Kintla, land of mosquitoes

Print Article

  • It looked to be a tough winter for deer along Kintla Lake. There were numerous old carcasses and bones.

  • 1

    A hiker looks out over Kintla Lake, with Kinnerly Peak rising in the background.

  • 2

    Paintbrush blooms in the forest.

  • It looked to be a tough winter for deer along Kintla Lake. There were numerous old carcasses and bones.

  • 1

    A hiker looks out over Kintla Lake, with Kinnerly Peak rising in the background.

  • 2

    Paintbrush blooms in the forest.

I was lying in bed and they were still landing on me: mosquitoes. Hundreds and hundreds of mosquitoes landing on my arms and my face, into my ears and even worse, biting my back in a place where I couldnít get at them.

Problem was, there wasnít actually any mosquitoes on me anymore. It just felt like there was. It was a phantom feeling. A bad memory drilled into my nerves. It wasnít so much the bites, but the feeling of hundreds of small bodies bouncing against your skin.

I got up and took a Melatonin, just to fall asleep.

The barrage of biting insects was a good six hours earlier, when we got the bright idea to do a day hike up Kintla Lake.

The snows of winter have sown hundreds of flooded areas with little potholes of water all over the North Fork of the Flathead region of Glacier National Park, and the mosquitoes this year are the worst Iíve seen in decades. Bug spray? They just laugh at it. Two good doses still had little effect.

Some areas literally have clouds of mosquitoes, particularly if thereís no breeze. And when we got to Kintla, there wasnít a breath of air. The lake was still and the shores were yellow with pollen.

We didnít have to hike the 6.4 miles to the upper campground. The mosquitoes carried us ó at least it felt like it.

Itís been years since Iíve hiked at Kintla. Most recently Iíve avoided it because of the horror stories of crowds. But on this day, the motor camp had just a few people and the trail had no one. We saw two fishermen early on and the backcountry campground was empty, well, except for the bugs.

Fortunately the breeze kicked up and the mosquitoes subsided while we ate lunch. The hike along Kintla is an easy affair, mostly through mature forest, that this time of year is rife with songbirds.

Itís a flat hike by Glacierís standards, with towering peaks rising from its south shore. Any other time weíd recommend it. But this year, you might want to wait until the bugs burn off ó usually mid July ó before heading out on this hike.

Print Article

Read More Glacier Park

Citizen scientists log thousands of hours in Glacier Park

November 28, 2018 at 7:48 am | Hungry Horse News They roam the hills, traverse the passes, bust through brush and wait for hours on end in all sorts of bad weather. Theyíre Glacier National Parkís citizen scientists, a diverse band of ordinary folk...

Comments

Read More

Glacier visitation wonít break a record, but still near 3 million, despite fires

October 17, 2018 at 7:35 am | Hungry Horse News Visitation to Glacier National Park in September was up over the previous year, with 434,600 people coming to Glacier, an increase of 11.7 percent. Park visitation for the year is 2.833 million, whi...

Comments

Read More

California arstist shares unique view of Glacier

October 17, 2018 at 7:38 am | Lake County Leader For the month of October, California artist Jamie McHugh will be calling Glacier National Park home. As part of the Parkís Artist in Residence Program, McHugh will be exploring Glacierís natural bea...

Comments

Read More

Smith takes Texas parks post

October 17, 2018 at 7:36 am | Hungry Horse News Glacier National Parkís second in command has taken a new post in Texas, the Park Service announced last week. Deputy superintendent Eric Smith was named superintendent of Lake Meredith National Recr...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2018 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X