Road Trip to Glacier Day 6: Going to the Sun Road Westbound

Travel Date: July 14, 2021

We woke up at 7:00 AM to a completely empty parking lot at The Whistling Swan. Some, I know, had to get to the Glacier National Park entry gate before 6:00 AM when the ticketed entry was enforced. Having our pass, we could be a bit more leisurely. If you read my last post you know that we changed our plans; instead of spending two nights in East Glacier Park and heading home through Lolo Pass, fires required us to go back the way we came. So, we made reservations at The Finch in Whitefish, Montana – a little bit west of the western entry.

Once again the vistas were smoky due to many wild fires in the West. Here is an example from a stop just inside the eastern park boundry.

Smokey Glacier National Park

I cleaned the picture up a bit in Lightroom to provide the view we had been hoping for.

Faced with a large meadow I took a panorama from this spot.

Glacier National Park Panorama – Near the eastern entry gate

The Going to the Sun Road is beautiful and we decided to spend more time on the east side since we had spent most of the day before on the western side. The Trail of the Cedars – which we visited the day before – was nice, but we wanted something just a bit more natural. So we parked near Sun Point and hiked over Baring Falls.

Parking Spot and hiking target. Sun Point to Baring Falls. Glacier National Park. Google Maps

It was an easy hike – but we were glad we had on hiking shoes. Along the way we got a nice view of the mountains on the other side of Saint Mary Lake. This photo has been edited to reduce the haze and smoke; nevertheless, it was beautiful.

Saint Mary Lake – Glacier National Park

After a little more than 30 minutes, we reached Baring Falls. My Sony A6600 camera is a champ at hand-held long exposures to enhance the look of running water. You can see more examples of hand-held long exposures from our trip to Silver Falls State Park in March of this year.

Baring Falls – Glacier National Park

After hiking back to the parking lot we saw a sign for Sun Point. After going for a bit we thought we were there – nice but, but then someone pointed us a little farther up the trail and we saw this beautiful view

Sun Point Panorama – Glacier National Park

Just to prove Glacier National Park is more than lakes, mountains, and sky we appreciated some of the local flora on the hike.

My last picture shows a glaciated valley similar to one from the day before:

Glaciated Valley

In color

We stopped again for a snack at the lodge alongside Lake McDonald. When we were done sightseeing, we drove to our bed-and-breakfast type hotel – The Finch – in Whitefish, Montana. Whitefish is a touristy little town; Carla and I split a dinner of smoked brisket with some delicious sides.

And! I finally got to see some trains. Whitefish is a crew change point for the BNSF and has a beautiful old depot which we admired on our Empire Builder trip. More of that in the next post!

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