Glacier National Park

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Glacier National Park


Located in the north-western corner of Montana, among the Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park is true to its name- it has more glaciers than you could shake a stick at.

Glacier lies adjacent to Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park and is a part of the transnational Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the first of its kind in the world.

All the region's glaciers lie within the Glacier Park, in the high Rockies. Peaks such as Triple Divide, Elk, and Summit are a maze of precipitous slopes, crags and cliffs through which meander slow rivers of ice, making their ponderous way south to the lakes and rivers of the lowlands. About 50 glaciers exist in Glacier National Park, and it is from these that the park's 200-odd lakes and streams arise.

Lodgepole pines, spruce, fir and larch form dense forests, interspersed by stretches of alpine pastures, which burst into a riot of wildflowers in spring. Here, in the secluded valleys of the park, asters, shooting stars, heath, gentian, glacier lily and dozens of other flowers bloom in what is one of the most gorgeous and uninhibited displays of natural beauty anywhere in America.

Plant life isn't all that Glacier is known for, though; the park's wildlife is equally spectacular: wapiti elk, mountain sheep, black bear, white-tailed deer, grizzly, moose, wolf, fox, beaver, otter and an abundance of smaller mammals. Birds such as ptarmigans, ospreys, golden eagles, bald eagles and harlequin ducks also can be seen in the park.

There's much that can be done here, beyond wildlife watching and wildflower photography. Hiking, climbing, camping, fishing, white-water rafting, water-skiing, biking and cross-country skiing are just some of the options for a satisfying vacation.

And, for a glimpse of Native American life, you could even attend one of the many campfire talks or native dances performed by Blackfeet, Kootenai and Salish tribals in the park. Just make a trip to the park's visitor centres- Apgar, Logan Pass, or Saint Mary- to check out everything Glacier offers.

Best time to visit

Just about any time is a good time to visit, depending upon what you want to do. If you want to see the place at its prettiest, aim for spring- around May; if you want long hikes and a spot of boating or biking, make it between May and September.

Hiking is possible the rest of the year too, if you're willing to put up with the cold. Skiing is, obviously, a winter sport and restricted to the months between November and April- check with the park authorities for current snowfall and weather conditions before starting off.

Glacier's predominantly alpine terrain translates into low temperatures and strong winds, and an irritatingly unpredictable climate throughout. It's wise, therefore, to dress warmly, preferably in layered clothing, and to carry protection against rain at all times.


Cycling, horse-riding, canoeing and boating are the best ways of exploring the national park!

Did you know that some scientists have predicted that if the present trends of global warming continue then there will be no glaciers in Glacier National Park by the year 2020!

Interestingly more than 35 Hollywood films have been shot in Glacier National Park!


The park is open to the visitors throughout the year from morning to evening.

Visitors to the park need to pay an entrance fee of US$ 5 for a single-entry permit valid for a week in both Waterton and Glacier. An extra charge of US$ 10 has to be paid for a private non-commercial vehicle.

American citizens are eligible for lifetime passes, which allow entry to all the national parks in the country.

These passes are free for those with permanent disabilities, and cost a nominal amount- between US$10 and 50- for everybody else.

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