September 22, 2015 Glacier National Park, Montana

Iconic Shot Marred by Forest Fire
Iconic Shot Marred by Forest Fire

Park Shots and More Mountain Goats

The east side of Glacier N. P. had a rough summer, suffering once again from the ravages of forest fires. One particularly stubborn fire has marred both sides of the Going-to-the-Sun-Road   for several miles, including the slope you can see in the background of this iconic shot of Wild Goose Island in Saint Mary Lake.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Looking Up to Logan Pass
Looking Up to Logan Pass
Looking Up to Logan Pass
Looking Up to Logan Pass
Falls Below Logan Pass
Falls Below Logan Pass

The road on the east side of Logan Pass is free of fire damage once you are about half way up, leaving other iconic shots such as those above unblemished.

Many Glacier Area of the Park

The Colors of Many Glacier
The Colors of Many Glacier

I made my third trip into the Many Glacier area of the park this morning once again hoping for some bears, and once again coming away disappointed.

The Colors of Many Glacier
The Colors of Many Glacier
The Colors of Many Glacier
The Colors of Many Glacier

Last Trip up Going-To-The-Sun-Road

Glacier N.P. Elk
Glacier N.P. Elk

After my unsuccessful bear hunt in Many Glacier, i headed for Logan Pass, hoping to find some mountain goats along the way.

Glacier N.P. Elk
Glacier N.P. Elk

A bull elk was escorting his harem across some of the open fields along the side of Saint Mary Lake in an area know as two Dog Flats.

Roadside Grazing Black Bear
Roadside Grazing Black Bear

A young auburn toned black bear was grazing along the same stretch of road, obviously not being deterred by car traffic whizzing by.

Coyote Heading for Logan Pass
Coyote Heading for Logan Pass

About a mile or so below Logan Pass, I encountered this handsome coyote steadily making his way up the road heading for Logan Pass. I snapped a few shots of him and proceeded on my way.

Coyote Heading for Logan Pass
Coyote Heading for Logan Pass

Looking in my rear view mirror I could see him drop back down to the side of the road after I had passed. When I stopped a little farther up the road to take some shots of the pass, here he came again, once more climbing up the bank a ways as he detoured a bit to make his way around me.

Coyote Heading for Logan Pass
Coyote Heading for Logan Pass

After taking my shots at this second location, I drove past him again, but when I stopped once more a little farther up the road, and could still see him coming my way, I dropped down behind my car on my knees to conceal myself from him, and waited for him to come by. Not seeing me, he stayed on the side of the road and I was able to get an eye level shot of this handsome fellow as he passed by.

Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat

More Mountain Goats

Today I was fortunate enough to find two different goats running the steep vertical cliffs above Going-To-The-Sun-Road, just below the east side of Logan Pass, in the same area that I saw the lone goat yesterday.

Forgive the number of goat shots below, but these guys simply fascinated me. I probably spent more than three hours taking hundreds of shots of them, so bear with me as I show a dozen or so of them below.

Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat

The shot immediately above is an enlarged detail of the image above it. Notice the placement of the hooves along the outer edge of the ledge shelf he is so nimbly traversing. That shelf can’t be more than a foot wide, it appears, and he just casually strolls along it, more than a hundred feet up.

Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat

A different goat on a different section of the same cliffs, same idea, the second image is an enlarged detail of the first image. Again, note the placement of the hooves on, and actually over the edge of the rock ledge. Now, he is walking carefully, not running, but seemingly with no concern whatsoever for the fact that he is way up there on the cliff face with no soft landing below. Just incredible !

Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat

For the image immediately above, how did he get there? And where exactly can he possibly be thinking of going from there?

Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat
Glacier N. P. Mountain Goat

One image of a goat on safe terrain. Fascinating animals !

Tomorrow I leave Glacier National Park and head down the highway a bit to Yellowstone National Park, hopefully for some nice bull elk shots. Stay tuned.

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3 thoughts on “September 22, 2015 Glacier National Park, Montana”

  1. Incredible photos of the mountain goats. The best ranger talk at Two Medicine campground was on mountain goats and how they nimbly travel the edges of cliffs.

    You probably may already know this – but Mammoth Hot Springs, Mammoth campground and the Gardiner river area behind the employee housing near Mammoth is the very best place to observe elk in the park.

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