Image of Sacred Dancing Cascade by Skeeter from Pixabay
Glacier National Park is as popular a must-see destination on visitors’ lists as Yellowstone National Park. Glacier is located in the northwestern part of Montana and borders Alberta and British Columbia Canadian provinces. With over 1 million acres and parts of two mountain ranges, over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants, and hundreds of animal species, this park is definitely one you want to spend time in.
When Europeans first arrived here, the area was dominated by Blackfeet and Flathead Native Americans. The earliest (some 10,000 years ago) occupants with lineage to current tribes were the Flathead (Salish) and Kootenai, Shoshone, and Cheyenne. The Blackfeet lived on the eastern mountain slopes (which later became the park) and the Great Plains immediately to the east.
Chief White Calif of the Blackfeet authorized the sale of the mountain area to the U.S. government in 1895. The park was established on May 11, 1910, and by 1932, work was completed on the Going-to-the-Sun Road which provided greater accessibility for automobiles.
Glacier National Park is dominated by mountains which were carved into their present shapes 12,000 years ago by the huge glaciers of the last ice age. Evidence shows that most of those glaciers have retreated or disappeared completely. By 2010, only 25 active glaciers remained.
What You’ll See
Any travelers interested in flora, fauna, birds, wildlife, mountains, lakes and rivers, fishing, hiking, and mountain climbing will want to spend time in the park. You will see large mammals such as grizzly bears, moose, and mountain goats, as well as rare or endangered species like wolverines and Canadian lynxes. There are hundreds of species of birds, more than a dozen fish species, and a few reptile and amphibian species. The ecosystems ranges from prairie to tundra, and forests of western red cedar and hemlock grow in the southwest portion of the park.
The park contains many buildings and chalets and 350 locations listed as National Historic Landmarks. There are 13 campgrounds within the park but they do not provide utility hookups. Surrounding towns have many full-service RV parks if you need hookups.