When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors there are few places to head to in the United States that can offer more than the state of Montana. The gem of Montana’s great outdoors though is the very popular Glacier National Park. This national park covers more than one million acres and is home to a great many wonderful examples of physical geologic formations, wildlife, and plant life.
The national park was established in 1910, though it had been a protected forest preserve for many years before that. Some of the most popular sites in the park include mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and lakes that also provide wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities. Visit Montana’s great outdoors with southwest, one of the cheapest airline carriers. Use a southwest promotion code for added savings.
A great deal is known about this very popular national park, but here are ten fun and interesting facts about Glacier National Park.
1. The world famous Going-to-the-Sun Road that travels fifty-three miles into the heart of Glacier National Park is one of the most visited sections of the park. The road crosses the Continental Divide via Logan’s Pass which can accumulate up to 80 feet of snow in the winter. It normally takes just over ten weeks to plow the road free of snow so that the coming tourists can enjoy the views from it when summer comes.
2. There are more than 350 structures including chalets, hotels, visitor centers, barracks, and more within the boundaries of Glacier National Park that appear on the National Register of Historic Places.
3. Chief Mountain measures in at more than 9,000 feet tall and dominates the lower land that is around it. When it was summited for the first time by white explorers in 1892, there were a number of artifacts related to Native American ceremonies found at the top.
4. There are more than seven hundred lakes of various sizes inside Glacier National Park. In truth though, only 131 of those have been
5. The largest lake in the park is Lake McDonald. It is roughly ten miles long and just over a mile wide. This is not considered to be a prime fishing lake, though a number of interesting wild animals live on its shores including moose, mule deer, black bear, and Grizzly bear.
6. Glacier National Park is surrounded by somewhat sovereign nations with the Flathead Indian Reservation located to the west and south of the park, the Blackfeet Indian Reservation located to the east, and the nation of Canada located to the north.
7. A fleet of coach cars built in the 1930s by the White Motor Company, and then restored and modified in the late 1990s, continue to offer tours of the park to this day, including driving visitors up Going-to-the-Sun Road regularly. Many of these vehicles have been converted to run on alternative fuels. The drivers of these red and black painted vehicles are referred to as Jammers.
8. One of the earliest supporters of protecting the area was the Great Northern Railway. The railroad company crossed the Continental Divide at Marias Pass on the southern border of what would become Glacier National Park in 1891. As a way of increasing public interest in rail travel out west, the company pressed the United States Congress to protect the area and in 1897 the area now making up the park was named a forest preserve.
9. There are twenty-seven glaciers in the appropriately named Glacier National Park. The largest glacier in the park is Blackfoot Glacier which measures in at more than 400 acres in size. In 1850 it was estimated that there were approximately 150 glaciers in the park.
10. Triple Divide Peak sits at just over 8,000 feet tall and the Continental Divide runs right over its peak. The most interesting part of this mountain is that snow that melts from its peaks can find its way into Canada’s Hudson Bay and from there the North Atlantic Ocean, into the upper reaches of the Missouri River and eventually the Gulf of Mexico, and also into the water system that eventually flows into the Columbia River that leads to the Pacific Ocean.
A visit to Glacier National Park is a true eye opening experience to many people who have never experienced the wonders that can be found in the great outdoors. The park is popular with both those seeking beautiful scenery to enjoy from the seat of their car or the window of a visitor center as well as with those looking to experience it via the many hiking trails and boat tours available there. Experiencing all that Glacier National Park has to offer first hand is not a problem, and it in fact is one of the best ways to to create wonderful memories that will indeed last a lifetime.