Planning To Photograph Wildflowers in Glacier National Park?
SNAPP Guides Pro, Chuck Haney shares his favourite spots
If you’re planning to photograph wildflowers in Glacier National Park this summer, now is the perfect time! Here SNAPP Pro photographer, Chuck Haney, shares his two favourite locations to capture nature’s greatest floral displays in this stunning US national park.
“Renowned and loved for its towering, snow-capped pinnacles, plunging waterfalls and turquoise lakes, Glacier National Park ranks among the United States’ most outstanding natural wonders. Pristine landscapes, lush forests, the spectacular Going To The Sun road, historic park lodges and even the odd grizzly bear!
Many Glacier Meadows
Wildflowers are at their best in the park from late June to mid-July. Glacier National Park literally bursts with vibrant stands of both prairie and alpine wildflowers during this brief summer season. With more than 730 miles of hiking trails that provide access to soaring peaks, mountain meadows, verdant tracts of forest and fish-filled clear lakes there are numerous places to view impressive summer wildflower displays.
Many Glacier Meadows
Many Glacier Meadows 48.814263, -113.5979
The road to Many Glacier Meadows is generally open from late spring to early November, weather dependant.
A vast array of prairie wildflowers such as lupine and blanket flowers appear along roadways in the Many Glacier and St Mary valleys by early July, then the bloom progresses higher in elevation as summer goes by. You can easily shoot from the roadway, but if you do wander out into the meadow, tread very lightly and avoid trampling the fragile flowers. Keep an eye out for bears and moose that can frequent the area!
With Lake Sherburne and mountains to the north and south, you’ll have great backgrounds for your landscape compositions here. The aspen groves create wonderful foreground interest too.
Hidden Lake Trail and Overlook
Hidden Lake Trail and Overlook 48.696945, -113.738974
Hidden Lake is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Glacier National Park. The trail climbs moderately from 6600 ft to a little over 7000 ft at the overlook. The alpine meadows at Logan Pass are one of the most beautiful spots on the planet, in my opinion. The best bet to take in all of the flora glory is to walk the 1.5 mile trail, most of it on a boardwalk to protest the fragile environment, to the Hidden Lake Overlook starting at the Logan Pass Visitor Center parking lot.
By late July, yellow glacier lilies emerge as the lingering snowfields begin to melt and recede. By early August, it is a bloom fest with a variety of colorful wildflowers carpeting the meadows. My favorites are the showy stands of Lewis Monkeyflowers that display an added layer of vibrancy among the red rock outcroppings.
Be sure to pack your longer telephoto lens as there are bighorn sheep, mountain goats, large mule deer and bears in the area and you might be lucky enough to capture them.
Lewis Monkeyflowers at Hidden Overlook
For more detailed directions and additional photo tips, take a look at my SNAPP Guide to photographing Glacier National Park where you’ll find over 30 of my top spots in the park and over 100 images to inspire your visit there.”
To see more of Chuck’s work or to book a workshop with him visit his website.