Glacier National Park, located in the northwestern corner of Montana, is a mesmerizing landscape of pristine alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and majestic glaciers. Spanning over 1 million acres, it is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers and photographers alike. The park is renowned for its stunning Going-to-the-Sun Road, which offers breathtaking vistas of snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, and cascading waterfalls. Visitors can hike along numerous trails, spot wildlife such as grizzly bears and mountain goats, and embark on scenic boat tours. It is a true wilderness sanctuary that showcases the raw beauty and fragile ecosystem of the Rocky Mountains.
Top Photography Locations and Sights at Glacier National Park:
As photographers, we know that many of you will only have one chance in a lifetime to visit the National Parks. To make your life easier, we have compiled a list of our top photography locations and sights at Glacier National Park! While this list is not comprehensive, and there are many more amazing sights to see, it should give you a good feel for the park.
There are four main entrances to Glacier National Park. The Lake McDonald/Apgar area is located on the west side and the St. Mary, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine areas are located on the east side of the park. Most of the entrances require reservations to enter during peak park hours. Be sure to check the national park website to find the current status of the roads and entrance requirements.
Lake McDonald | Apgar | West Glacier Area
The west entrance to Glacier National Park is home to Lake McDonald, the Apgar Visitor Center, and is one of two entrances to the infamous Going-to-the-Sun Road. As many of the pullouts along the Going-to-the-Sun Road are located on the right side of the road, driving from the west to the east allows easier access. Sunrise at Lake McDonald provides a better chance to have still water and beautiful lighting.
Logan Pass Area
The Logan Pass Area of Glacier National Park is near the middle of the Going-to-the-Sun Road and is the highest elevation reachable by car in the park (6646ft/2025m). It is accessible via the west entrance by Lake McDonald as well as the Saint Mary entrance on the east.
Logan Pass is a very popular part of Glacier National Park and the parking lot usually fills up between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm. The free shuttle system is a great option for visiting this part of the park. Early morning light on the mountains provides excellent photographs and the chances to see wildlife are better when the crowds are small. Consider arriving really early or later in the day to avoid large crowds.
St. Mary Area
The eastern St. Mary entrance is another access point to the infamous Going-to-the-Sun Road. From here you can access stunning vistas of St. Mary Lake as well as hiking trails to different lakes and waterfalls.
Many Glacier Area
The Many Glacier Area of Glacier National Park is known for its stunning natural beauty, including towering mountains, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. Some notable features and attractions in the Many Glacier area include the picturesque Swiftcurrent, Grinnell, and Iceberg lakes. This is a very popular area of the park and as such, lodging and boat rentals fill up quickly and require advance reservations.
Two Medicine | East Glacier Area
Two Medicine is known for its tranquil beauty, less crowded atmosphere compared to some other areas of the park, and opportunities for both leisurely exploration and more challenging outdoor activities. The view of Two Medicine Lake alone makes it worth the trip.
North Fork | Goat Haunt Area
As Glacier National Park is over 1 million acres, there are many remote areas of the park that are less crowded but still beautiful. Bowman Lake is accessed via North Fork Road/Glacier Dr. and Bowman Lake Road. This area has skinny, windy, unpaved sections (narrow, but graded gravel road) that are not suitable for RVs and truck/trailer combinations as 3-point turns would be difficult. You can get a day use pass for Bowman Lake or camp at the campground. Goat Haunt is only accessible via a very long hike or a boat ride from Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada. For more information about accessing Goat Haunt, click here.
Glacier National Park Wildlife Photography:
Glacier National Park is filled with wildlife and biodiversity. If you like wildlife photography, you will love what this park has to offer!
Featured National Park Photographers:
- David Vezzani: Bighorn Sheep
- Vezzani Photography: Avalanche Creek, Avalanche Lake, Bird Woman Falls, Going-to-the-Sun Road, Lake McDonald, Trail of the Cedars, Hidden Lake, Logan Pass, Swiftcurrent Creek, Swiftcurrent Lake, Paradise Point, Running Eagle Falls, Two Medicine Lake, Two Medicine Picnic Area
- Beach Creatives, Shutterstock: Highline Trail, Redrock Falls, Swiftcurrent Falls
- Joseph Rossbach, Shutterstock: Grinnell Glacier Trail
- JWCohen, Shutterstock: Virginia Falls
- Kit Leong, Shutterstock: Fishercap Lake
- Martina Birnbaum, Shutterstock: St. Mary Falls
- Stephen Moehle, Shutterstock: Jackson Glacier Overlook, Redrock Lake
- David Restivo, NPS: Goat Haunt
- Tim Rains, NPS: Upper Grinnell Lake, Swiftcurrent Lake
- NPS: Golden Mantled Squirrel, Iceberg Lake, Marmot, Mountain Lion, Pika, Virginia Falls, Wolf
- Pixabay: Bowman Lake, Cracker Lake, Grinnell Lake, St. Mary Lake
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