Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park’s shining, glaciated peaks, plunging valleys, and turquoise-blue lakes make it one of the most dramatic landscapes in North America. Glacier’s untamed vertical spires of banded granite and ice have earned it the nickname “Backbone of the World,” and these peaks are as wild as they are majestic. Retaining nearly all of its natural ecology, the park is home to such iconic species as grizzly bear, gray wolves, mountain goats, moose, and even wolverines. Spending just a day in the vast Glacier wilderness will likely yield a sighting of at least one of these “locals,” and it is sure to leave visitors with a lifelong sense of awe for the park’s rugged beauty.
The lodging at Glacier is on par with the park’s grand vistas. The park features several of the great lodges of the West, which date back to the early 1900’s. Complete with massive fireplaces and rustic dining rooms, the park lodges provide the perfect relaxation befitting the perfect wilderness excursion.
Directions from Great Falls:
Travel US Interstate 15 north 68 miles to Exit 348 Highway 44/Valer Rd. Turn left and follow Highway 44 for 29.4 miles, then turn right onto US 89 North. Follow US 89 North 29.8 miles through the town of Browning. On the west side of Browning, visitors will be directed to select between:
- East Glacier – 12.9 miles via US 2 West
- Two Medicine Lake Entrance – US 2 West for 12.3 miles then right on Montana 49 North for 4.1 miles then left on 2 Medicine Rd for 7.3 miles
- St. Mary’s Entrance – 31.4 miles via US 89 North
- Many Glacier Entrance – 39.9 miles via US 89 North then left on Many Glacier Rd/Rte3 for 7.4 miles
Glacier’s 700+ miles of trails offer nearly as much variety as the park’s scenery. From the adventurous 11.9 mile Grinnell Glacier Trail (roundtrip), considered one of the most scenic trails in North America, to the flat 0.6 mile stroll to Running Eagle Falls, Glacier offers a hike for everyone.
The twisty and mountainous Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is among the most scenic drives in the world. This 50-mile engineering marvel can be accessed via the Many Glacier Park Entrance.
To ensure that everyone enjoys the scenery, several guided tour options are available in Glacier National Park:
Glacier Park, Inc (406) 892-2525
Sun Tours (800) 786-9220
Guided rides are offered at several locations in the park. For information and reservations, contact:
Swan Mountain Outfitters 1-877-888-5557 www.swanmountainoutfitters.com/glacier
National Park Service Glacier site: http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm
Glacier National Park Visitor Information: (406) 888-7800
- Glacially carved mountain ranges
- 26 Glaciers
- 70 Species of mammals
- 260 Species of birds
- 700 Miles of hiking trails
- 1,600 Square miles