Laura Stull

Montana: Mountains for Days

Laura Stull
Montana: Mountains for Days

After leaving behind such spectacular scenery in Alberta, we were apprehensive about venturing southward. Glacier National Park was our preliminary stateside destination, but with unfavorable weather forecasts we considered driving across the park on the renowned Going-to-the-Sun Road, catching a glimpse of whatever mountains and valleys we could through fog and rain, and immediately continuing south.

We remained open-minded, arriving to the park after nightfall with hopes that we’d be pleasantly surprised with improving conditions by morning. Awakening early to secure a campsite at Many Glacier Campground on the park’s east side, we were spellbound by alpenglow on the peaks surrounding Swiftcurrent Lake and mountain goats perched along the cliffsides of Mt. Grinnell and agreed to linger in Glacier National Park awhile longer.

Though we continued to battle inclement weather, we made productive use of our time in the park, hiking to Iceberg Lake (spoiler alert: no icebergs), attending a midnight star party with the National Park Service (way nerdier, colder, and windier than it sounds), exploring alongside the ice-laden lake at Grinnell Glacier (yes, this one, icebergs), and dragging ourselves out of bed before dawn to photograph Swiftcurrent Lake at sunrise. With our increasingly limited time frame, we were unable to stay longer, but we’re endlessly grateful that a disheartening forecast didn’t discourage us from exploring this gem of a national park.