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Glacier National Park, Montana – A Photologue: The Trip to Glacier Park Lodge, East Glacier

All too soon, it’s time to say good-bye to the Many Glacier area of the park and head off toward my final destination: Glacier Park Lodge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Park_Lodge located at the foot of Dancing Lady Mountain in the small burg of East Glacier Park Village, MT.  I wrote about this place in a previous post about lodging within the park:

Spending Your Nights In The Historic Lodges of Glacier National Park: http://wp.me/p1HB5W-o4

This would be the final stop in my quest to stay at most of the historic lodges within and immediately next to Glacier National Park.

After departing Many Glacier and passing Babb and the St. Mary entrance to the park, the climb up Hwy 89 begins.  Along the way, one sees swathes of fire-dead forests; at one point, I stopped the car to photograph an area which – back in 1997 – was so covered with living, thriving trees that I couldn’t really see very far beyond where I stood.  This time, I could gaze as far as my eye could see.

Life will find a way, though, and the area was and is still re-populating itself.

On the route back to Browning on Hwy 89, there is a turnoff to Hwy 49.  The drive is narrow and somewhat circuitous, prone to rockfalls and winter closings.  However, this road takes the driver to the Two Medicine portion of the park – a turnoff along the way to East Glacier.

After wandering around the nearby Two Medicine Lake for a bit, I stopped off in the camp store to purchase some huckleberry jam and syrup,  before continuing on to my end destination.

The Glacier Park Lodge (aka Great Northern Hotel) is located across the road from the Amtrak train station.  The lodge is huge, with a cavernous, picturesque lobby.  No, I have no overall exterior images of the lodge – none of them looked good and I did the stupid thing and deleted what few shots I had, never even thinking that my editing skills might improve enough in the future to re-work those photos into something decent.  Hindsight is 20-20 and a great reminder to you photographers out there to NEVER delete your images at first glance (unless they are horribly underexposed or overexposed or totally blurry), because you might be able to save them in the future.

Three things to know about this place:

  • It’s the first (or last, if you are just entering the park) place within the park where cell phones work (well, my Verizon phone received a signal) – don’t know about internet service since the thought never crossed my mind to ask about WiFi when I was there in 2008.
  • The only elevator in the lodge is a service elevator, which is how the valets get your luggage to your room – otherwise you must lug your stuff up the wide staircase.
  • Remember to have a 3-prong electrical outlet adapter because this lodge is old (built in 1912), and unless they have done any recent remodeling, your room will probably only have a 2-prong outlet.  I ran out the battery in my laptop because I didn’t have an adaptor, and the local hardware store in East Glacier was completely out of the things.

The restaurant within the lodge is quite large.  The servings are large.  The food is OK, as park fare goes.  The huckleberry daiquiris need more huckleberries in them and a little less sweetener.  If you are hungry for some different (and better, IMO) fare, go the short distance to East Glacier Village and visit the Mexican restaurant Serranos http://serranosmexican.com/ for some awesome food and huge margaritas.  It’s attached to the Backpacker Inn hostel.

My room, while a little dark, sported a newly-remodeled HUGE bathroom, and a large balcony.  I’m a balcony kind of girl.

So, that’s it for my Glacier Park photologues.  I plan on returning to the park in the future, which means there will be more posts – in the future – about this stunningly beautiful place – a jewel in the crown of America’s national park system.

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Glacier National Park, Montana – A Photologue: From Logan Pass to Siyeh Bend to St. Mary Falls

From Logan Pass Visitor Center, it’s all downhill….driving, that is.  The photography on the eastern side of the pass is just as stupendous as on the western side, if not moreso.

This image taken just a mile or so beyond the visitor center has special meaning for me – some 20+ years ago, I made my first trip back to the park since my family moved to Kentucky when I was 9 years old.  I of course only had a film camera, and I photographed this very same spot as you see below; years later, I uploaded the film version to my Flickr site, although the scanner didn’t do the image justice.  So when I returned to this spot in 2008, I just had to take another photo with my digital SLR.

Further down the way is a large-ish pullout across the road from Lunch Creek, a glacial cirque with a waterfall far up near the top and a bubbling creek flowing along roadside.  I don’t know where they got the name for this place, but as one friend remarked “it is a nice spot to rest and have lunch”.  When I photographed this image in 2008, the sun shone and the sky was blue.  In 2009, it was raining and the cirque was hidden by the cloud mist.

Just a little further down the road is the hairpin turn called Siyeh Bend (pronounced Sigh-yee by the locals).  There’s a much larger parking pullout there because it’s one of the trailheads for the Siyeh Pass hike, which forks off at one point onto the Piegan Pass Trail.

Looking toward Siyeh Bend and the mountains.

From whence I came: looking the opposite way of Siyeh Bend.

The scent of pine.

Onward toward the east, with a stop along the way to hike the short trail (maybe a mile or a little less) to St. Mary Falls.  This is an amazing falls with beautiful turquoise waters spilling out and down the St. Mary River.

Flowing downstream from the falls.

The trail to St. Mary Falls extends further to Virgina Falls.  Although I made it a little ways further along the trail, I never quite made it to Virginia Falls  during either of my visits to the park.

Next:  From Sunrift Gorge to St. Mary Lake

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Filed under Glacier National Park MT, National Parks, Photography, Travel and Photography