About last summer, Part 6-Glacier and Waterton National Parks

I must offer a big THANK YOU to the hearty folks who have followed along as I ever so slowly chronicled our first big RV adventure! If you are just joining us, and would like to go back to the beginning of this series, you can start here, and follow the links at the bottom of each post to read about the whole adventure. I have struggled with this series because there is so much more fun and adventure to share, but alas, I think I need to give the magnificent Glacier National Park  and its Canadian sister-park Waterton Lakes National Park their due coverage in this post, and then move on to more recent adventures. I hope you’ll understand.

In the last post, I shared our first day in Glacier with friends, so in this post, I will try to limit the words and convey the majesty of these American and Canadian treasures in photos. I know it has been done by the most celebrated photographers, but this is our version.

WARNING: There are approximately 6,784,563,987 photos here and I left a bunch out. Click on any image to enlarge.

It should be noted that we first fell in love with Glacier and Waterton in 1999, which coincidentally was our first-ever RV experience, in a rented CruiseAmerica Class C. Those photos are in a photo album somewhere gathering dust since I have yet to take the time to digitize them. That first trip seems like a million years ago, but obviously, we liked RVing enough on that initial trip that it hovered in the backs of our minds all these years until we could retire and do RVing our way! 🙂

For those of you not familiar, here is a map of Glacier, focused on the spectacular Going to the Sun road (GTS). When we visited last summer, the road was partially closed due to forest fires that ravaged the Eastern part of the park, near St Mary. We were only able to travel on Going to the Sun road as far east as Logan Pass, in the center of the map. Map credit to Avalon Travel.


Going-to-the-Sun Road


Haystack falls crosses below GTS road


Inside Lake McDonald lodge


Rocky creek near the lodge


Lake McDonald


Crystal clear lake water


McDonald Falls roars toward the lake


View from GTS road, looking east


View from GTS road


Some of the few glaciers left in the park


Bird Woman Falls (560′) fed by a permanent snow field above on Clements Mtn


Heavens Peak 8987′


A bear cub, just feet from us!!! No mama in sight


View back to GTS road, cut into foreground on the right


Visitor center at Logan Pass, the high point of Going to the Sun road


Hidden Lake


Hidden Lake again…


looking east from the trail toward smoky St Mary Lake


Hiking back toward Logan Pass Visitors center


Unbelievable contrasts


Descending Going to the Sun road from Logan Pass

We said a sad farewell to Glacier, but only until we meet again!

We had planned to revisit Glacier’s Canadian sister-park Waterton Lakes as well, but with Going to the Sun road closed due to fire, we ended up riding around the outside of Glacier on US 2 to US 89 and the Chief Mountain highway rather than through the park. As you will see below, it was more than worth the effort!

Here is a map of Waterton Lakes for reference as well. Map credit to Parks Canada.

20150730_103921 Waterton map


Upper Waterton Lake, Waterton townsite on the right


Cameron Lake at the end of Akimina Pkwy


Shadow over Red Rock Canyon


Red Rock Canyon


Valley ringed by mountains

Our visit to Waterton was brief but memorable. On the way back to West Glacier, we discovered that the St Mary’s fire had been stirred by high heat and strong winds. We encountered firefighting camps, aircraft, and equipment on the move, and were shaken to see the afternoon view.


Even at a distance, the expanded fire was evident


Past fire damage and regrowth frames the ongoing blaze


A devastating sight, despite knowing fire is a natural regenerator


That night, a bittersweet goodbye to the Glacier area in a well-contained campfire




20 thoughts on “About last summer, Part 6-Glacier and Waterton National Parks

  1. Beautiful images Lynne! I REALLY love the ones of Hidden Lake – those are GORGEOUS! Definitely want to visit there one day, and hopefully within the next 5 years!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These photos are stunning – I learn so much about American geography from you. And you’ve reminded me that I STILL haven’t written about my teeny tiny road trip from Atlanta to Savannah – I am a useless blogger these days!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! We stayed at the West Glacier KOA and it is very nice. There are several other campgrounds on the west side but we haven’t experienced them personally. Many years ago, we stayed at a KOA in East Glacier/St Mary’s also, but I don’t remember it being as nice as West. Definitely check RV park reviews site before we book anything:-) Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

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