Fall Colors.©Jason Savage
Well believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking fall photography here in Montana. It may still seem far away,but if you are traveling north say to Glacier, it’s just around the corner.
I’ve been drawing up some plans for my trips over the next few weeks and it got me thinking of offering up some fall photography trip ideas for anyone looking to get out and capture some of the amazing stuff that happens during this time of year.
A couple great locations for the early part of the season are the National Parks. Not only is the scenery outstanding in fall, but you can’t beat having the parks to yourself.
Glacier and Yellowstone both offer diverse scenery and wildlife and are unique in their geography. If you head to Glacier, you want to go early. Say third or fourth week in September. It’s usually stellar, but your window is small for fall colors so you want to time it just right.
I usually prefer the east side of the park due to the dramatic peaks and being able to take advantage of that morning light. The aspens are brilliant and lots of wildlife to be seen. Late September.
If you head to Yellowstone, September and October can be some of the best months to see the park. Not only is there a sense of solitude, but the wildlife is shifting gears before winter and is on the move. Watch out for the bull elk in rut, they can be a little surly!
If you are looking for some other areas around Montana that are a little off the beaten path other than the National Parks, there are plenty to be found.
The Seeley-Swan Valley an hour northeast of Missoula has one of the most spectacular displays of Tamaracks around the state. I will be teaching a workshop in this area the third week in October with our company Big Sky Photography Workshops. The Tamaracks are unbelievably brilliant and if you are lucky the Swan mountain range will have a dusting of snow. The Tamaracks are usually at their peak third week in October.
If you are looking to get some river time in, the Big Hole running south down below Butte, offers some classic Montana scenery, complete with that Fly-Fishing esque image that Montana is known for. Hit this early and mid October.
Hope that gives you a few ideas on where to head this season. Fall may have seemed a little further away, but upon waking this morning it was 37 degrees and the mountains are covered in snow. Yikes…