There’s nothing quite like Glacier National Park Montana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects over one million acres of glacier-carved peaks, pristine turquoise lakes and streams and dense ancient forests. Established in 1910, this 10th national park is a crown jewel of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem and a stronghold for a variety of wildlife.
Tourist Attractions And Visit In Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park Montana is home to a plethora of wildlife, including black and grizzly bears, wolves, deer, moose and bighorn sheep. The park is also a haven for many bird species, with more than 260 types of birds living in or passing through the park.
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Hiking in Glacier National Park Montana is the perfect way to experience the natural wonders of the park, but it’s important to remember that wild animals roam the park near trails and roads. So, if you want to see them, use your binoculars and watch out for the following tips to keep yourself safe:
The best time to view wildlife in Glacier National Park is early morning or evening. During these times, the sun is low enough that the animals will feel less frightened and will not be distracted by the light.
A great place to spot mountain goats and bighorn sheep is Logan Pass, where they’ll play on rocky outcroppings or gather at natural salt licks. Other spots to find these creatures are Sperry/Gunsight, Hidden Lake, Iceberg Lake and Grinnell Lake areas.
It’s always a good idea to stay at least 25 yards away from animals, especially when they’re cubs or kids. And remember to never feed them, because it could be dangerous.
With a UNESCO World Heritage site and 1,600 square miles of pristine forests, alpine meadows and carved mountain valleys, Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the country’s most treasured landscapes.
But Glacier’s glaciers, the jewels of its snow-capped crown, are in danger of vanishing within decades. Now, the park is asking its public to think about what that could mean for the park’s future.
Going-to-the-Sun Road #1
Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most popular roads in Glacier National Park. It traverses a high mountain pass and sees huge amounts of snow, which makes it one of the most difficult roads to plow in the spring.
Despite the challenges, the Going-to-the-Sun Road remains a main route for travelers visiting the park. It runs 51 miles from West Glacier to St. Mary, and it’s home to numerous scenic pullouts and breathtaking views of the park’s glaciers. The road starts in the small town of West Glacier Village.
Here, you can find lodgings, restaurants, and a park visitor center. As you drive on the Going-to-the-Sun road, you’ll come across many beautiful pullouts. Some of them have incredible vantage points into carved valleys and others offer breathtaking views of glaciers.
On the west side of the road, you’ll also find Jackson Glacier Overlook, a popular hiking trail that offers views of the 7th largest glacier in Glacier National Park. Be sure to bring bear spray and wear long pants if you’re hiking here, as bears are very common in the area.
|Added to NRHP||June 16, 1983|
|Built||1921-1932; dedicated 1933|
|Location||Glacier National Park, Flathe|
|Nearest city||West Glacier, Montana|
Grinnell Glacier #2
The Grinnell Glacier Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in Glacier National Park. It rivals the Iceberg Lake Trail in terms of beauty and, best of all, it takes you right up to the foot of an active, but disappearing glacier!
This breathtaking hike takes you past clear mountain lakes, lush flora and more. It also offers superb views of Mount Gould, Upper and Lower Grinnell Lake, the Salamander Glacier, and more!
Once you get to the upper lake, called Upper Grinnell Lake, you can see both Gem “Glacier” (a small circular ice field) and Salamander “Glacier” (a skinny horizontal ice field that was once connected to the Grinnell Glacier). But sadly, all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park have been shrinking by an average of 39% over the last 50 years.
The hike to Grinnell Glacier is about 6 miles round-trip, one way and requires a fee to enter Glacier National Park. You can also pay for a short boat ride across Swift current Lake to reduce the hike by a few miles.
|Location||Glacier National Park, Glacier County, Montana, U.S.|
|Area||152 acres (0.62 km2) in 2005|
Lake McDonald #3
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park, which has a wide variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. It’s a popular destination for fishing, boat tours, kayaking, sightseeing and more.
The lake was formed in the Ice Age by glaciers that carved a broad “u-shaped” valley in which it sits. It also carved smaller hanging valleys with wonderful waterfalls accessible by numerous hiking trails.
This scenic valley is a hotspot for hikers, wildlife watchers, and nature lovers, especially in the summer months. It has a wealth of spectacular sights, hiking trails, historic chalets, and the grand Lake McDonald Lodge.
Like other grand Glacier Park lodges, Lake McDonald Lodge has a soaring lobby decked out in timbers and rustic trappings. But this lodge has a unique design that is more cohesive than its counterparts on the east side of the park.
|Address||PO Box 128. West Glacier|
|Location||Glacier National Park, Flathe|
|Max. depth||472 ft (144 m)|
|Max. length||10 mi (16 km)|
Avalanche Lake #4
Avalanche Lake, located in Glacier National Park Montana, is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the park. It has a lot to offer, including stunning waterfalls and a beautiful lake.
Avalanche Lake sits below Bearhat Mountain (8,694 feet) and during spring and summer glacial runoff from the mountain’s summit produces multiple waterfalls that cascade into the lake. It’s probably the most eye-catching scene in all of Glacier.
The hike to Avalanche Lake is a relatively easy hike that takes about two miles to reach the lake and its shoreline. The trail starts off in a forest of fir and evergreen trees, then transitions to deciduous trees as you approach the lake.
The lake is a popular destination for hikers and fishers alike. It’s a small alpine lake with a shoreline that offers views of the surrounding mountains and the waterfalls from Sperry Glacier. Avalanche Lake also has fishing opportunities, especially for small cutthroat trout.
|Surface elevation||1,190 m|
|Location||Glacier National Park, Flathead County, Montana, US|
Logan Pass #5
At the top of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is Logan Pass, a spectacular destination that’s a must-see for every Glacier National Park visitor. At 6,646 feet above sea level, this is the highest point in Glacier National Park, and it provides access to some of the park’s most popular hikes and scenic vistas.
Several of the park’s highest mountains, including Oberlin, Clements, Bearhat, Reynolds and Heavy Runner Mountains, are accessible from Logan Pass. Another popular trail originating from here is the Highline Trail, which begins near the Logan Pass Visitor Center and follows the Garden Wall to Granite Park Chalet.
Hiking at Logan Pass is very popular and parking can be difficult during the summer months, especially in July and August. Ideally, start your day early to avoid the worst of the traffic.
Hiking at Logan Pass also offers the opportunity to explore the flora and fauna of the alpine zone, as well as enjoy scenic mountain vistas. There are many different trails to choose from, from short walks around Hidden Lake, to challenging rock scrambles to summit Continental Divide peaks like Bishops Cap, Mount Gould and Haystack Butte.
|Elevation||6,646 ft (2,026 m)|
Iceberg Lake Trail #6
The 4.8-mile Iceberg Lake Trail is one of Glacier National Park’s premiere highlights. It ascends a scenic valley to stunning Iceberg Lake, an aquamarine jewel cradled beneath a dramatic steep-walled cirque.
From the trailhead, hikers cross a footbridge over Iceberg Creek and begin walking through an alpine meadow filled with beautiful wildflowers. The trail then begins a short climb to reach the top of a small rise. A quarter of a mile into the hike, hikers will reach Ptarmigan Falls.
This falls is a popular destination for people looking to cool off in the refreshing glacial waters. After passing Ptarmigan Falls the trail continues through a beautiful alpine meadow where you can see glimpses of Iceberg Lake.
It’s here that you’ll have your first good views of the lake and its cirque. During summer, this hiking trail is very popular and can get quite crowded. This is because the weather is usually perfect for hiking, roads are open, and there is no snow to contend with.
|Elevation Gain||1,200 feet|
|Distance||9.6 miles return|
St. Mary Lake #7
With its eastern tip inside Glacier National Park’s east entrance and positioned along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Saint Mary Lake is hard to miss. This 10-mile long, 300-feet-deep lake is home to boating and water-skiing opportunities, surrounding mountain peaks spilling cascading waterfalls, hiking trails, and much more!
For those looking for an adventure, the entire area surrounding Saint Mary Lake offers some of the best hiking in all of Glacier National Park. Trails such as the Gunsight Lake Trail, Piegan Pass Trail and Okotomi Lake Trail all begin here. Fishing is popular here too, with mackinaw (lake trout) and whitefish available in abundance at the lakes outlets near St. Mary Campground.
In addition to its fishing and boating opportunities, the region around Saint Mary Lake also offers some of the most scenic hiking in all of Glacier National Park. Many short trails lead to nearby falls or cliffs along the lake’s western edge.
Two campgrounds on the shoreline offer campsites with restrooms and potable water. There are also a few other campgrounds around the park that have cabins and camping sites, though they tend to book up quickly. Primitive sites are also available, but a permit is required.
|Surface elevation||1,367 m|
|Location||Glacier National Park (U.S.), Glacier County, Montana|
|Max. depth||300 ft (91 m)|
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park #8
Located in the Eastern Rocky Mountains, the Park straddles both the Continental Divide and the U.S.-Canadian border, and is characterized by glaciers, icebergs, lakes, waterfalls and mountain peaks. The Park is a treasured natural resource, and its wildlife and ecosystems are among the most important in the world.
The Park comprises Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta) and Glacier National Park (Montana). It was established in 1932 by a partnership of the Rotary Clubs of Alberta and Montana, and is the world’s first International Peace Park.
It is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and contains superlative natural phenomena including the Lewis Overthrust, Precambrian formations with six species of fossil algae, many rare plant species at their limits of geographical range, and mountain scenery of exceptional beauty.
The parks also contain superlative habitats for grizzly bears, wolves, cougars, coyotes, river otter and other large carnivores and ungulates. The Park represents an exemplary model for transboundary conservation and management.
Managers from each country and their respective provinces work diligently to apply their countries’ laws and policies in a manner that promotes the values of the World Heritage Convention. There are both existing and potential threats to the Park’s integrity, but the issues are being addressed through research and management actions.
|Address||Alberta, Canada and Montana, United States of America.|
|Formed||June 18, 1932|
FAQs about Glacier National Park Montana
What are 3 interesting facts about Glacier National Park?
1. Glacier National Park is located in the state of Montana in the United States and covers over 1 million acres of land.
2. The park is home to over 130 named lakes, 1,000 species of plants, and 71 species of mammals, including grizzly bears, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep.
3. The park’s famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, which spans 50 miles and crosses the Continental Divide, is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and offers stunning views of the park’s glaciers, valleys, and peaks.
What do I need to know about Glacier National Park?
Glacier National Park is a stunning wilderness area in Montana, USA. It features over 700 miles of hiking trails, 26 glaciers, and diverse wildlife. The park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road is a must-see attraction, offering breathtaking views. Visitors should also be aware of the park’s bear population and the need for proper food storage and safety precautions.