Glacier National Park   10 comments

Glacier NP 00Where Is It: The Park is very near the Canadian border, and about 30 miles from Kalispell, MT.

The Birth: From ParkVision:

The first white man to visit the park area was David Thompson of the Hudson Bay Company, in the 1780’s, and the park was also spotted by members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well although overcast skies prevented them from seeing the mountains of the area. The first white man who traveled through the park lands themselves passed through in 1810, and the area was later mapped by a survey party led by A.W. Tinkham in 1853. A railroad south of the park was established through Marias Pass, the lowest altitude pass through the Rockies between Canada and Mexico, in 1891. Although some prospecting and mining activity took place in the park area, these activities in general were not successful and disappeared.

Additional attention to the features of the park was gathered by the work of artist James Madison Alden, who accompanied a surveying party in 1860. George Grinnell, a journalist, who came to the area to publicize the impoverished plight of the Blackfeet in the late 19th century, wrote an article about the park area in 1891 for Forest and Stream, helping to spread the word about the natural wonders in the area. Grinnell, called the “father of Glacier National Park”, and Charles N. Pray, a Montana congressman, championed the idea of creating a national park in the area. Glacier National Park was finally created on May 11, 1910. In 1932, as a result of an effort by the Rotary Club, Canada’s Waterton National Park across the border and Glacier were together named as the first “international peace park.” The two parks cooperate on wildlife management, scientific research and some visitor services, although the parks themselves are separately administered.

President Taft made this the 10th National Park. Today, it is one of the ten most visited National Parks.

Size: 1,013,322 acres

# Visitors: 2,190,374 visitors in 2013. July had the peak attendance, and December was the least-attended month.

Plants: This very large Park has ecosystems ranging from prairie to tundra. Forests of red cedar and hemlock are in the southern part of the Park.

Animals: You can see grizzly, moose and mountain goats in the park. More elusive are wolverines and the Canadian lynx.

Choices: From NationalGeographic.com:

Water originating in Glacier National Park—much of it from snowmelt—can be considered the headwater of the continent. Water that runs down Triple Divide Peak flows in three directions, eventually winding up in the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson Bay.

Fees: This is an expensive park!

Summer Rate – $25.00
May 1 – October 31

Winter Rate – $15.00
November 1 – April 30

Staying There: Two lodges are within the Park boundary: Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake, and Lake McDonald Lodge.

There are ten campgrounds in the Park, plus backpackers can stay in backcountry sites. Make reservations at Fish Creek or St. Mary Campgrounds … or through the National Park Reservation Service: 1-800-365-2267. Campgrounds are typically full in July and August.

Contact Info:

Glacier National Park
Park Headquarters
PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936
 
(406) 888-7800
 
Current Issues: The glaciers within the Park are melting. This has been tracked for decades … read about it here.

More

National Park Service: Glacier National Park

Terra Galleria: Glacier National Park

Patrick Mangan Blog: Glacier National Park 2010

WolfharttImages: Glacier National Park

EnjoyYourParks.com: Glacier Park

Flickr: Glacier National Park

GlacierParkPhotos.com

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