Mountains on fire: Sunrise at Glacier National Park

6:25 a.m.
6:30 a.m.

“The sunrise we did not see at all, for we were beneath the shadows of the fiord cliffs; but in the midst of our studies…we were startled by the sudden appearance of a red light burning with a strange unearthy splendor on the topmost peak of the Fairweather Mountains. Instead of vanishing as suddenly as it had appeared, it spread and spread until the whole range down to the level of the glaciers was filled with the celestial fire. In color it was a first a vivid crimson, with a thick, furred appearance, as fine as the alpenglow, yet indescribably rich and deep—not in the least like a garment or mere external flush or bloom through which one might expect to see the rocks or snow, but every mountain apparently was glowing from the heart like molten metal fresh from a furnace…”

John Muir,

Ultimate Collection: Travel memoirs, wilderness essays, environmental studies and letters

In reading John Muir’s essay, we could not have come across a better description of the sunrise at Glacier National Park. Muir captures the stunning beauty of the scenery that photos can only skim. Thanks to conservationists like Muir, these views remain once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.


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