!
Looking across the valley there’s good views of Whitefish Lake, and on a clearer day Flathead Lake.
We were surprised to see the sunflowers out so early on the lower slopes.
About 3 miles up we started to run into some deep snow and trees downed across the trail. Conclusion: the Danny On isn’t quite ready, but it will be soon. BUT… it wasn’t too bad because my toe-shoes made it! Let me tell you, I love these shoes more than I could’ve ever thought! I hiked down the mountain another 3 miles in wet muddy toe-shoes and never got a blister – something that I can’t say for any pair of boots that I’ve ever owned including my really expensive Asolo’s (I love my Asolo’s too when I have to wear real shoes).
Looking into Glacier it seems like there’s still a lot of snow, but soon enough we’ll be in the high country.
From the top you can barely see the Hungry Horse Resevoir, my favorite place to go camping.
As you wind around to the backside of the mountain, the sunny slopes are already beginning to bloom with all kinds of wildflowers. At the start of the trail the Beargrass and Sunflowers are starting, and near the top the Glacier Lilies are just poking out of the snow.
The view from the top is a gorgeous panorama of all the more impressive peaks waiting to be climbed later in the season. We’re planning on a mountain with more elevation gain next week to really get in shape for some of the steeper peaks in Glacier and Canada.