There are a few things I look for when picking out a sunset spot. The most important thing is that the best sunset spot needs to have something in the scene other than just the setting sun. The next most important thing I look for is that my sunset spot will be westward facing to get the sun and the colors in the frame. Lastly, a water element is a real bonus and can make for some great reflections and double the amount of color in the photo. The spot I found that ticked all of those boxes was the end of the one-way road of the Two Medicine entrance to the park.
A shot from the best place for sunset in Glacier National Park
I set my tripod up on the shores of Two Medicine lake late in the evening in hopes of a grand sunset. On my particular day, I choose the sunset was pretty good, but if there would have been a few more clouds it would have been truly spectacular. Even without the clouds, I was satisfied with my best sunset shot in Glacier National Park.
For me what makes this the best sunset spot in Glacier National Park is the foreground elements. The massive mountains on the other side of Two Medicine Lake are rather symmetrical. Not perfectly, but if you set up in the right spot the mountains on either side of the main mountain seem to frame it out nicely. The mountains are also quite dramatic and seem to leap right out of the water’s edge. A big feature is something I always look for when picking my ‘best sunset spot’.
Personally, I love to face my camera right at the setting sun. I feel like this is what you would do if you were standing there yourself. The challenge that facing the sun presents is the big difference in brightness levels between the foreground and the sky. I shoot most of my photos using HDR techniques to account for situations like that. I very much want the sun and all the colors it brings as part of my photos of the sunset. The Two Medicine spot faces just off of due west and at certain times of the year, you can position shot just right to have the sun falling between some of the mountains. When I was there in Mid September the sun was falling a little further north (or right in the frame) than I was hoping, but I think it still worked.
Lastly, a bonus in any shot, not only a sunset, is a water element. Two Medicine Lake is a perfect example of that. As the sun began to set the water grew still, almost to the point of having a great reflection. We also visited this same spot early one morning when we found it perfectly still with an amazing reflection. It wasn’t quite as still the night when I set up for the sunset, but no complaints here.
I hope I convinced you that the Two Medicine spot is the best place for sunset in Glacier National Park.
When visiting Glacier National Park we stayed at Summit Mountain Lodge. The lodge is just a short 20-minute drive to the Two Medicine entrance and made for a nice place to explore the park from. It was actually Ted, the owner of the lodge, that told me about the spot. He is a photographer and a traveler too. He told us a bunch of his secret spots around the park. However, another one of the best sunsets we had was right from the deck of the Summit Mountain Lodge. We had great views of Summit Mountain and a nice pond of water for some reflections without even leaving the resort. Ted’s place is definitely worth checking out if you are heading to Glacier National Park and plan on doing some photographing.
Do you have a favorite place for sunset in Glacier National Park? If so, share your secret spot in the comments, if you want to give it up that is!