Corbitt's National Parks
     Glacier
               National Park


                



1910: National Park

1932: International Peace Park

1976: Biosphere Reserve

1995: World Heritage Site

Size: 1,013,572 acres

2008 visitors: 1,808,027

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

This rugged and beautiful Park, located in northwest Montana on the Candian border, offers spectacular mountain scenery and a true wilderness experience. It contains nearly 50 glaciers, countless peaks over 10,000 feet high, and beautiful lakes and waterways set among colorful meadows and ravines. The area has many Native American ties, and the visitors centers host summer programs by Blackfeet, Salish, and Kooterai tribal members.

The story of Glacier began millions of years ago, when over a long period of time compacted limestone was covered with sediments. Those in turn were covered with new layers of limestone. About 70 million years ago, pressures within the earth caused the rock to warp, until the western part of the park was pushed over the eastern. Ultimately, a 300-mile section of the earth's crust has been moved more than 37 miles to the east. Later, the park's surface was shaped by glaciers that formed many U-shaped valleys.

What You're Going to See

Wildlife abounds at Glacier National Park. Grizzly bears, gray wolves, cougars, bighorn sheep and moose are just some of the creatures visitors can find in the vast forests. The swift, shallow rivers shelter beaver, otters, muskrats, raccons, and many other small mammals. Overhead you'll see falcons, bald eagles, hawks, and other birds of prey; the marshy lakeshores and riverbanks are home to waterfowl.

There are three visitors centers in the park, all open no earlier than late April and closed by late October. The park is crossed by the 52-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road. This road is mostly closed in winter, yet it traverses the heart of the Rockies at the treeline and provides one of America's most spectacular scenic drives. Vehicles longer than 21 feet or wider than 8 feet are prohibited, and vehicles taller than 10 feet may have difficulty going westbound from Logan Pass.

There are plenty of outdoor activities here, including guided walks, slide-illustrated presentations, and campfire programs that are offered daily from mid-Jule through Labor day. Visitors can also boat, backpack, hike, and indulge in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, horseback riding, auto touring, bicycling, canoeing, fishing, golfing, rafting, and touring the park in vintage buses.

Personal Observations

It sounds beautiful. Someday ...

Getting There

From Great Falls, go north on I-15 for 84 miles, to Shelby. Take US 2 west for 54 miles to Browning, then go northwest on US 89 for 32 miles to St. Mary (visitor center and park entrance).

Nearby Attractions

In rugged and wide-open Montana, the nearest attraction is Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS, 120 miles to the south.