Glacier Guides and Montana Raft

5 Great Spots for Photography in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a great place for photography, so one of the common questions I get asked working in the park is: “Where is the best spot in Glacier to take pictures?” So, today, I present you with 5 of my favorite spots for photography in Glacier National Park

1. Lake McDonald

I’ve probably taken more photos from the Lake McDonald dock in Apgar than anywhere else in the Park. Often times in Glacier, the views get better the longer you’re willing to hike, but Lake McDonald is definitely an exception to that. At Lake McDonald, you can drive right up to some primo spots to set up your camera.

Glacier National Park Montana - reflections

Lake McDonald makes us all look like professional photographers. Photo by Jake Frank, NPS.

Glacier Montana - Lake McDonald

A sunset at Lake McDonald is enough to make even the most seasoned photographer swoon. Photo by Tim Rains, NPS.

Lake McDonald Glacier National Park Montana

One of the great aspects of Lake McDonald is that there are countless little coves along the shore, which makes it easy to find your own peaceful spot.

Glacier National Park Montana - Lake McDonald

No matter the weather, or the time of year, Lake McDonald puts on a great show.

2. The Grinnell Glacier Trail

Many Glacier has an abundance of scenic hikes, but in terms of “wow factor,” Grinnell Glacier takes the cake. One of the best things about this trail is that even if you only hike a portion of it, it’s definitely worth your while.

Glacier National Park Hiking - Grinnell

It really is as much about the journey as it’s about the destination when you’re hiking the Grinnell Glacier trail. You get out of the trees pretty early into this 10 mile hike, and the views get more spectacular with every step. (For a little perspective on the scale of this particular place, try and spot the hiker in the upper right corner of the picture.) Photo by Glacier Guide Chelsea Tuttle.

glacier national park hiking - grinnell

 Mountain Goats along the trail are usually more than happy to pose for eager photographers. Photo by Glacier Guide Chelsea Tuttle.

hiking glacier national park - grinnell waterfall

The Grinnell Glacier trail is also great if you’re like me and you love taking photos that scare your mom. Photo by Glacier Guide Chelsea Tuttle.

glacier national park hiking - grinnell glacier

If you do decide to go all the way to the Glacier, you will be rewarded with photo opportunities like this. Photo by Glacier Guide Chelsea Tuttle.

hiking glacier national park - grinnell glacier

The Garden Wall about the Glacier looks great in evening light. Photo by Glacier Guide Christian Tuttle.

3. Logan Pass

Logan Pass is the high point of the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road. Even though it’s busy, the pass is worth a stop. If you’re looking for great photos of Glacier in all it’s glory, your head will be spinning with options up there.

Spring Wildflowers Glacier National Park

Catching the Glacier Lilies blooming in Glacier National Park should be on every photographers bucket list. 

glacier national park wildlife - mountain goat

This guy was just hanging out, waiting for his close up.

Glacier National Park wildlife - big horn ram

If you do head to Glacier in search of the perfect wildlife shot, be sure and take a good long-distance camera lens. Photo by Karen Cameron

Grizzly bear - glacier national park

All sorts of animals hang out around Logan Pass, so you never know what you’re gonna see.

Hidden Lake Overlook - Glacier National Park

If you’re up for a short walk from the visitor center, the Hidden Lake Overlook is a great photography spot. Photo by Tim Rains, NPS.

Logan Pass - Glacier Park Montana

If you stick around after the crowds have gone home for the day, you can often have a Logan Pass sunset like this one all to yourself.

4. Elizabeth Lake

Elizabeth Lake takes a little work to get to. You either have to hike in 9.5 miles via the Chief Mountain Trailhead, at the very northeast corner of the Park. You can also hike 9 miles from the Many Glacier Valley, through the Ptarmigan Tunnel.  Most folks who visit this spot do so on a multi-day backpacking trip. Elizabeth is certainly worth the effort and the miles it takes to get there, and it’s one of the most photogenic lakes in the Park, if you ask me.

Glacier National Park Hiking - Elizabeth Lake

Elizabeth Lake is, without a doubt, one of my favorite places to wake up in Glacier National Park.

Swans in Glacier National Park Montana

A pair of swans call Elizabeth Lake home — lucky them!

Sunset Elizabeth Lake - Glacier Park Montana

Evening Light on Elizabeth Lake is great for taking postcard-worthy sunset shots.

backpacking in glacier national park - stargazing

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at night photography? If you’re willing to carry your tripod on a backpacking trip, Elizabeth Lake is an awesome spot for Milky Way pictures. Photo by Matt Villicana.

5. Granite Park Chalet

This location is also a bit of a hike, but Granite Park Chalet is more than worth it. There’s a backcountry campground at Granite, as well as a historical chalet where you can reserve a nice comfy bed and enjoy cowboy poetry by the fireplace at the end of your day. Spots in the Chalet often fill up quickly, but Glacier Guides offers several different options for chalet trips throughout the summer, so you can book a 3 day trip to Granite Park and leave the work to us.


Granite Park Chalet was built over 100 years ago, and it continues to provide shelter for backcountry hikers in one of the most picturesque spots you can imagine. Photo by Glacier Guide Jeff Compton.

double rainbow at granite park chalet

Rain or shine, you’ll have plenty of photos to take at Granite Park. Photo by Glacier Guide Jeff Compton.


Granite Park Chalet is known for breathtaking sunsets. Photo by Glacier Guide Jeff Compton.


If you’re up for adding an additional 5 mile (round trip) hike from the Chalet, you can climb to Swiftcurrent Lookout, the highest fire lookout in the Park. Because there’s a lookout on the summit, a well-maintained trail goes all the way to the top.

Glacier Park Montana Hiking - Grinnell Overlook

The 3 mile out-and-back to Grinnell Glacier Overlook has equally incredibly views. This spur from the Highline Trail climbs quickly to a high point on the Garden Wall, where you can look down on Grinnell Glacier. Photo by Glacier Guide Jeff Compton.

For more great photos, follow our Instagram: @glacierguidesmontanaraft.  While you’re at it, share your own great Glacier National Park photos with us and hashtag them #GlacierGuidesMT. Now that I’ve shared some of my favorite photo spots in Glacier, I’d love to see pictures of your favorites.

Also, I’d like to give a special shout out to Chelsea Tuttle. Chelsea is one of our awesome river guides, as well as an incredibly talented photographer, videographer, bus and motorcycle mechanic, and blogger. A lot of the photos in this blog are hers. If you’d like to see more of her work, check out her website, Traveling Tuttles, or subscribe to her blog.

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