Glacier National Park was established to protect the area's spectacular scenic values, as characterized by the geologic features of the Rocky Mountains and valleys and the native plant and animal life. The park encompasses approximately 1.4 million acres of wilderness and some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the western United States. A combination of spectacular scenery, diverse flora and fauna, and relative isolation from major population centers have combined to make Glacier National Park the center of one of the largest and most intact ecosystems in North America.
The general park area was once the homeland of the Blackfoot and Kootenai Indian tribes and many sites in the park are sacred spiritual sites.
There are over 50 glaciers in the park from which it gets its name. There are also over 200 lakes or streams in Glacier.
There are over 730 miles of trails for hikers to enjoy in Glacier National Park.
There are a number of things to do while enjoying Glacier National park. These activities include but are not limited to boating, biking, camping, canoeing, climbing, fishing, hiking, photography, crosscountry skiing, snowshoeing, swimming, and wildlife watching.
The park is traversed from east to west by Going-to-the-Sun Road. A specular drive! For visitors who wish to drive through the park, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is an experience to remember. Bisecting the heart of Glacier, this 50 mile long road follows the shores of the park's two largest lakes and hugs the cliffs below the Continental Divide as it traverses Logan Pass. Numerous scenic turnouts and wayside exhibits allow travelers to stop and enjoy the park at their own pace.
Interpretive van tours highlighting Blackfeet culture originate from East Glacier and the St. Mary Lodge.
Guided Horseback trips are available at Many Glacier, Lake McDonald, and West Glacier.
Boating: There are scenic launch tours and boat rentals in several locations around the park.
Guided backpacking and day hiking trips are available through the local guides, see Yellowstone Glacier Adventures.
For visitors who wish to drive through the park, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is an experience to remember. Bisecting the heart of Glacier, this 50 mile long road follows the shores of the park's two largest lakes and hugs the cliffs below the Continental Divide as it traverses Logan Pass. Numerous scenic turnouts and wayside exhibits allow travelers to stop and enjoy the park at their own pace.
Size restrictions are in effect on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Vehicles longer than 21 feet or wider than 8 feet (including mirrors) are prohibited on the steepest sections of the road. Guided tours are available.
Other roads access different sections of the park. On the east side of the park, roads lead into the Two Medicine and Many Glacier valleys. These areas contain spectacular scenery and offer excellent hiking opportunities. Both are generally less crowded than other locations.
The North Fork area on the west side of the park is approached by one of two dirt roads. Both dirt roads are narrow and going is slow. Large or towed vehicles should use extreme caution.
The North Fork was the scene of fires in both 1988 and 1994. The contrast between older forests and recently created meadows highlights this remote section of Glacier National Park. Two of the smaller and more primitive campgrounds, Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake are located here.
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