Day and Night at Triple Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana

Triple Falls is a hidden location among the alpine meadows dubbed the Hanging Gardens in Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana. This stunning waterfall is also known as Double or Quadruple Falls depending on the number of streams joining the Reynolds Creek as it flows towards lower elevations, often a reflection of how much snow has melted. The landscape master Galen Rowell was among the first to photograph it, instantaneously elevating the site to an iconic status.

After seeing the waterfall in multiple publications over the years, I made the experience of finding the Triple Falls my number one priority on my trip to Glacier. Most importantly, I wanted to capture it in ways that haven’t been done before and provide my own interpretation of this magical place. Although just over a mile from the Logan Pass Visitor’s Center, one should not attempt to locate falls prior to speaking with the park rangers and ascertaining that the Hanging Gardens area is open. Maximum effort must be exerted to make sure that the fragile alpine fields remain untrampled, best done by traveling along the stream.

When I arrived, I was greeted with a nearly full moon which was strikingly red in color, perhaps due to the numerous wildfires around the area, imparting a subtle glow the rocks around the bustling waterfall. I’ve been having a blast working with the Sigma Corporation of America and used my Sigma SD1 Merrill DSLR to capture these mysterious hues, resulting in a one-of-a-kind take entitled “What Dreams May Come,” below. I loved the way the Foveon X3 censor at the heart of the SD1M rendered even the most minute details in relatively low light.

"What Dreams May Come," Glacier National Park, Montana

“What Dreams May Come,” Glacier National Park, Montana

 

While I had also previously photographed the Triple Falls at sunset, I returned to see whether I could give the stone pillars that so graciously send the crystal-clear water cascading down a bit of warmth at sunrise. Carefully treading along the slippery downstream portion of the creek so as to not disturb the fragile alpine ecosystem and beautiful wildflowers was not an easy task in total darkness, especially in grizzly country. I set up my tripod on the very edge of the rock above the waterfall, switched to my Nikon D800E and pulled out my trusty wide angle (NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8) to immerse the viewer in the scene. It was a while before the rising sun finally peeked out from the distant peaks of the Lewis Mountain Range. I stopped down to f/22 in an attempt to get a nice sunstar,  but because the sun was already high in the sky and strong at that point, even the first few rays resulted in significant flaring which I was luckily able to control with meticulous postprocessing. In order to extend the dynamic range of the image, I manually blended four exposures in Photoshop. Final adjustments were made in Color Efex Pro and Lightroom.

 

"Sun-Crowned Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana"

“Sun-Crowned Falls,” Glacier National Park, Montana

 

All content is ©2013 Alex Filatov Photography. All rights reserved.

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  • Rachel Cohen

    Awesome images Alex!! Beautifully captured!! 🙂

  • Michael Russell

    Very nice images Alex!

  • Splendid images, Alex. The first one with the orange moon and the beautiful soft tones has definitely something mysterious that absolutely love.

    • Thank you Francis! I really love the subtlety of that image as well.

  • Angie Purcell

    Beautiful picture. Can you tell me how to get to this spot? I’ve heard that it is just off the Hidden Lake trail to the lef tof the visitor center. Is this true? I am going next week and would like to see these falls. Thanks.

  • Doug Solis

    I like your takes on triple falls, especially the smokey sun.

  • Joe Hudspeth

    Beautiful Alex. Wonderful capture of a magical place!

    • Thank you so much Joe, glad you like the images! Happy holidays!

  • nvphoto

    If hiking solo in August is it safe enough to Trek alone. I’m guessing it will be busy since it’s summer but curious just the same.

  • Tom Brody

    These two photographs by A.F. are among the best that I have seen of Triple Falls. It is unfortunate that the rangers have closed off the area. Hopefully, a suitable workaround will be devised some day that allows photographers access to this unuasual waterfall. Regarding the unusual pointed mountain in the background, a similar pointed mountain is in Yosemite, and it is called, Cathedral Peak. I would guess that somewhere else in Glacier National Park, there is another waterfall quite similar to Triple Falls. If it exists, knowledge of it will likely be welcomed by hundreds of photographers, providing that the hike to it is not more than 10 miles.

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