Where to Photograph in Glacier National Park
From personal experience, these locations in Glacier National Park are the best for landscape photography. I also offer my thoughts on when are the best times of the year to be there to capture the best possible photographs.
The Park is famous for the Going To The Sun Road that crosses the mountains from the east side to the west side of the park. The mountain views along the road are simply spectacular.
It is bear country and there are warning signs everywhere. Don’t go anywhere without bear spray and avoid hiking alone, if possible. I am usually alone, and there are many trails that I simply will not go on. The bears there are big and hungry. I avoid them.
My Favorite Locations
Wild Goose Island
The view of the mountains surrounding St. Mary Lake and Wild Goose Island could be the most popular location in the Park to photograph. I prefer it in the early morning with the rising sun lighting up the mountains. Watch the weather and you just might get lucky with a rainbow over the lake. I’ve always been worried that the few trees on the island may die or get blown over, which would severely damage the scene.
The various views of Mount Oberlin from the east side of the Visitor Center on the Going To The Sun Road are some of my personal favorite views in the Park. From the top of the road, head down and west to the hairpin turn where the parking is. There can be lots of wildflowers there, which are a great addition to the photograph.
There is a moderate uphill hike of about 1.35 miles that gets you to the Hidden Lake overlook. It is about a 400 foot elevation gain to this point. The trail actually goes on beyond this point and all the way down to the lake. I have not gone past the overlook myself. The view from there is stunning. Allow yourself plenty of time, maybe an hour for the trip up. Both early and late have their advantages, so watch the weather and the clouds and give it a go.
The views of the mountains surrounding Lake McDonald are some of the most impressive views I know of for mountains around a lake. I would suggest spending some of your time overnight in this area so you can be there for early and late light. There are opportunities from both the Going To The Sun Road and the road on the other side of the lake. There is also the possibility or renting a boat and going out on the lake for some completely different views.
Other Locations in Glacier National Park
On the east side of the Park there are great locations like Lake Sherburne, Swiftcurrent Lake, Swiftcurrent Falls, Saint Mary Falls, Mount Grinnell and Mount Wilbur and Two Medicine Lake. In addition to the views around Lake McDonald on the west, be sure to check out Avalanche Creek.
Best Times To Be At Glacier National Park
The heavy winter snowfall on the road takes months to clear each year, resulting in a pretty short season for visiting and photography. July through September is about it. Wildfires out west can make August a little difficult for visibility. I would recommend sometime in the second half of July.