Glacier National Park - Montana

August 23-30, 2012

My friend, Tim Zandee, invited me to share a trip to Glacier National Park. How could I decline that?

We started the trip by scouting out 'Double Falls' or 'Triple Falls' (depending on who you talk to) when we first arrived so we'd know where to go for our sunrise location. This was the shot we ultimately came for and we were blessed to have it on our first morning of shooting.

Cliff, Clouds, Double Falls, Glacier, Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, Montana, Morning, National Parks, Rockies, Rocky Mountains, Stream, Summer, Sunrise, Triple Falls, United States, Water, Waterfall

A short hike in the dark with our headlamps on and our bear spray on our side, we found it and wanted the morning to last forever.

Not only did we receive great first light with the clouds to the east, we also received great second light to the west.

Clements Mountain, Glacier, Montana, Morning, National Parks, Peak, Rockies, Rocky Mountains, Stream, Summer, Sunrise, United States, Water

The second light hit Clements Mountain behind us and then later painted the west again.

After our breakfast we decided to head to Avalanche Creek to shoot the gorge since we had an overcast morning.

Afternoon, Glacier, Gorge, Montana, National Parks, Rockies, Rocky Mountains, Summer, United States, Water

We spent the better part of the morning at the gorge after scouting further up the trail.

After that we hiked up to Avalanche Lake for lunch and didn't shoot the rest of the day.

Our next morning was a bust for sunrise as there wasn't a cloud in the sky and we had lots of haze from the summer fires to the west. So, we decided to head north to Waterton Lakes to see what the conditions were like there.

Canada, Canadian Rockies, Clouds, Evening, Hotel, National Historic Site, National Parks, Prince of Wales, Rockies, Rocky Mountains, Shadows, Summer, Sunset, Waterton Lakes

After a day of driving and wandering around, we decided to head back to camp as we found nothing but sunrise locations. Then we saw some of the most wonderful light hitting the ridge where the Prince of Wales hotel sat. While we were finishing up shooting, Tim said he wanted to go find more bear. Less than five seconds later, he yelled out, "Bear!!" and pointed to a black bear on the shore.

On our way back to camp, the light was still changing and we happened upon this group of aspen trees.

Glacier, Grinnell Point, Montana, Morning, National Parks, Reflection, Rockies, Rocky Mountains, Summer, Sunrise, Swiftcurrent Lake, United States, Water

We went for a drive to West Glacier to kill time in the hot, sunny, and hazy day. All of the aspen trees we found in East Glacier were all short and curly from the wind so this grove was a pleasant surprise.

Afternoon, Glacier, Montana, National Parks, Rock, Rockies, Rocky Mountains, Summer, United States

Back on the east side, we stopped at Sunrift Gorge to hike down to Baring Falls. I ended up slipping off a log into the creek. We wandered back up towards the gorge and found this nice fall.

Glacier, Montana, Morning, National Parks, Rockies, Rocks, Rocky Mountains, Summer, Sunrift Gorge, United States, Water, Waterfall

I wanted to wander further upstream towards the gorge. This required me to cross over the top of some falls onto some rocks - this didn't go according to plan. I slipped and slid down the seven-foot falls into a pool. Thankfully my gear was dry in my backpack even after being submerged. There were bystanders who saw the whole thing and got a good laugh after I was laughing. One of them even helped me out of the water.

After that, I took a different route to the gorge where I perched myself on the side of a cliff for quite some time waiting for the right light.

Afternoon, Glacier, Gorge, Montana, National Parks, River, Rockies, Rocks, Rocky Mountains, Summer, Sunrift Gorge, United States, Water

On our way back to camp, we were up to 17 bear sitings. Then I finally spotted a couple of grizzlies before Tim - right on the side of the road.

Glacier, Montana, National Parks, Rocky Mountains, United States

Our last sunrise for the trip was near so we chose to give Wild Goose Island one more try (since it was close) and this is what we saw (well, my interpretation of it anyways).

Glacier, Montana, Morning, National Parks, Rockies, Rocky Mountains, Saint Mary Lake, Summer, Sunrise, United States, Water, Wild Goose Island

Even though the park was hazier than we expected, it was still a good trip there. All-in-all, we spotted 22 bear of which five were grizzlies.

I will definitely have to return.