Golden Aspen, Grinnell Peak, Swifftcurrent Creek, Glacier National Park
Autumn in Glacier National Park
October 3rd thru 7th, 2017
Glacier’s golden hues of autumn begin peaking in early October, and it beckons to a few savy photographers. This is best time to view fall foliage in Northwest Montana. Deciduous trees include maples, larch, cottonwood and aspen put on their annual show. Maple trees dot the hiking trails and turn to hues of yellow, orange and red. The larch and aspens turn to bright yellows and gold often set in a carpet of Montana’s huckleberry bushes. These trees are often mixed among the evergreens, so the foliage displays the brilliant reds and golds juxtaposed against the greens of the conifers and crowned by the auburns, greys, and tans of the limestone and dolomite peaks. Golden cottonwood is abundant along the lakeshore of dozens of glacial lakes.
Glacier National Park includes two mountain ranges and incorporates more than 25 glaciers, over 130 named lakes, 200 waterfalls, and more than 1,000 different plant species. Known as the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem,” it includes over 16,000 square miles of protected land surrounding the park.
Wildlife is as abundant as Glacier’s scores of stunning peaks. From mountain goats, bighorn sheep, grizzly bear, wolves and bald eagles. In October, the elk rut is still happening for those who desire a little wildlife action. Grizzlies can be found on the south facing slopes when lucky. In a rare display of wisdom in 1897 the U.S. Congress designated this area as a forest preserve. In 1910, they turned it into our tenth National Park.
Nature's spectator taking it all in
St. Mary Lake is located just inside Glacier National Park’s east entrance, this ten-mile long water filled chasm under the snow covered peaks above St. Marys Lake cast a beautiful reflection for the lucky photographer who can beat the Montana wind to the lakeshore. Wild Goose Island is a pretty compositional element put in the lake just for us photographers. The Going To the Sun Road runs along the north bank of St. Marys Lake; however, it is often closed when fall colors proliferate.
Pushing the boundary of winter, October has its risks of mountain engulfing clouds; however, it had been my experience that more often than not, bad weather enhances photography more than it diminishes it. That said, in the spirit of full discloser there is that risk.
The east slope of the Glacier National Park’s Lewis Range in October is clearly one of Montana’s undiscovered treasures. Miles and miles of golden aspen light up the lower slopes of this magnificent landscape. Oddly there is nobody here. Except for maybe us.
What to Expect
Our main focus will be the myjetic landscape of Glacier National Park accented with yellow leaves of autumn. Autumn is a stunning time to shoot Two Medicine Lake,St. Mary Lake, Lake Mcdonald and Swiftcurrent Lake and the towing mountains above all of them. Pack that long lens because there are also wildlife opportunities including grizzly bear, moose, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, elk and black bear. This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. We will always be on the look-out for interesting images during our photo adventure and for this reason, our itineraries are always subject to change. Weather plays a major role in capturing the best images possible. Changing light and weather conditions will always be assessed and changes in the schedule will be made accordingly. Flexibility, patience, and a sense of adventure are key to having a great time and capturing stellar photographs. Going to the Sun Road is scheduled to be open until the 15th but it is often closed this time of year because of early snow storms.
Group size is limited to four participants so no one has to sit on anothers lap. Small group dynamics enables more individualized instruction. Often workshops offered by others have a far larger student to instructor ratio, or huge groups whith mulituple instructors that over-croud a location. Our adventures offer you a chance to combine a spectacular vacation, a wonderful creative learning experience with managable group dynamics.
October in Glacier National Park is an awesome time, the chill of autumn is in the air, but that is what we come for. October allows good chances for passing storms which enhance our skies and bluebird days are still common.
What we expect from you
Moab where photographers become the landscape
Virginia Falls with a frosting of snow
Day 1 - PM meetup in West Glacier at lodging where we will spend one night, just outside the west enterance of Glacier National Park. At which time we will have a discussion on what everyone is trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles and techniques. Late afternoon we start exploring the Glacier National Parks west side.
Day 2 - Our first morining together will start long before Dawn so because we will want to be at a special lake for sunrise. After the AM shoot we pack up and head to your hotel on the east side of Glacier National Park. After we are settled we will grab an early dinner then set out to explore east Glacier. We will shot until the sun disspaears over the mountains in the west.
Day 3 & 4
Day 5 - This will be our final day together. We'll enjoy a morning shoot, then have a nice breakfast if time allows before checkout. During breakfast or lunch, we will have a discussion about our trip, answer any questions and trade contact information. Last meal is on Daryl. Then it is back to Kallispell for airport or hotel dropoff.
Lodging around the park is sparce as they have neglected to market autumns beauty and many things are shut down.
In West Glacier we will stay at Glacier Highland Motel and in East Glacier we stay at Dancing Bear Lodge.
These are adequet choices, not fancy ones.
You are responsible for your own lodging.
Bear Family, Glacier National Park
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Deposit & refund policy
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Golden Cottonwood, Two Medicine Lake
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Grizzly Bear near Going to the Sun Road
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Most Hole Picture Photo Safari activities are within the capabilities of average people in good health. Some of these trips require the capability of walking a few miles over uneven trails, stepping from boats to a wave-washed rocky beach, flying in small planes and helicopters, and occasionally hiking at high elevations, all while carrying an assortment of camera equipment with a tripod slung over your shoulser. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to a trip, please inquire before reserving a space. By forwarding a signed Registration Form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants and you agree to inform us in writing if changes in your health occur any time prior to the tour. We reserve the right to request a doctor's statement of good health. The company's trip leader's judgment shall provide the ultimate determination of an individual's ability to embark upon or to continue a trip. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements.
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The crystal clear waters of Swiftcurrent Lake