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Sunset at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park

After 11.5 hours of driving in our ROAMERICA campervan, we pulled into a gas station on the west side of Glacier National Park. It had been a while since we stopped so we were both eager to get out of the car. We pulled into a gas station to refuel the car and ourselves in preparation for the drive to our campground. We got gas, some souvenir patches and continued driving on our route into the park.

The sun had started to drop and we still had around an hour and a half ahead of us in order to get to St. Mary’s Lake. This is where we would setup camp for the night. Our original location for sunset was on the east side of the park, near our campground. We wouldn’t be able to make it, so instead, we drove until we saw an area we thought would be fun to explore.

Welcome to Glacier National Park

Pulling over next to Lake McDonald, we jumped out of the car with excitement and climbed through some trees down to the edge of the water. We had been driving all day and were restless. We couldn’t wait to get and on our feet for a little bit. Running around the lake side like two little kids, we were both just too excited to finally be out in nature. We hung out around the water, took some photos and watched the sun drop below the top of the mountains. Even after the sun had dropped down completely, we stuck around just to enjoy our time out of the car and in the fresh air.

Lake McDonald at Sunset in Glacier National Park

After we took our short, but much needed breather, we loaded back in our car once again to hit road for our final stretch to camp. The sun slowly started to fade away, the darkness crept up the mountainsides, leaving us in the pitch of black. If you’ve never driven through canyon roads in the middle of the night, don’t. You’ll be happy to know that you’re not missing anything. Especially when you’re driving on the side a huge mountain, without guardrails, in a blanket of fog.

Walking the shoreline of Lake McDonald

Pulling up to our campground around 10pm, we setup our tent, started a fire and grilled up some food. There was a light mist in the air with a promise of rain on the forecast. We called it a night and snuggled up in the tent to prepare for our early morning of exploring Glacier National Park.

Words and photography by Silas Sao