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Red Rock Point offers park visitors a place to relax, picnic, take a few photos and enjoy setting beside fast-flowing McDonald Creek in the midst of beautiful scenery.
The popular pullout is located on the north side, or westbound lane, of the Going-to-the-Sun Road approximately 13 miles from the West Glacier Entrance to Glacier National Park and about a mile north of the Trail of the Cedars/Avalanche Lake trailhead. Travelers driving westbound will find the Red Rock Point pullout about seven miles south of The Loop on the right hand side of the road. The elevation here is about 3,466 feet. Approximate GPS Coordinates: N 48, 41.714; W 113, 49.039.
The pullout is fairly large compared to many found along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Finding a parking spot likely will not be a problem. The exception, of course, is during high traffic days when the park is packed with hundreds of visitors. Watch for oncoming traffic in either direction when parking or exiting the pullout. The Red Rock Point pullout is on a slight curve where visibility is a bit restricted.
Nimble visitors capable of an easy scramble over and around the blowdowns and rock slabs will enjoy relaxing, picnicking and sunbathing near the creek just a short distance from the parking area. Others can enjoy shaded viewpoints and scenery while still on the short trail.
Navigating the slaps and climbing over and around any blowdowns requires a bit of attention. But nimble visitors of all ages should be able to handle the rocks. The creek is fairly rapid and quite cold during heavy spring and summer snow melts. Parents of young children should be particularly watchful of their youngsters venturing near the creek. Wet rocks at the water's edge can by slippery. A careless step and one could find themselves caught by the fast moving creek and carried several yards before he or she could gain the shore or be helped ashore by others.
There are several good spots for capturing images of frothing white water. For photos that show silky water, shoot from a tripod at a relative high aperture preferred setting that will produce a slow shutter speed. The scene above was shot at ISO 50, f/20.0 at 1/4th of a second with camera mounted on a tripod. Shoot the same scene using a fast shutter speed and freeze the water.
As a professional photographer once said, after you shoot the scene you want; stop, take a breath and look around for a shot you might have otherwise missed. Step to the edge of the creek, for example, where it pours into a large pool, and you can look down stream and see the peaks of several mountains beyond the trees further downstream.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Moon Glacier National Park, 6th Edition (Moon Handbooks) by Becky Lomax. Get an insider's perspective on hiking the park's trails, unique trip strategies, a wildlife watching tour, a one day Glacier tour, biking up Going-to-the-Sun Road and wildlife viewing. Photographs and maps are included in this guide. Order now...
Glacier National Park: Crown Jewel of the Continent by Will MacPheat. This book contains a collection of photographs of Glacier National Park featuring Lake McDonald, Avalanche Lake, Going to the Sun Highway, St. Mary's, Many Glacier and Two Medicine areas. Order now...
The Photographer's Guide to Glacier National Park: Where to Find Perfect Shots and How to Take Them (The Photographer's Guide) by Gordon Sullivan. This experienced, world-class free-lance photographer shares his secrets and favorite little-known locales in this coffee table book that contains 96 color photographs of Glacier National Park. Order now...
Insiders' Guide to Glacier National Park, 6th: Including the Flathead Valley & Waterton Lakes National Park by Michael McCoy. This book is the essential source for information to this outdoor paradise that offers diverse opportunities for fun and adventure. Written by a local, this guide offers a personal and practical perspective of Glacier and its surrounding environs. Order now...
Moon Montana, 9th Edition (Moon Handbooks) by Judy Jewell and W.C. McRae. This guide has complete information about all of Big Sky Country, from Yellowstone National Park to the eastern prairies of the state, to help the traveler plan a memorable vacation. Order now...
Hidden Montana: Including Missoula, Helena, Bozeman, and Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks by John Gottberg. This guide contains detailed maps, web sites for listings, author picks plus walking and driving tours to explore Montana. Over 70 parks, towns, ski villages and wilderness areas are detailed in this book. Order now...
Scenic Routes & Byways Montana, 3rd Edition by S. A. Snyder. Explore scenic byways and backroads, trails, beautiful areas, ghost towns, hot springs and glaciers. This book provides itineraries, route maps, detailed descriptions of attractions plus many more tips and trips. Order now...
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