You don’t have to travel abroad to find some magnificent hidden gems worthy of a #TravelTuesday post.
Exhibit A: This stunner of an ice castle in the Wisconsin Dells.
Exhibit B: This travel map that will help you find hidden travel attractions in each state.
And finally, we turn our attention to a super-cool and photogenic lake in Montana’s Glacier National Park that’s filled with colorful pebbles and worthy of a spot on your travel bucket list.
It is, as you would imagine, incredibly Instagrammable, as evidenced by the countless snaps of the lake that users have shared, such as this pebble close-up from @sonnashine.
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park—it stretches 10 miles long and is nearly 500 feet deep, according to the park service. It’s a result of glacial carving that also shaped nearby valleys, which house some spectacular waterfalls.
User @ralfafara shared this gorgeous mirror image of the lake.
But what really sets this lake apart from the 700-some lakes scattered throughout the park is the colorful array of pebbles that look as though they’ve been individually painted and dropped into the lake. Really, though, Mother Nature is the artist.
Even with a filter on the image as in this shot from @wild_and_wanderful, you can see the range of colors through the crystal-clear water.
A few factors are at play to create the colored rocks. First, the temperature of the lake rarely gets above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface, according to the park service. Those chilly temps temper plankton growth, which then allows visitors to see details at the bottom of the lakes, even as far down as 30 feet or so.
As for the rock colors, when the glaciers came, they chipped off rocks from the surrounding mountains which were varied in color, with shades of reds and greens—so clearly visible in this image from @polarbeer26.
If you really want to geek out on some geology, the rangers at the park will explain that the red rocks were formed when plenty of oxygen was present and the green ones were formed when the atmosphere was lacking oxygen.
If @jadedestionations’ image doesn’t make you want to visit this lake, I don’t know what will.
Adding to the park’s beauty? The snow-capped mountains that frame the lake and reflect in its waters, as so gloriously captured from Instagram user @bobbydutreix.
Intrigued and ready to head to Montana?
You can actually book a cabin on the eastern shore of Lake McDonald, inside the park, and it won’t cost you too much either. The rate for a small cabin room at the Glacier National Park Lodges in 2017 is $159.
This historic Lake McDonald Lodge, a Swiss chalet-style lodge, was built in 1913 and is a good base camp for boat tours and horseback rides.
Sign us up.
[h/t: Amusing Planet]