Explore MT {Avalanche Lake – Glacier NP}

In our original trip plans, we did not include Glacier National Park. After a day or so on the road, we decided we HAD to adjust and spend a few days in the park. We camped outside the park and spent a couple days exploring. Our first major hike was four miles long (2 miles up and 2 miles down) to Avalanche Lake. We knew the boys could handle it and were pretty sure our oldest daughter could make it most of the way. Chris carried our youngest on his back and then towards the very end had our oldest girl on his shoulders too. We didn’t see many kids on the hike, so that made our kids feel really cool that they were doing it. I think we hit the park about a week before most families arrive.

Chris got a lot of comments when people saw him carrying both girls up the mountain. One lady passed him and then turned around to take a picture of him and the girls. Made me laugh.

ISO 100, 1/400, f/2.8 ~ ISO 400, 1/160, f/2.8
6.14avalanchelake-1

We are sticklers about keeping distance from wildlife and not feeding them. My eight year old saw this little chipmunk in the distance. He squatted down take a photo and the little guy (or girl) scurried right up to his lens. It made my son’s day (and he got a super cool shot). The chipmunks at the lake were obviously used to people feeding them because they kept coming up so close.

ISO 160, 1/160, f/7.16.14avalanchelake-3

This was one of the longer hike the kids have done that is not flat. They did so good and I was so proud of them. The lake at the top was definitely worth the trip – we all agreed.

ISO 100, 1/200, f/6.36.14avalanchelake-4ISO 100, 1/200, f/6.36.14avalanchelake-5

ISO 100, 1/200, f/6.36.14avalanchelake-6

ISO 320, 1/400, f/4.56.14avalanchelake-7

It was a good day. A very good day.

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  • danielle - We were just their last year and missed that one! I could have stayed a really long time at that park and still missed hikes! We did some major leg killer hikes while there! Looks like you guys are making some amazing memories!

  • kimberly oyler - love that last shot of the girls. aren’t last minute road trip decisions always the best?

  • Addie - That looks like an amazing place! Great job Chris for packing in the kids!

  • rhonda - Glacier is so great! You should have kept coming and come across to the Canadian side and seen Waterton πŸ™‚

  • Meg - The photos are beautiful. Both my husband and I grew up in the midwest but have never been to any of the places you have been visiting. Every day I send him the link to where you are and write, “We need to do this!” He is now convinced πŸ™‚ We thought we would wait until the kids were a bit older (7,6 & 3) but seeing your little one makes me think that next year, we are going on a road trip!
    Thank you for the beautiful photos. I really appreciate the time you take to write in the “technical” info. I am pushing myself to use manual more and more and your notes on each photo help so much πŸ™‚

  • NanaBeast - Ashley,
    I am in love with the photo of the girls on the log on the shore of the lake. The composition is so pleasing, the way the downward slope of the mountain into the lake is taken up by the log, directing the motion to end at the girls. As you know, your girls are beautiful, and the colors they are wearing are perfection in this composition (to me, I’m no expert.) I know you didn’t pose the girls and just that fact makes this even more beautiful. I praise God for orchestrating all the elements so I can enjoy photography like this. And for the ability to appreciate it most of all. The Creator amazes me All. The. Time. Anyway, thanks for your part in all this.

  • Amy Espinosa - Just breathtaking! And your pictures of your husband carrying your girls brings back so many wonderful memories. My husband carried our girls just like that! They are 13 and 11 now, but it seems like just yesterday. Enjoy EVERY minute!

  • Seamingly Sarah - Hooray for not feeding the wildlife! Thanks for teaching your kids that. And the lakes in GNP are always worth it. Awesome! You make me want to go back.

  • Jenny - After living in MT for 31 years, and never having been up to Glacier Park… you have totally convinced me that I need to make time to take a trip up there. Your pictures are all amazing!

  • Diana - Gorgeous pictures (as always) and incredible scenery! What a wonderful looking place to visit!

  • kaitlyn bright - I am loving all of these pictures. I am sure you will be sharing your trip itinerary?! Or you can whip up a little e-booklet and charge some $ for that thing! PS. I am hoping my package arrived at your house. Its been a while but thought I’d ask.

  • Kelly - Love that hike! We do it every year. You’re lucky you only saw the chipmunks. Last summer we ran into a bear on the boardwalk! And then a mama and baby moose before the official trail head. All way too close for comfort!

  • erin - awwwwww…come on!!!! you *know* we need to see his chipmunk shot!!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh Ashley, how beautiful! Thank you for sharing your f-stop with us! I was wondering how you were able to get everyone on the log so perfectly!

    And way to go Chris! Rockstar.

  • Sarah - I’m so antsy to take a trip like this! My kids are two and six months old and while I’m loving this little stage I’m looking forward to when they’re a little older and we can do more involved family activities. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to see where you are next πŸ™‚

    P.S. Let’s see the picture of the chipmunk your son took!

  • Glenda - My goodness your family is just so cute! I really enjoy reading about your adventures and just you lives in general. You guys make me smile!

  • Michelle Hill - The way that you encourage and challenge your children is so inspiring. I hope one day I can be half the mother and woman you are. Your family is beautiful!

  • Christine - I love reading and seeing all your family adventures! Seriously, your husband is a ROCK STAR for carrying both girls. I would love to see your son’s shot of the chipmunk!! Can you post it?!?

  • Pat B - I’m enjoying “following” your sweet family on your vacation. Your photography is stunning! My husband & I were blessed to visit this part of the country a few years ago and hope to go back someday. In the meantime, I’ll go vicariously through you! πŸ™‚

  • Taylor - Gorgeous photos! This place looks absolutely breathtaking. Also, wow, Chris! What an impressive being to carry BOTH those little girls up the hills!!

    xoxo
    Taylor

  • Kate S. - Thank you for being “sticklers” and teaching your children to respect wildlife. I rarely take a hike anymore that does not include the infuriating sight of someone’s kids chasing wildlife. I can even name a few bloggers who constantly let their children harass wildlife when they find it. DRIVES ME CRAZY. I so appreciate that you are teaching your kids better behavior.

  • Jeannine - My son would LOVE to see your son’s chipmunk shot!

  • Natalie - Gorgeous pics! Just curious- why did you crank your ISO up on the last few photos? The first few at the lake were ISO 100 and then you changed it to 320. Working on shooing in manual and when you post your camera settings its always a HUGE help! Thank you!

  • ellen patton - What an amazing trip!

  • Hannah - Ooooh!!! We just LOVE Glacier! Lake MacDonald on the west side is gorgeous along with Going to the Sun road… I am LOVING your pics of this amazing trip. What a gift!

  • Megan - The backgrounds in all of your pictures look SO fake, like I feel like you are taking these in front of a green screen. πŸ™‚ I can’t even fathom how beautiful it all must be in person.

  • Monica - Last picture is absolutely gorgeous! Love sisters pictures ! πŸ™‚ I have two girls, hopefully one day my soon two years old she can stay still to take her a picture with her sister, is so hard when I want to take a picture hugging each other because the little one she runs right away. LOL πŸ˜€