Posted by: Brad Nixon | June 17, 2016

One Magic Moment: Glacier National Park

You can travel the world for many years, drafting itineraries, planning your routes, investigating where to stay, where to eat, studying the schedules of buses, trains, planes, museums and events.

Ultimately, you have to take advantage of the chances to see what’s out there.

Glacier National Park occupies a large chunk (1,000 square miles) of northwestern Montana and, across the Canadian border, connects with Waterton Lakes National Park.

Glacier NP Brad Nixon R1-12 St Mary falls (432x640)

It is a spectacularly beautiful place, accessible by a few roads, but a lot is wilderness. There are mountains, forests, lakes, prairies. There are bears, elk, deer and innumerable smaller species roaming relatively freely. Yes, there are glaciers, although our warming planet is playing havoc with them.

Near the southwestern entrance to the park, from which you access the wonderfully named Going to the Sun Road, is the southern end of Lake McDonald. The lake extends 10 miles northeast, and is approximately a mile wide. Here it is circled in red on a map that shows most of the park. The top of the map is the Canadian border.

Glacier NP map marked

One September, Dad and I traveled through Glacier, including the Canadian portion, and I’ll say more about those places another time. Winter comes early, and we were snowed on in higher portions of the park.

We spent our final night in Glacier on the shore of the lake. Here was the view of Lake McDonald that afternoon.

Lake McDonald MT Brad Nixon 2891 (640x441)

The next morning, with the temperature slightly below freezing, I woke up at dawn, grabbed the camera, and walked down to about the same spot, just to see.

There are some moments worth getting out of bed early for.

Lake McDonald MT panorama Brad Nixon (640x315)

This is one of a series of blog posts observing the centennial of the U.S. National Park Service. To see more national parks, see the Categories section on the right under Travel: National Parks.

Lake McDonald and other images from the blog available on CLICK HERE to view the Underawesternsky image portfolio.

© Brad Nixon 2016, 2017


  1. We visited Glacier NP about 18 years ago and the scenery was absolutely stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

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