Montana's Glacier National Park and Alberta, Canada's Watertown Lakes National Parks are collectively known as the "Crown of the Continent". They are high-country wonderlands defined by water, ice, rock, and woodlands. Glacier National Park is a landscape offering the very best of the Rockies region.
The U-shaped valleys, the glaciers, and icebergs floating aimlessly in the lakes will leave the most seasoned of travelers spellbound. It will be difficult to leave this wilderness paradise after a weekend! Glacier National Park is bursting with places to see and things to do - an entire weekend may still not seem like enough to see this stunning piece of nature. To learn about the Glacier National Park of Canada see here also if visiting Alaska then Juneau has even more spectacular glaciers.
About Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park of Montana is arguably one of the most spectacular national parks in the United States. It is a wilderness that has been carved and ground by glacial forces for over two million years.
Most of these glaciers have long since melted and been assigned to pages of history - although the park still has over a dozen glaciers. Today what is more spectacular is seeing the legacy of these powerful rivers of ice. Visitors are mesmerized by the massive U-shaped valleys and the hulking granite peaks that have been carved by these glaciers.
- Date: Established In 1910
- Area: About A Million Acres
- Visitor Centers: Apgar, St. Mary, Logan Pass
- Cost Of Admission: $30 Per Car or $15 Per Person (Hiking, Cycling, etc.)
Some of the most stunning landmarks are:
- Avalanche Creek: Boasts An Amazing Ancient Hemlock Cedar Forest
- Weeping Wall: Overlooking The Large Jackson Glacier
The national park has two mountain ranges which are both sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains and 130 named lakes.
The Glacier National Park has around 732 miles of hiking trails. So to complete these one will need to spend many weekends in this majestic national park. Here are some of the main hiking trails inside the national park.
- Highline Trail: Explore The Park's Alpine Ecosystem And Traverses The Garden Wall. Boasts Breathing and Panoramic Views The Whole Way
- Grinnell Glacier: This Is A Day Hike And Runs Up To One of The Park's Most Famous Glaciers. See Lakes, Alpine Meadows, And Cliffs Along The Way
- Pitamakan - Dawson Loop: Gaze In Wonder At The Majestic Glacier Hewn U-Shaped Valley Peppered With Lakes. The Loop Passes Two Lakes And Crosses to Alpine Passes
- Iceberg Lake: See Great Hunks Of Glacial Icebergs Floating In this Cobalt Blue Lake
- Hidden Lake Overlook: This Is A Kid-Friendly Hiking Trail Running Along The Logan Pass, Alpine Meadows, And Glacial Moraine
- Ptarmigan Tunnel: More Stunning Meadows And Huckleberry Forests. See The 250 Foot Long Man-Made Tunnel And Eye-Watering Views Of The Belly River
- St. Mary And Virginia Falls: Another Family Friendly Option Along An Even Track And Discover Two Stunning Waterfalls
- Avalanche Lake: Also Family Friendly And Passes Through Damp And Moss-Covered Cedar And Hemlock Forest. Come Up To Stunning Views Of The Lake And Of Steep Cliffs And Waterfalls
This is arguably one of the most scenic drives in the United States. It was completed in 1932 and is a paved two-lane road slicing its way through the park east to west. It spans the full width of the park and crosses the Continental Divide at the Logan Pass. On this drive, one will see almost every type of terrain the park has on offer. These range from cedar forests, to alpine tundra at the height of the pass, to large glacial lakes. The drive is full of pullover viewpoints.
- Date Built: 1932
- Tip: Be Sure To Drive This Road In Both Directions - The Scenery Looks Different
- Logan Pass: Elevation 6,646 Feet
- Length Of The Road: 50 Miles
- Status: National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark
Other Activities And Where To Stay
Besides many other activities in the park such as camping, fishing, boating, and more, the National Park Service Offers a range of ranger-led activities that are perfect for the whole family.
These activities are mostly free of charge. The National Park Service boat trips, Native America Speaks programs, and some Ranger-led activities have some costs. One does not need a reservation to join most of these activities although sometimes there can be limited space so one should plan ahead (like for the Glacier Park boat tour). Learn more about their activities on their website.
- Covid-19: Currently, The Ranger Services Are Limited, So One Should See Their Website Above For Up To Date Information
One can have a lot of fun with the lodging as well here and there are many rustic and heritage-listed lodging options within the park. See here for more information about the backcountry lodges.