I sped down the highway thinking about how beautiful yet lonely this entire area seemed. Most of the businesses had already shut down for the season, leaving the few locals left with one restaurant and a gas station left open. The closest supercharger was 165 miles away in Missoula and I had been driving most of the afternoon. My battery was quite low and there was a level 2 charger up the mountain at the lodge on Lake McDonald. I headed up the road as the sun set. As Heavens Peak appeared in the distance, I began to understand the magic of this place. The lake opened up behind the trees, offering a perfect reflection. I charged up a bit, and then headed to town for dinner.
After I left the restaurant, I pulled up into the visitor center parking lot and set up my tripod. I was extremely excited to get some pictures of the stars after seeing what results I had recently gotten in Yellowstone. The light from the sun could still be seen reflecting off of the lake as the stars began to shine above. Hues of purple blended with the night as the milky way got brighter and brighter. Although the temps dropped quickly, I couldn’t pass this up as I took shot after shot, wrapped in my blanket and gloves. After a few hours of shooting, I decided to head to the charger and sleep.
I woke up early the next morning excited to explore. The main roads were closed because of snow, so my only option was to head up north to Kinta Lake. This was overly exciting for me though as that is almost at the Canadian border and I knew the roads would be rough and not many people would venture that far north. I set off and shortly after a small town about an hour in, I realized that when I was told these were dirt roads, they weren’t kidding! The entire road seemed to be one huge pothole and top speed was limited to about 15mph. These are the types of places that I love though. The looks I get when a off road jeep sees me in my Model 3 are priceless.
Arriving at Kintla Lake, I set off down a trail. A sign warning me of Grizzly Bears and not to hike alone peaked my interest. Well, I hoped I would see one from a distance, and I didn’t have anyone to join me so I knew I should keep my hike down to about 10 miles round trip. The views were absolutely incredible. Before this I had never really seriously entertained the thought of climbing a mountain, but looking at the sheer cliffs in the distance made my heart yearn for an adventure like that. I was completely alone and felt completely at peace as I traversed deeper and deeper down the trail.
After a while, I decided to turn around. I had a long drive back, and I still wanted to get some more shots of the stars that night.I hadn’t come across my bear, or really any wild life, which I felt was strange being this remote, but that was ok. The views more than made up for it.
Closest Destination Charger Lake Macdonald 0mi
10877 Going to the Sun RD
West Glacier Montana
Glacier National Park
West Glacier MT