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Glacier National Park is fast losing many of its namesake glaciers but not its incredible beauty. One of the best locations is the area around Swiftcurrent Lake. From here, it’s an easy half day hike up to Grinnell Glacier with photo opportunities along the way. A five minute walk from Many Glacier Hotel are Swiftcurrent Creek and Swiftcurrent Falls. Along the eastern shore of the lake are interesting foreground elements to include in images of the lake and the imposing Grinnell Point on the western shore.
While eastward facing, Grinnell Point is a great sunrise subject as it glows red while the foreground area is still in shade. The early morning hours also have the best chance of a calm surface on the lake for nice reflections. On this particular morning the conditions were such that the mountain made its own weather and was engulfed in clouds obscuring its peak. Luck was on my side as the clouds were thin enough to catch the sunrise and provide a colorful reflection on the lake itself. I made both portrait and landscape versions of the scene. The vertical composition emphasized the way the clouds flared and peaked in the sky, but ultimately I preferred the horizontal orientation which emphasized the lake.
Wildflowers in this part of the park bloom from mid-July through early to mid-August. The park has become increasingly popular, and reservations need to be made well in advance for both hotels and campground sites. Glacier is a large park, and you can easily spend a couple of weeks here, but practically, one should spend a couple of days each at Many Glacier, St Mary Lake and then either Lake MacDonald or Lower Two Medicine Lake depending on your interests.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor