Glacier Weather - Bowman Lake, Glacier National Park

Bowman Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana

We landscape photographers are a strange group with expectations of how we want a scene to look. We want it all. Great golden light in early morning or late evening. Just enough clouds that will add interest to blue skies. Terrific foreground and background elements. You name it, we want it. I remember thinking to myself as I was composing this shot, this would be a great sunrise or sunset shot. Guess what? If I was standing at this same spot and had all of the things I wished for, I would be thinking that I needed great drama in the sky, moody light and a bit of foreboding in the scene (okay, the elements in this scene). We are never satisfied.

If you are reading this and say to yourself that this sounds like you, jump on a plane and head to Glacier National Park. The weather there is so changing that all you have to do is have a little patience and the right conditions will come. This location is Bowman Lake, about six miles from Polebridge (not many tourists ever see this location). The gravel road is as bumpy and narrow as you can imagine, especially when not driving in a high-clearance vehicle. We got there around noon and this was one of the first shots I took. Lots of drama in the sky and lots of a dark and foreboding mood. By the time we left about an hour later, the scene was much brighter with sun lighting the hillsides. This weather pattern was quite persistent our whole trip and is probably the norm for Glacier.