Thanks to Jill Thurston for writing an article about me in the Post-Gazette.
Warmed up from hiking to Hidden Lake twice and St. Mary’s falls, we tackled Grinnell Glacier Trail. We meet or guide Dean at the Many Glacier Hotel boat dock, where we boarded and boat rode across Swiftcurrent Lake. Then walked a short distance and rode another boat across Lake Josephine to the trail head. Ridding the boat saved us about 4 miles roundtrip of hiking and boy was glad about this at the end of the day.
Grinnell Glacier Trail
This is one of the most scenic hikes in the park and therefore one of the more popular hikes in the park. Unfortunately, on our day the skies were socked in with haze from forest fires in Idaho. The haze was a killer for photo ops, but it was still a totally amazing day. The hike was difficult with lots of climbing and the 20+ lbs camera gear on my back was no help in getting to top of the 4.5 trail (one way). We marched on and were rewarded at the end with a stunning view of Upper Grinnell Lake and the Grinnell Glacier.
Never in my life did I think I would get to see a glacier and lake formed from it’s melting waters. Thanks to Dean and his water-filtration system, I even drank water from the glacier!
With sore feet and tired legs, the next day we hiked to Iceberg Lake. This trail is one of the best designed trails in the park, it has a vertical elevation gain of 1200 feet, yet it has been designed to gain this vertical rise very gradually. We were very thankful for those trail engineers after all the miles on Grinnell the day before. The lake at the end was full of plenty icebergs and Dean said it was best he had seen in the 20+ times he had visited the lake.
In the end, we hiked about 20 miles in two days, but were still smiling at the end. It was exhilarating and I’m so glad to be able to see such beautiful places.
- Aperture: ƒ/2.8
- Focal length: 3.85mm
- ISO: 100
- Shutter speed: 1/120s
Next we travelled along the Going-to-the-Sun Road to St. Mary’s. We spent four days in this area where we hiked to Hidden Lake (twice), St. Mary’s and Virginia Falls these small hikes were only a warm up for what was to come later in the trip. Probably a good thing I didn’t know how hard the long hikes would be…. Looking back these hikes were nothing compare to Grinnell Glacier Trail!
Hidden Lake Trail
My first introduction into a “hike” at Glacier. This trail is about 3 miles roundtrip. The first part is all boardwalk to keep visitors on the path and avoid damage to the delicate echo-system. This boardwalk is uphill and with lots of steps at the beginning. The trail crosses over the Continental Divide and the views along the path are quite beautiful with a few waterfalls and tarns along the way.
The first time we did this hike it was in the late morning with several stormy clouds overhead. The second time we hiked the trail was at sunset, hoping for dramatic light and color that didn’t happen. There were however nice reflections in the tarn.
Wild Goose Island.
This is a popular scenic overlook along the Going-to-the-Sun Road with a view of St. Mary’s Lake and Wild Goose Island in the center. The folklore about the island can be found here.
We got up a pre-dawn to capture this image.
St. Mary’s Falls
Another very popular hike in the Glacier is St. Mary falls and Virginia Falls. We meet a few hikers in the parking lot and asked if we could hike with them for safety. (There are a lot of grizzle bears in Glacier. I was happy to not see any on trails.) Turned out they were archeologist working in the park studying the history looking for artifacts. They found a spear head from an ice man over the summer!! Very neat and make the short hike interesting.
The water level in the fall was low compared to spring but exposed the rocks down below. Of course Perri and I “got down in there” although the rocks were very, very slippery they were brilliant in color and contrasted the glacial waters very nicely.
- Aperture: ƒ/18
- Focal length: 25mm
- ISO: 100
- Shutter speed: 1/8s
This August my friend and follow photographer, Perri K. Schelat, invited me to hike and photograph with her in Glacier National Park. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to spend 11 days in the park sharing my passion for photography with Perri. She gave an excellent tour – taking me to all the great photo hot spots in the park.
We started in the west side of the Glacier at Lake McDonald. Perri calls this location “Mountain Jewels” for all the colorful rocks found in the lake bed. This rocks are really vibrant and when wet are truly beautiful. See Perri’s award winning photo here.
We spent two days working the Lake McDonald, Agar Village and Avalanche Creek Flume area hoping for a dramatic sunrise or suset that didn’t happen, before heading off to the east side and St. Mary’s. See Blog post here.
I just recently returned from a one-day photo workshop with Joseph Rossbach at Ricketts Glenn State Park. This park is famous for it’s 22 named waterfalls. The workshop had about 6 participants and we started at 7 a.m. hiking along Ganoga Glen trail down to Waters Meet and back up Glen Leigh trail. We spent about 15-20 minutes at almost every waterfall, but towards the end we became waterfall snobs and didn’t photograph the ones that were less “attractive”.
Joe and few of the other participants got wet early and went right into the stream – looking for the best angle. One guy, I called him “billygoat” seemed to be always be hopping along the rocks to the other side of the stream. I was not so brave. It wasn’t until close to the end that Joe held my hand and encouraged me into the water. I managed not to fall and the shot was well worth the effort.
It was a long day but a lot of fun. Thanks Joe!