{Personal} Glacier National Park

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I was told that it’s nickname is “Heaven on Earth.”  I’ve heard about this place but I didn’t really know what to expect and when I saw it for the first time I was simply stunned.  I had no idea of it’s grandeur and beauty.  The peaks were rustic, the green below was lush and flowing with rivers and waterfalls.  Animals we’re free to roam and people were happy.  The only thing that was missing was pure souls and God himself.  Heaven on Earth is a perfect description and if you’ve wondered what Heaven might be like I urge you to take a drive to the middle of our country and ogle at the breathtaking, Glacier National Park.

We all know the saying to well, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  Every photograph I took I couldn’t help to think that there isn’t enough film in the world to show you the splendor of this place.  My photographs might be worth a thousand adjectives but nothing, no images nor words, can transcend seeing it in person.  I could not bring justice to this park through my photographs.  Even if I had an entire year dedicated to photographing Glacier I still don’t think it would be enough.

A lot of people are not familiar with this national park.  I hope this post encourages but one person to take on the adventure of driving and hiking Glacier.  I haven’t witnessed all the wonders of the world but of the places I have visited I can say Glacier is the most stunning place; it rises above the Grand Tetons, sandy beaches on an island don’t even compare and my favorite enormous trees, the Redwoods, don’t quite rise high enough.

After 2,000 miles on the road, 30 miles on foot and one sweet moment in a kayak these are the photographs I have to share with you.  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking it all in with a click of a shutter.  Enjoy.

Ten things I learned….

  1. Take at least one guided hike, you’ll learn a lot.
  2. Purchase food items that you can use in multiple camping dishes- for instance pepperoni is awesome on pizzas and can be added into your ravioli.
  3. Earplugs are a camper’s (and a wife’s) best friend.  I slept like a baby.
  4. If you bring a nice wine to celebrate with make sure you have some sort of wine glass, drinking a big red blend that you paid $$ for is not the same in a red solo cup. (PS. They sell plastic wine glasses at the general store, phew.)
  5. Talk. to. people.  Nothing adds to a vacation than conversing with the people that surround you, they’ll tell you stories and share ideas- they won’t bite, I promise.  (Oh, and Canadians actually do say “Eh” A LOT!)
  6. The nightly presentations at the campgrounds are actually very interesting and entertaining, make sure you check out a few.
  7. Create an awesome road trip mix to listen to.
  8. I’ve know this for a long time but every trip I am reminded that waking up early, very early, is ALWAYS worth it. (If you doubt me- tell me your two favorite images from up above and I’ll let you know what time I woke up to capture them.)
  9. When passing the border into Canada make sure you pay attention to signs, including stop signs and follow directions.  (David’s advice.)
  10. Break rules- but do it with respect.  Sometimes you just have to in order to get what you want. 😉

I didn’t want to bombard this post with a lot of my words and step by step of everything I did.  After all it is a photography blog and so I wanted it to be more about my photos.  However if it wasn’t for other people’s blog posts I wouldn’t have seen a lot of the things… like Triple Falls.  Yes, it does exist.  No, there is no trail to the falls and you have to find it yourself (with respect to the wildflowers and area around you).  If you want advice on how to find this magical place feel free to email me.  I do have a few other words of advice:  The Iceberg Lake hike is phenomenal and I highly suggest it.  David and I did this hike on our 5-year anniversary and it was the best way to celebrate.  We did the hike to the lake with a guide and learned a lot and then hiked back by ourselves.  (Below are some of our photos of this hike.)  If you’re going to camp I would say Fish Creek Campground was the best and if you’re going to stay in a lodge,  Many Glacier Lodge cannot be beat (neither can the hikes.)  Kayak in the morning- the lakes get pretty choppy from evening wind.  Bears are no joke- follow the rules with food and hiking.  Kalispell and White Fish are fun towns, check them out. There is no cell phone service and it’s a glorious thing, just enjoy the splendor and text, post, email, instagram and tweet about it later.

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August 24, 2013 - 7:47 PM

Tara - Beautiful pictures as always, Aubrie!!

August 25, 2013 - 11:41 AM

Mom - I have to choose that first photo of Tripple Falls….mainly because I know the story behind it. 🙂 I’m so happy you’ve realized that the “early bird catches the worm”…..or in this case, the capture of a life time! Sunrise is more special then sunset anyway. With the sunrise you have the continuation of the whole day in front of you…….:) The back road photo is my second favorite. Just seeing what lies in front of you to discover says so much!
Love them all…..and thankful for the private screening before hand! 🙂 Dad is already pre planning a trip to see this magnificent place. Wanna come along? I know we will never get Mary and Craig to come with us!

August 26, 2013 - 3:45 PM

Kim Culp - Wow~ I am forwarding to Ryan he’ll want to put it on the list! Was that a bear markings on the tree?

August 26, 2013 - 5:36 PM

Jenni - This is AMAZING. These photos are just out of this world amazing… and, it looks like the vacation was a great success. I liked the post section a lot too… even photoblogs can give a little info behind the photos, it makes it much more accessible to those of us who can’t take a photo that well! 🙂

August 26, 2013 - 6:06 PM

Daniel Stark - OMG! These are seriously the best landscape photos and wildlife stuff i have ever seen! Amazing! Ansel Adams has nothing on you! 🙂

August 26, 2013 - 8:34 PM

Macey Snelson - Oh wow! What beautiful images and beautiful country!! I really want to go on another road trip now!

August 26, 2013 - 10:05 PM

Lizzie D - Stunning images!

August 27, 2013 - 4:02 AM

Adventures in Dressmaking - OMG, these are amazing. What an incredible place!! You captured it so beautifully, landscape photography seems so hard!

September 3, 2013 - 7:19 PM

Pech - I’ve had Glacier National Park on my Bucket List for a long time- but seeing these photos moves it up the list! Unfortunately the husband and I are NOT campers so we will probably not see all the beauty you did, but it was great living vicariously through your photo lens here!

November 17, 2014 - 10:58 PM

{Personal} Zion National Park » Portland Oregon Portrait Photographer, Capturing Grace Photography - […] with Yellowstone and The Grand Tetons. In 2013 for our five-year anniversary we camped and hiked in Glacier National Park.  This past summer we ventured down to Zion National Park.  (The drives keep getting longer!) It […]

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