Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is in the northwestern part of Montana and sits in the Northern Rocky Mountains. There are two main entrances into the park. One from the east called St. Mary and Many Glacier and one from the west in Apgar village and West Glacier. Highway 2 runs along the southern border of the park with Canada to the North.

The best and most enjoyable way to get from one side of the park to the other is a little road called "Going to the Sun Road". This is one of the most scenic drives in the world ranking with the likes of highway 1 in California. The drive is not for the faint of heart as the road winds up and down the mountains with sheer drop offs just on the other side of the little rock guard rails. Throw in some early morning mountain fog and you have a nice little heart racer for your sunrise photo session. 

Halfway on Going to the Sun Road you'll reach a a visitor center and parking area called Logan Pass. Mountain goats, big horn sheep, grizzly bear and other small critters all call this area home. Bear spray is highly recommended when hiking or roaming the wilderness and is available at all Glacier National Park visitor centers and shops. 

From Logan Pass there's some hikes for beginners and experts alike.  Hidden Lake is a mile and a half one way which is on a boardwalk to protect the alpine environment, while the Highline Loop provides stunning views from upwards of 7300 feet according to my GPS. All of the literature I read said the Highline Loop was 11.8 Miles, but upon completion My Garmin GPSmap 62S recorded 12.6 miles. I don't remember deviating from the trail except to eat lunch at the chalet. Not sure if my gps went rogue or if the trail needs to be reassessed. All I know is that my GPS states it's accurate within 13 feet. In any event here's a view of the route it recorded. 

The trail is marked in Red. It starts at Logan Pass and ends at a buss stop along going to the sun road. A free shuttle bus provided by the National Park Service will take you back to your car at Logan Pass. Allow plenty of time for this hike and always check the bus schedule before heading out. 

Aside from the excellent hiking, Glacier has many photo opportunities. I had better luck with sunrises on both sides of the park. Not saying sunset isn't worth it, it is, sunrise seems just a little bit better. 

If you're a hiker I would recommend staying on the east side of the park in Many Glacier. It's more hiking friendly and more close to picturesque settings. I also saw more bear in the many glacier region. Logan Pass is in the middle and your best chance for mountain goat and sheep. I also saw moose on a couple of occasions near the lake McDonald area. Wildlife is abundant throughout the park but your best chances for viewing is right after sunrise and just before sunset. This is when the animals are most active. 

As far as photo locations, I recommend just stopping along the Going to the sun road at one of the many pullouts to capture stunning views at most anytime of the day. Take some day hikes to lakes and waterfalls. Glacier has many opportunities to make great images. It's one of the few parks that doesn't have an "iconic" scene or location. It's a great opportunity to expand your photographic vision. 

The images below are some of the images I made during my most recent visit. Enjoy!