Tranquil Dawning-Sunrise at Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park

Pink skies surround Bearhat Mountain as it basks in the first light of dawn and is reflected in the waters of Hidden Lake high up in the mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana.
Pink skies surround Bearhat Mountain as it basks in the first light of dawn and is reflected in the waters of Hidden Lake high up in the mountains of Glacier National Park in Montana.

Hidden Lake is one of the most popular locations to visit in Glacier National Park and for good reason. The alpine scene at the overlook is simply gorgeous with Bearhat Mountain towering above Hidden Lake. It was tops on my list for places to shoot on my trip to the park in September. Road construction made that more challenging that I had planned on though.

Luke Tingley and I found out the bad news when we first arrived at the park. The Going to the Sun Road was closed from 9:00 PM until 7:00 AM every night. With sunrise at roughly 7:00 AM and sunset around 7:30 PM, shooting at Hidden Lake was out of the question considering the half hour drive and the 45 minute hike (except in the middle of the day of course). All hope was not lost though because we found out they weren’t working on the weekend. Since we were leaving on Sunday morning, that left us just Friday night and all day Saturday to hopefully get a sunrise and a couple of sunset shots.

Saturday morning we got to the trailhead shortly after 5:30. From what we could tell in the dark, there were some clouds in the sky. We had high hopes for a good sunrise as we made the trek up and over the Continental Divide to the lake. We each went our own way in search of a pleasing composition. I settled on a spot and setup my gear in anticipation. The skies gradually lightened as the sun came over the distant horizon on the other side of the mountains. A bank of clouds to the south and west started to glow in the soft pink light just as the tip of Bearhat Mountain caught the rays of the sun. The breeze let up and Hidden Lake reflected the magnificent scene. What a sunrise. The grin was still lingering on Luke’s face when I met back up with him!

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