Photos © Peter Mansbach, Aug 2003.
No commercial use without written permission.
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
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.
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.
|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.|
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
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.
This is the Going-to-the-Sun Road,
just east of Logan Pass.
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
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
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:
Hidden Lake Trail,
at Logan Pass -
and "one little kid".
(Durn thing just
refused to turn around
for the photo!)
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