It appears that you are currently using Ad Blocking software. What are the consequences? Click here to learn more.
Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Glacier National Park‏

June 7th, 2011 · No Comments

Print This Post Print This Post
Advertisment


Experiencing Glacier National Park in Montana was one of the big reasons why I drove to and from Seattle on my recent trip to Alaska rather than flying all the way there. So many people had told me that Glacier’s Going-to-the-Sun Road was a wonderful travel experience.

But the late spring delayed the opening of the road, and I was able to drive only the first 16 miles from the west entrance to Avalanche. At first, I was disappointed. But then I turned that limitation into a positive. Taking an hour-long helicopter flight showed me much more of the park than anyone can see by road.

I had driven 700 miles from Seattle to Kalispell, Montana, at the western edge of Glacier, in two days. After exploring a bit of North Cascades National Park, I overnighted in Moses Lake, Washington, making few stops en route. At one rest stop this wide-angle view of Dry Falls at dusk surprised me.

Dry Falls, Once the World's Largest Waterfall

A Wild Iris at Turnbull NWR

Dry Falls, Once the World’s Largest Waterfall

Click on the picture above to enlarge

The next day my only significant stop was at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, about 23 miles south of Spokane. On this trip Turnbull had by far the greatest profusion of flowers in bloom, like this one that I had always previously found hard to photograph successfully.

A Wild Iris at Turnbull NWR

A Wild Iris at Turnbull NWR

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Glacier was clearly the highlight of my trip home. And the helicopter trip was both literally and figuratively the high point. When last Tuesday morning, May 31, I made an early morning drive on as much of the Going to the Sun Road as possible, I decided to fly over the park. The first helicopter company I called didn’t plan to fly again until mid-June, but the second one would be flying — if they could get three passengers. The owner of Glacier Heli Tours then made a call to a couple who had originally planned to go the next day, hoping for better weather. But the weather on Tuesday morning was beautiful, much better than the next day’s prediction. So in 10 minutes they arrived and we were airborne. What great timing!

Climbing onto the Helicopter

Climbing onto the Helicopter

Click on the picture above to enlarge

One of the first views that attracted me was of a fire lookout on top of one of the park’s peaks. Always looking around for a retreat cabin, I thought that this one might be a bit too isolated even for me.

An Isolated Fire Lookout Cabin

An Isolated Fire Lookout Cabin

Click on the picture above to enlarge

This view of the mountains at Glacier reminded me that like the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, these are also the Rocky Mountains. And they also form the Continental Divide.

Rocky Mountains at Glacier

Rocky Mountains at Glacier

Click on the picture above to enlarge

We flew right up and along the Canadian border. This white line of snow marks it.

The Border with Canada

The Border with Canada

Click on the picture above to enlarge

A classic view you can get only by flying over the park is of two lakes connected by a waterfall, here covered by ice and snow.

Lake Ellen Wilson Drains to Beaver Chief Falls into Lincoln Lake

Lake Ellen Wilson Drains to Beaver Chief Falls into Lincoln Lake

Click on the picture above to enlarge

We completed the tour by flying over Lake McDonald, the park’s biggest lake.

Lake McDonald is 10 Miles Long

Lake McDonald is 10 Miles Long

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Seattle and Boulder are just 1,330 miles apart via the shortest route. My experience of Glacier National Park was well worth the 600-mile detour.

This country has 58 national parks. Now that I have experienced both North Cascades and Glacier, I know 37 of them on the ground — and in some cases, in the air too.

Share

Posted in: Alaska, Photography

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment