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Glacier National Park




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General Information

Glacier National Park
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Glacier National Park
Description - Glacier National Park preserves and protects over one million acres of the North American landscape in northwestern Montana. This site contains a particularly rich biological diversity of plant and animal species. The landscape includes 10,000 foot peaks, alpine meadows, lakes and streams and nearly 50 glaciers. The combination of spectacular scenery, diverse flora and fauna, and relative isolation from major population centers have combined to make Glacier National Park the center of one of the largest and most intact ecosystems in North America.

The geologic history of Glacier National Park is read in the numerous exposed layers of Precambrian sedimentary formations. These extremely well preserved sediments date back to over one billion years. Subsequent sculpting by massive bodies of ice has transformed this area into a dramatic example of glacial land forms. Today several small alpine glaciers of relatively recent origin dot the mountains.

Attractions - Visitors of Glacier National Park can enjoy pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, transportation, and stories of Native Americans.

If you have a week or a day to spend in Glacier National Park a good place to orient yourself is one of the three visitor centers. There are also many ranger stations open throughout the park during the summer months. Staff at these information centers are knowledgeable about the region and terrain. In the winter information is available weekdays at Park Headquarters and on weekends at the Apgar Visitor Center.

Recreation - Glacier is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. Visitors can enjoy hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, bike touring, fishing, picnicking and camping during the summer months. The park is open in winter for a variety of snow-oriented activities including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and touring.

Hiking opportunities abound in Glacier National Park. We recommend that all visitors leave their vehicles behind, if only for a short while, to enjoy some of the 700 miles of trails. Scenic driving is also very popular in the park. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is 50 miles long and bisects the heart of Glacier, following the shores of the park's two largest lakes and hugging the cliffs below the Continental Divide as it traverses Logan Pass. Numerous scenic turnouts and wayside exhibits, along this and other roads in the park, allow travelers to stop and enjoy the park at their own pace. (Size restrictions on vehicles are in effect on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.)

There are several opportunities for lodging within the park including hotels and more exclusive lodges. Thirteen campgrounds provide just under 1000 sites. Most of which are operated on a 'first come first serve' basis. Fish Creek and St. Mary campgrounds may be reserved ahead of time

Climate - The weather in northwestern Montana is as varied as its landscape. Summer temperatures in the lower elevations can exceed 90 degrees F during the day. Up slope, in areas above treeline, it is frequently 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Strong winds predominate on the east side of the park as the landscape changes from mountainous to plains. Overnight lows throughout the park can drop to near 20 degrees F and snow can fall anytime during the summer months. (In August of 1992, a foot of snow fell on the northeastern corner of Glacier.) Summer rainfall averages around two to three inches per month.

Layers are an important part of the wardrobe you should bring to Glacier National Park. You may start the day in a T-shirt and shorts and need a parka by evening.

Location - Glacier National Park is located in northwestern Montana on the U.S./Canadian border. The site is bordered on the south and west by the Lewis and Clark National Forest and the Flathead National Forest, respectively. It is bordered on the east by the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The park lies within the Rocky Mountains.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Hiked with 2,9,12, and a 13 year old. Avalanche Lake trail excellent family hike. Good fishing. Logan Pass Nature Trail-- wildlife everywhere--mountain goats, bighorn sheep up close. Also, where else can you have a snowball fight in 90 degree weather. Iceberg Lake trail is a good family hike, but is a hiker's highway.Beautiful. Many Glacier area is beautiful--especially Grinnel Lake and Glacier.(Take the boat)We saw 2 grizzly at a distance. The Nature trail around the lake is pretty monotonous. Great wading area for kids on Lake Mcdonald by the Village. Not impressed with Medicine Lake area--no Glaciers so water is not that amazing blue/green color. Also lots of mosquitoes. Upper Medicine Lake trail has many wildflowers but once at lake, can't even walk around it. Took full float trip down North Fork of Flat Head--Disappointed. Followed the highway, floaters everywhere, fun rapids though.1/2 day would have been better (travels rapids section) Kids bored except for rapids. Stayed at East Glacier Lodge for one night--amazing architecture, but no air conditioned and with 90 degree weather and no cool off as in the mountains, it was pretty uncomfortable. Great night family entertainment.


More Information

Contact Information:
Glacier National Park, P.O. Box 128 , West Glacier, MT, 59936-0128, Phone: 406-888-7800

Additional Information:
Montana - Public lands in Montana comprise approximately 35 percent of the land. State parks, National Forests, Wilderness Areas and National Parks provide a variety of facilities to meet every recreationists needs.

Links:
Glacier National Park - Official agency website provided by the National Parks Service.

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