LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY > NATURAL PATTERNS — WORLD > Ptarmigan Tunnel (Many Glacier, Glacier National Park)
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I don’t often suffer with the heat, but I was seeking relief when I took this photo. It was a very hot summer day with no wind as I ascended up to Ptarmigan Tunnel. The hot rock walls that lined the trail were radiating their heat, so I sought refuge under a small boulder across from Ptarmigan Lake. As I sat there I noticed the beautiful reflection of some small pine trees on the opposite side of the lake that were abstracted in the faint breeze. To me, it was art.
Ptarmigan Tunnel was built through the Ptarmigan Wall in the Many Glacier area within Glacier National Park so that hikers could avoid a steep, rocky section between Many Glacier and the valley on the other side. After emerging through Ptarmigan Tunnel, hikers are treated to mountainsides covered with Glacier’s characteristic colorful magenta, yellow, blue and green rocks.
In 1850 Glacier National Park had 150 glaciers, but due to global warming, only 25 glaciers remain today. Scientific projections predict that all of Glacier’s glaciers could disappear somewhere between 2030 and roughly 2200, depending upon what actions we take or fail to take now.
Waterton – Glacier International Peace Park straddles the USA – Canadian border at Montana, USA, and Alberta, Canada, and is a World Heritage Site. Glacier National Park features stunning turquoise glacial lakes and sculpted mountain peaks of unique magenta, blue, green and yellow rock. The valleys and mountain slopes are abundant with wildflowers such as Indian Paintbrush, Glacier Lily, Beargrass and Monkeyflower. The area also supports many large animals such as grizzly bears, moose, bighorn sheep, elk, mountain goats and wolves.