Grinnell Lake and Falls in Glacier National Park under Rain Clouds

After another fun-filled adventure through some of America’s most beautiful locales, I have more photos I’m excited to share. (This is notwithstanding the backlog of photos from past trips that I have yet to post, but what’s fresh and new is always more captivating!)

This time, I traveled with my grandparents out west to spend most of the past two weeks in Grand Teton National Park and Glacier National Park. We’ve visited both of these majestic parks before, as seen at the links, but this time around, we devoted more time to these locations to experience them more fully (and not wear ourselves out as much with road-tripping). My grandparents aren’t hikers, so they absorbed the beauty at overlooks, or the jaw-dropping environs of Many Glacier Hotel, while I hit the trails.

The most captivating of these trails was the Grinnell Glacier Trail in the Many Glacier section of Glacier National Park, on which I passed three lakes surrounded by mountains and pine forests as I steadily climbed to the eponymous Grinnell Glacier.

The ascent to the glacier was pleasantly sunny, and I captured some nice photographs of the gorgeous scenery. Flurries fell here and there as I neared the glacier, though, and turned into outright snow as I began my trek back down. As I descended, the snow turned into rain rather than letting up.

It’s natural to assume this would have spoiled any further photographic opportunities, and such an assumption would often be right. But the most compelling experiences usually are wrought from difficult circumstances, and that’s no less true of photography than it is of anything else. One of my favorite photos from the whole trip wouldn’t have been possible without the rain.

The fresh rain made the greens of the forest surrounding Grinnell Lake, and the aqua of the lake itself, strikingly vivid. Meanwhile, the gray clouds and swirling fog convey a moody atmosphere upon the landscape.

This wasn’t a typical scene as I ventured down the trail through the rain. Most of the time, clouds and downpour obscured the scenery I had enjoyed on the way up. But I’m thankful for the beauty I experienced in this moment, which I couldn’t have done without bearing some ugliness and drudgery.