Glacier National Park is the crown jewel of Montana… hell it’s the crown jewel of pretty much the entire Northwest. I spend a lot of time traveling around the Northwest and have yet to find somewhere more stunning.
I mean look at that.
Places shouldn’t be allowed to be this pretty. It’s too overwhelming.
One of the must do activities while in Glacier National Park is The Going To The Sun Road. Out of the four times that I have been to Glacier I have only successfully crossed the road once from beginning to end. Snow is usually the culprit. Which should not be surprising as the continental divide passes through Glacier. Logan Pass tops out at 6646 feet (2025 m), which may not be the highest point of the divide (Grays Peak in Colorado comes in at 14270 ft / 4350 m) but while standing outside my car on a late summer day in September, I found myself zipping up my jacket to protect myself from the cold.
I would say the only benefit of the road not being completely open was a lack of cars. Like most National Parks Glacier’s roads can be cluttered with cars, parked in all sorts of spots that may or may not be suitable parking… or even parking at all. I knew that the road was closed somewhere near the top of the pass and had assumed that we would be able to park at the Logan Pass Visitor Center. As I rounded the final stretch to the top I saw a gaggle of cars and a gate snapped across the road. No Logan Pass Visitor Center today. Although the gate stopped the cars from proceeding you could continue on by foot. I parked my car, grabbed my camera and took a quick jaunt past the gate. As I was snapping away it dawned on me that I was standing on a roadway. And dogs are allowed on roadways in National Parks as long as they are on a leash. Perhaps I took some liberty with the rule but I went back to the car and leashed up Boomer. He didn’t want to miss out.
Boomer decided he would not sit pretty for me, but that did not stop me from taking his photo. It is one of the many joys of traveling alone with your dog.
It is damn near impossible to take a (sharp) photo with your dog with them looking at you.
As we began out decent back to the Apgar Village we stopped along the way at Red Rocks Trail. It was not much of a trail but more of a boardwalk out to the teal blue river flowing over rich red rocks creating quite the impressive contrast.
It was about an hour out from sunset when we reached Apgar Village. It was a beautiful day with some wispy clouds that I thought would make for a great sunset. I decided a quick stop at Eddie’s Cafe would fill the time until the sunset was upon us. I found myself a seat where I could monitor the light and ordered a huckleberry cobbler and a Going to the Sun IPA from Great Northern Brewery. I know it was a little cliché but I could not help myself.
An odd amount of time had passed while I sat perplexed at what the hell could be taking so long with my cobbler. And then it all made sense when my waiter came over and said “I’m sorry, I forgot to place your order, what was it that you wanted again?”… UGH. I rambled off what I wanted and as soon as he walked away I looked out the window. Damn it – it was sunset time and I was going to miss it. To top it off the cobbler wasn’t worth missing the sunset.
I made my way back out to the shoreline of Lake McDonald and took a few photos before I lost the light. Which I think given the scenery you can’t really take a bad photo, regardless of the light.