Glacier National Park


August 2003

Photos © Peter Mansbach, Aug 2003.
No commercial use without written permission.
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In August, 2003, Glacier Park was burning. There were large fires on the far side of Lake McDonald, and in the center of the park. Most of the trails in the west half of the park were closed, and the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the only road through the park, was closed on some nights. The smoke made the views - and the photos - hazy. Most of the shots on this page were enhanced on the computer to reduce the haziness.

Fires across Lake McDonald

Fires across Lake McDonald

Two Medicine Lake Two Medicine Lake

The Two Medicine area of the park is reached by a winding road from a separate entrance to the park, from East Glacier. It is less visited, and was also furthest from the fires, so less hazy. We hiked the Scenic Point Trail, and this photo is taken from there. The mountain is named Rising Wolf Mountain.

Many Glacier Hotel

There are several wonderful old lodges built by The Great Northern Railway in the late 1800's. We spent two nights in one of them, Many Glacier Hotel. The hotel lobby was impressive. It extends the full four story height of the hotel, with huge tree trunks, floor to ceiling, supporting the roof. In this shot taken from a boat on Swiftcurrent Lake, the hotel, large as it is, is dwarfed by the towering mountains looming behind it.
Many Glacier Hotel
The above shot was taken in the afternoon. Even after digital enhancement, the haze from the fires 20 miles away is apparent. The shot below was taken in the morning, and is much clearer. It is of Swiftcurrent Lake seen from the hotel porch.
Swiftcurrent Lake

The Going-to-the-Sun Road

The drive over the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which bisects the park, was beautiful. Because of the fires, we were not allowed to stop on the west half of the road, apparently to keep the turnoffs clear for fire-fighting personnel. This shot, which another tourist took of Sheryl and me near Logan Pass, also shows the fires in the central part of the park, in the background.

Sheryl and me

Sheryl and me

Hidden Lake

Logan Pass, at 6646 ft elevation, is the high point on the road, where it crosses the Continental Divide. We stopped here and took a short hike to the Hidden Lake Overlook.

Hidden Lake,
from the overlook

This is the Going-to-the-Sun Road,
just east of Logan Pass.
Falls and Tunnel

St Mary Lake St Mary Lake is at the eastern end of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. In this shot the road is visible hugging the hills on the north side of the lake.

St Mary Lake

The circuit hike through Siyeh Pass (elev 8000 ft) was billed as one of the most scenic and spectacular in the park, so we planned to do this on our last day, as the climax to our trip. As you can see from this photo, taken at the pass, the weather was not propitious. It was cloudy and cold and sometimes rainy, and we were entirely in the clouds at the higher elevations. A disappointment, though the hike was still fun.

Sheryl at Siyeh Pass

Sheryl at Siyeh Pass

We also saw our share of wildlife. Even saw a grizzly with two cubs one evening, from the car and at a safe distance. No photos of that - too far away, and not enough light. But we have these shots of other fauna. The first is of three deer crossing the road:

Deer Crossing Road

Two Goats Two Goats,
Hidden Lake Trail,
at Logan Pass -
one adult,
and "one little kid".
Bighorn Sheep
(Durn thing just
refused to turn around
for the photo!)
Bighorn Sheep

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