Three days along Glacier National Park's alpine masterpiece, captured on black-and-white film
Elias Carlson is a photographer, graphic designer, new father, and general outdoors enthusiast based in Priest River, Idaho. All images captured on Contax T2 and Minolta Autocord cameras with 120 and 35mm Kodak TMAX 400 film
It's not a stretch to say that Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road is a masterpiece of engineering. Meticulously planned to be as unintrusive as possible when viewed from its higher sections, this winding mountain road offers a bang for your buck factor that's hard to surpass. In peak tourist season you'll find its turnouts jammed with other cars, but if you hit it during the spring or fall shoulder seasons you may just find a few spots all to yourself. For a few minutes at least.
It takes about two hours without stopping to drive from the park’s west, main entrance to the midpoint at Logan Pass (elevation 6,646 feet), but if you're like me you'll want to plan at least five hours to allow plenty of time to pull over and take photos of the ridiculous views, explore McDonald Creek, or to try out one of the many hiking trails accessible from the road.
Over the course of our visit—a week staying at nearby Lake Five—our crew of five drove the road three separate times, and each time we found some new roadside gems to gawk at. And we've just scratched the surface.