A Great Vacation: A Photographic Exploration of Glacier National Park

Updated on February 15, 2019
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Billy is a Geography/Sociology student at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He is also the Owner of Ravenshire Creations.

Glaciers through the pines.
Glaciers through the pines. | Source

Travelling to Glacier National Park

My wife, Michelle, took a travel nursing assignment at a hospital in Billings, Montana, so that our family could visit some of the most beautiful places in the United States. We got to visit Yellowstone National Park with our 2 teenage girls, Kieran and Dorthea, but they eventually had to go back to Texas for the start of band/color guard camp.

The next time my wife had a long weekend off, we decided to go see Glacier National Park by ourselves. We packed up our minivan and made the drive across Montana to the park. We drove west on I-90 through Bozeman then turned north on I-15 and went up through Helena. Just past Wolf Creek, we turned onto Highway 287 and kept driving north all the way to Choteau and hopped onto Highway 89. We kept driving north until we reached St. Mary, where we entered the park.

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Travelling to Glacier National Park across MontanaTravelling to Glacier National Park across MontanaTravelling to Glacier National Park across MontanaTravelling to Glacier National Park across Montana
Travelling to Glacier National Park across Montana
Travelling to Glacier National Park across Montana | Source
Travelling to Glacier National Park across Montana
Travelling to Glacier National Park across Montana | Source
Travelling to Glacier National Park across Montana
Travelling to Glacier National Park across Montana | Source
Travelling to Glacier National Park across Montana
Travelling to Glacier National Park across Montana | Source

Driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road

From the town of St. Mary, we entered the park. We stopped at the Visitor's Center and learned a lot of interesting information about the park, the mountain range, and the glaciers. We also learned about some of the local history and more about the wildlife found in the park.

When we left the Visitor's Center, we travelled west on the Going-to-the-Sun Road through the park. The first attraction we drove past was St. Mary Lake.

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The sign at St. Mary LakeThe north end of St. Mary LakeThe beach at St. Mary LakeRocky overlook at St. Mary LakeMountain vista behind St. Mary Lake
The sign at St. Mary Lake
The sign at St. Mary Lake | Source
The north end of St. Mary Lake
The north end of St. Mary Lake | Source
The beach at St. Mary Lake
The beach at St. Mary Lake | Source
Rocky overlook at St. Mary Lake
Rocky overlook at St. Mary Lake | Source
Mountain vista behind St. Mary Lake
Mountain vista behind St. Mary Lake | Source

For many miles, we climbed in elevation, all the while navigating switchbacks and tunnels until we made it to the Logan Pass Visitor's Center. The views were absolutely stunning even though there was a lot of haze from forest fires in the region. There were plenty of pullouts to park on, flowers, roadside waterfalls, and wildlife to see such as marmots, ground squirrels, mountain goats, and deer.

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Going-to-the-Sun Road plaqueMountains, forest, and flowerBeautiful flowerBeautiful flowersTree on a cliffRoadside waterfallMountainGrassy mountainsideRoadside waterfallGround squirrelMountains through the treesBeautiful mountainSnowclad mountainRoadside waterfallRoadside waterfall and my wife, MichelleRoadside waterfallWildlife on a mountainside.  Can you find Waldo?Roadside waterfallMountain vista through the treesLogan Pass signMountain goatsGround squirrelMy wife, Michelle, and her new friend, Bucky
Going-to-the-Sun Road plaque
Going-to-the-Sun Road plaque | Source
Mountains, forest, and flower
Mountains, forest, and flower | Source
Beautiful flower
Beautiful flower | Source
Beautiful flowers
Beautiful flowers | Source
Tree on a cliff
Tree on a cliff | Source
Roadside waterfall
Roadside waterfall | Source
Mountain
Mountain | Source
Grassy mountainside
Grassy mountainside | Source
Roadside waterfall
Roadside waterfall | Source
Ground squirrel
Ground squirrel | Source
Mountains through the trees
Mountains through the trees | Source
Beautiful mountain
Beautiful mountain | Source
Snowclad mountain
Snowclad mountain | Source
Roadside waterfall
Roadside waterfall | Source
Roadside waterfall and my wife, Michelle
Roadside waterfall and my wife, Michelle | Source
Roadside waterfall
Roadside waterfall | Source
Wildlife on a mountainside.  Can you find Waldo?
Wildlife on a mountainside. Can you find Waldo? | Source
Roadside waterfall
Roadside waterfall | Source
Mountain vista through the trees
Mountain vista through the trees | Source
Logan Pass sign
Logan Pass sign | Source
Mountain goats
Mountain goats | Source
Ground squirrel
Ground squirrel | Source
My wife, Michelle, and her new friend, Bucky
My wife, Michelle, and her new friend, Bucky | Source

Saying Goodbye to Glacier National Park

We made it down out of Logan Pass and drove our way past Lake McDonald. Eventually, we ended up out of the park in Kalispell, where we spent the night at the Red Lion Hotel downtown. It was a very beautiful hotel.

When we left the next morning, we got to see how smoky it really gets when there are forest fires in the region. While driving out of Kalispell back to Billings, Montana, the smoke was so thick you could barely make out the vehicle driving in front of you. All in all, though, our trip to Glacier National Park was absolutely amazing and I can't wait to go back to explore the rest of the park.

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Old stone bridge near Haystack Creek for snow melt runoffPebbles through the water of Haystack CreekHaystack CreekLake McDonaldKalispell, Montana near the Red Lion Hotel
Old stone bridge near Haystack Creek for snow melt runoff
Old stone bridge near Haystack Creek for snow melt runoff | Source
Pebbles through the water of Haystack Creek
Pebbles through the water of Haystack Creek | Source
Haystack Creek
Haystack Creek | Source
Lake McDonald
Lake McDonald | Source
Kalispell, Montana near the Red Lion Hotel
Kalispell, Montana near the Red Lion Hotel | Source

© 2019 Billy W Mitchell

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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 days ago from UK

      This article gives a great tour of Glacier National Park. The photos are outstanding.

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