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.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Glacier National Park
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.
- 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.
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.