Glacier National Park is simply fabulous. The Park is loaded with wildlife, and not so loaded with people.
So… Where is Glacier National Park?
You will find Glacier National Park in the state of Montana, but it extends up to the border of the United States, where it joins Waterton National Park in Canada. Together they form the International Peace Park.
You could easily spend weeks in the Park. There are Glaciers, Alpine Meadows, Bears and Mountain Goats, lakes and rivers, and the Going-to-the-Sun-Road which takes you up to the Continental Divide.
The land is diverse, unspoiled and well worth visiting.
Crown of the Continent
There is evidence that humans have lived in the area of Glacier for over 10,000 years. The eastern plains, were controlled by the Blackfeet Indians, while the Kootenai and the Salish lived in the west. The abundant wildlife sustained all of the tribes. European hunters and fur traders arrived in the early 1800s, and right behind them came the miners. Luckily, but the time the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in the 1890’s, there was a change in perception about how the land should be used. It was decided that the land should be preserved for future generations. In 1910, President Taft signed the Order, and Glacier National Park was born.
Today, Glacier still contains an astonishing variety of wildlife. Bear, including Grizzleys, Mountain Sheep and Mountain Goats, Cougars, Wolverines, Elk and even a few Wolf packs. You will see bats and squirrels, chipmunks, fish and all sorts of birds. If you love to see wildlife in its natural habitat, Glacier is for you.
In the 1850’s, Glacier had over 150 active glaciers…. today, there are only 25 left. You can see many of them from the roads, but to really see them, you have to hike.
Luckily there are over 747 miles of hiking trails in Glacier. You can vanish in to the back country, and take yourself away from the modern world…. just you, your hiking buddy, and your pack.
Or you can take a Red Bus Tour of the Going to the Sun Road. The Red Busses, driven by Jammers, are the best way to experience this amazing route that goes through the park, past the famous Garden Wall, and on over the Continental Divide. While you can do the drive yourself (or if you are seriously in shape, you can cycle it) I would suggest taking the tour. You see it all… in style.
There are over 200 named lakes in Glacier National Park, the largest is Lake McDonald (camping along that lake is one of my favorite things to do). All of the water takes on different colors as a result of the glacial runoff and the silt created from glacial movement. You will see blues and milky whites, as well as crystal clear bodies of water.
Forests and wetlands, streams, rivers, alpine valleys and astonishly tall peaks. Glacier is a true natural wonder.
Lodging in Glacier National Park
Camping or Lodge?
Glacier National Park offers a few different choices for lodging.
The historic Apgar Lodge has 28 rustic cabins and 20 more modern motel rooms. It’s located two miles from the heart of Glacier… close to the action, but far enough away to avoid crowds. The lodge books up quickly, so you will need to make reservations well in advance. Apgar Village Lodge
If you are a back country hiker who loves the idea of a European Alps style Chalet experience, then the Granite Park Chalet is for you. This chalet was originally built by the railroads, but today it is a mecca for hikers from around the world. Dormatory style rooms, a group kitchen, and spectacular views make this a special place to visit. Granite Park chalet
There are a few hotels and motels in and near the Park run by Glacier Park Inc. Each is a bit different, all are wonderfully situated to make the most of your Park experience. Glacier Park Inc.
My favorite way to stay in Glacier National Park? A campground. There are 13 campgrounds to choose from. (I happen to love the Fish Creek Campground… Loop C, next to Lake McDonald) Many take reservations (and may I suggest, make the reservations… Glacier is a LONG way from anywhere else, you don’t want to get turned away). Camping allows you to sleep under the stars, enjoy a campfire, and hear the sounds of nature. Perfect. Plan Your Camping Trip to Glacier