We are experimenting with a newer camera that has much better resolution and allows us to aim and zoom it remotely. If it proves successful, we plan to begin removing the older cameras and replacing them with these newer ones. That process will take several months to a year. To see the difference in the quality look at the Middle Fork of the Flathead River camera. One trade-off for a better image quality is that there is no weather module available for this new camera. The company that manufactured the older model has stopped making and selling their weather module as well, so as the ones we have fail, they can not be replaced. At night, you may notice a green light on some of the cameras. This is a power light on the camera itself that reflects on the housing.
Snowball, Snowflake and Chilly Are Back!
The park's snow-people, Snowball and Snowflake are back.
So what's the back story of the snowmen? Several years ago on Christmas Eve an employee and family came over and built a snowman in the view of the HQ webcam. That snowman was an instant hit and loved by people all over the world. In Florida an elementary school teacher was teaching her class about snow and used the snowman to get the kids interested in the lesson. They would watch daily to see if the snowman had any new clothes or accessories. They are the ones that named him Snowball and they even sent a scarf for him to wear.
Ever since, when the snow is at the right texture for snowmen, he shows back up to help spread holiday cheer and to help let kids who don't experience snow see a little bit of snow country. A few years ago Snowflake joined Snowball and last year they adopted a puppy named Chilly. Chilly sure grew over the summer. We kind of suspected he would grow to be a big dog when we first saw the size of his paws. :-)
The summit of Apgar Mountain provides a spectacular view of Lake McDonald and the mountains in the distance. To the left of the lake are Stanton Mountain and Mt. Vaught (Stanton just in front of Vaught) and then just to the right the Garden Wall. The Continental Divide follows the crest of the Garden Wall. Continuing to the right are Mt. Cannon and Mt. Brown. The last mountain clearly visible to the right is Edwards Mountain. Apgar Lookout is at the summit and one of the more popular hikes on the west side.
The southwestern boundary of the park is the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The valley offers a different, but still spectacular, contrast to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, inside the park.
This section of the park offers some of the most challenging and remote experiences Glacier has to offer. The highlight of this view is the dramatic glacier-carved horn of Mount Saint Nicholas (elev. 9376 ft.). Does it remind you of any other peak? How about the Matterhorn in the European Alps? Both formed in the same way. When glaciers carve on three or more sides of a peak at the same time they form these classic glacial horns. We have several other horns in the park but no better representation than Saint Nicholas.
The village of Apgar is the main hub of activity (on the west side of the park) throughout the summer. The park's largest campground is located here as are gift shops, a restaurant, lodging facilities, and boat and recreational equipment rentals. In the other times of the year Apgar returns to a much quieter time. Expect to see buses of school kids coming for visits and snowshoe trips. You are just as likely to see a few deer wandering about as you are a person. Most winters one or two of the gift shops remain open to welcome off-season visitors.
This is the primary information stop for visitors entering the park at West Glacier. This time of year it is only open on weekends, but the restrooms are available every day. During the summer the plaza is the main staging ground for the Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle system. The free shuttle system affords visitors access to locations between Apgar and St. Mary in July, August, and part of September.
To many visitors to the park, this view is their first introduction to the spectacular scenery of Glacier National Park. This iconic view from Apgar, at the foot of Lake McDonald, really shows what Glacier is all about...big glacially carved lakes, vast wild views of the high peaks along the Continental Divide, and the ever-changing forests that blanket much of the lower elevations. It's no wonder that for many people when they think of Glacier, they think of this view.
We have installed a second camera at Lake McDonald we will be testing. It will allow us to pan around the scene and zoom into certain aspects of the view. Once we get a sunny day we can test out its capabilities a little better.
Looking east from Logan Pass the massive Going-to-the-Sun Mountain (9647 ft.) dominates the view. The heavily forested Reynolds Creek valley joins the St. Mary valley near the wall of mountains in the distance. If you look to the left you will see part of the Going-to-the-Sun Road just before it rounds the corner to Siyeh Bend. If you are familiar with the road, look about one third up from the bottom just to the right of the middle of the view. That's approximately where Jackson Glacier Overlook is.
Thanks to the Glacier National Park Conservancy for their assistance in providing this webcam.
In the summer this camera helps us monitor the fill times for the Logan Pass Parking Lot. Generally it fills before 8:30 am every morning. In the winter you might see the occasional goat or bighorn sheep wander through. Just about dead-center in the view you can make out the Going-to-the-Sun Road rounding a corner just past Logan Pass. The road continues to the left and disappears as it makes the corner to Siyeh Bend.
The view over the meadows at Logan Pass is spectacular no matter what time of year it is. Throughout the winter (if the camera stays operational) we will have it pointed south at either Reynolds Mountain or up toward Hidden Lake Overlook. This is one of our new pan/tilt/zoom cameras and we hope it will stay operational all winter.
There isn't a view much better than this. Swiftcurrent Lake provides the perfect setting to the mountains that loom in the distance. Dominating the view is Grinnell Point with Mount Gould to the left and Swiftcurrent Mountain to the right. In between Grinnell Point and Mt. Gould is the cirque where Grinnell Glacier lies. One of the most popular hikes in the park is the trek to Grinnell Glacier. That trail typically opens in mid-July. Opening sooner are the hikes to Red Rock Falls, Iceberg Lake, Apikuni Falls, and Cracker Lake. Many Glacier is a hiker's paradise.
The Middle Fork of the Flathead River forms the southwest border of Glacier National Park. This view, from near Park Headquarters, shows the river as it flows under the West Glacier bridge. At night some of the lights of West Glacier may be visible. During the summer watch for rafters. Several commercial rafting businesses use this section of river. In the winter the only activity along the river might be the occasional coyote or deer or a really cold kayaker.
This was the first webcam view that Glacier National Park offered. Originally it was only going to be a test until a better location was found, but it turns out that this view has a large following. Watch for the occasional lunchtime crowd at the picnic table or our resident deer wandering about. Some years in the early summer beargrass blooms dot the forest.
This view from the St. Mary Visitor Center looks west to the mountains surrounding St. Mary Lake. Red Eagle Mountain looms directly in the center. In the winter and spring elk are often spotted in the meadow at first light. In summer wildflowers carpet the view. Fall sees the green turn to a golden hue which contrasts with the bright blue of the sky.
This view from near the Scenic Point Trailhead points west to the Continental Divide. Sinopah Mountain dominates the left side of the view and a shoulder of Rising Wolf is on the right. In the distance you can see Helen Mountain. To the right of Helen Mountain is the ridge-line that goes to Dawson Pass. To the left of Helen Mountain is Lone Walker Mountain. In the far background you can see the tops of the North Cloudcroft Peaks.
The West Entrance to the park is a good indicator of how busy things may be at locations inside the park. During July and August expect to see a long string of cars as they line up to purchase their entrance passes. We sell several different passes including a 7-day pass for $35.00, an annual pass for $70.00, and the America the Beautiful Pass for $80.00. The America the Beautiful Pass will allow entrance into any national park in the country and is good for some services on National Forests and at other Federal agencies.
Is There a Problem?
Sometimes our cameras stick on a date and time, due to some network issue or possibly a loss of power in that area. Generally we know about it and either need to wait for the power or network to come back, or we can possibly go to the camera to fix it. If you experience an issue with the cameras that you would like to report to us, please email us and let us know. Thanks for your help keeping the cameras going.
Webcams Currently Offline
The Waterton River joins Waterton Lake at the bottom of this view. Situated at the Goat Haunt Ranger Station this webcam provides a view north into Canada, and Waterton Lakes National Park. The International Boundary is about four miles up the lake. It is plainly visible from a boat or hiking the trail along the boundary, but only has significance to people. The animals in the park cross freely between the two countries and share the parks as one large habitat. Watch for the large cruise boat the "International" as it makes the trip up and back several times per day and occasionally wildlife on the sand bar at the mouth of the river.
This camera only operates in the summer. It is offline until summer of 2019.