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Lifeline Bowman Lake Sunrise

Justin Kauffman


Behind the Shot

One of the benefits of living minutes away from Montana’s Glacier National Park is that you become keenly aware of the less-visited areas, the hidden gems, that make the park one of Justin’s favorite photo destinations.

Bowman Lake is one of those hidden gems. Off a 6-mile- long unpaved road in the remote northwestern portion of the park, Bowman Lake is a secluded getaway frequented mainly by local residents. The third largest lake in the park, Bowman Lake has beautiful shoreline camping, and many hiking trails nearby. Since it’s a glacially fed lake, its cold waters aren’t suited for swimming, but the lake is popular for canoeing, fishing and kayaking.

On an early midsummer morning, Justin and his friends planned to venture out before dawn, but the weather wasn’t cooperating. “Bowman is on the far side of the park. It requires a long drive on a dirt road to get to. It feels way more remote, and it’s about 20or 30 miles from the Canadian border. I’ve seen it in every condition you can name. The weather wasn’t cooperating, and at first, we weren’t sure if we’d be heading out, but I had hopes that something great would happen. We were up and out really early, and the sunrise just popped off. This is the best sunrise I’ve ever seen at the lake. I’m really glad we braved the weather that day.”