Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Traveling "Going-to-the Sun Road" Part 3

Cannon Mountain left and Heavens Peak behind the pine.  This was taken from the blind lookout.
The road on the west side of Logan Pass was under construction between Big Bend to Haystack Creek and Logan Creek to Avalanche Creek.  The lookouts that were not under construction were filled with construction equipment so there were not many safe areas to stop and take pictures.

Oberlin Mountain from Loop Lookout.
Blind Lookout: Oberlin Mountain with Bird Woman Falls.

Livingston Range from the blind lookout.
I did find a cutout on the mountain side to stop and got some great pictures of Oberlin Mountain, Heavens Peak, Cannon Mountain and a panoramic shot of Livingston Mountain Range.  The cutout was located on a bend that made it tricky to get back on the road since you are blind to traffic coming in both directions.  While I was taking pictures a camper pulled over and almost got hit pulling out.  A construction vehicle was slowly navigating through the blind turn and the camper driver could not see it.  I kept yelling "STOP!" but the camper kept inching forward a little each time.  You should have seen the surprise on his face when he finally saw the trunk and his wife mouthed "Thank You" to me before departing.

The mapped routes before choosing the finally "Going-to-the-Sun Road".
I missed taking pictures at Oberlin Bend, Big Bend, Weeping Wall and the West Tunnel.  The west tunnel has ached openings with wonderful view of the valley below.  The Loop Lookout is the only switchback engineered to traverse through the mountains.  There were several routes mapped to Logan Pass before choosing this one.  One route required 15 switchbacks before reaching Logan Pass.  I did get some nice shots of Oberlin Mountain and Heavens Peck.

Heavens Peak from the Loop Lookout.
  In 2003 there were masses fires in Glacier and you can see how the land is recovering from it.

A burned area above the Loop.  Later in the summer this area is filled with blooming fireweed.
The next stop was Logan Creek where I photographed an abandon Park Ranger's Cabin before entering the second construction zone from Logan Creek to Avalanche Creek.

Old ranger's cabin on Logan Creek.  Oberlin Mountain is towering in the center with Bird Woman Fall below it.
Stanton Mountain Front Center and Mount Vaught
center rear framed with leaves.
Stanton Mountain Front Center and Mount Vaught
center rear framed with birch trees.

The turnouts were filled with cars and it was getting late so I skipped Avalanche Creek and McDonald Creek Lookouts. I found a turnout along McDonald Lake to stop and enjoyed the beautiful lake along with some great shots of a mountain framed in the trees.

McDonald Lake: Mount Vaught left behind the pine.  Cannon Mountain right peak and Mount Brown is left of Cannon.
The mountains in the background I seen referred to as the highline.
McDonald Lake with the Apgar Mountains in the background.
I drove through Apgar parking lot looking to see if I could find a quick place to stop and take more pictures before leaving.  No such luck and left the park around 6 PM and follow US 2 to Columbia Falls where I turned on Hwy 40. Hwy 40 meets up with US 93 turning north I started looking for a campsite to spent the night. I found Tully National Forest Campground on the map just 4 miles north of Whitefish. This campground is located in Flathead National Forest. Tally Lake is the deepest lake in Montana. The site was clean but it could use an upgrade compare to the Tie Hooks and other sites I been to in Michigan and Northern Wisconsin. The evening ended hearing loud bangs from the Whitefish's fireworks.

My campsite for the night.
The next day would be a long one since I crossed into Canada to visit Canada's premiere Rocky Mountain Nation Park System.

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