Montana - Glacier National Park

by Kimp 22. November 2014 09:30

Photo Blog (click to view)

Whitefish

Sam and I stayed about 30 minutes away from the main park entrance in a town named Whitefish.

Whitefish is a small but sweet resort town, catering to skiing in the winter and kicking back in the summer. It's very quaint, has a great looking historic section and is full of artistic people. 

I loved everything about Whitefish. It was a little costly, but I saved some money by staying in a motel that was being renovated.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is in Northwestern Montana near the Canadian Border.

Consisting of a very large pristine ecosystem, it is full of animal and plant life. This is nature at its finest. A hundred years ago there were 150 glaciers in the park, but due to global warming there are now only 25 and these are deteriorating quickly. It is expected that all of the glaciers will be gone my 2030.

Only one road that crosses the park, called the "going to the sun" road. It starts at a low elevation winding along a river whose source is the melting mountain snow,  takes a beautiful ascent into the mountains, crosses a pass (Logan's pass) then descends back down. There are a few other park roads at each end of this road, that go to different parts of the park.

Logan's Pass was very crowded with a small parking lot, but we managed to find a spot to park. A small structure houses rest rooms, food, and park rangers. Cross country skiers often start at Logan Pass and explore the cross country mountain trails and wildlife.

There are many hiking trails in the park that are not snow covered. About 1/2 of the people visiting this park take a hike. Beware that this park is full of large mammals. Grizzly Bears, Moose, and Elk, so be prepared.  

The "going to the sun road" is a beautiful, but very slow scenic drive. Lots of people are making stops to take in the scenery. There are also, special 1932 tourist vans, that have been renovated recently and  that are still used today. we drove, but you could rent a seat in one of those and just sit back and relax while the tour guide introduces you to all of the sites.

Some of the larger lakes in this park, have antique boats that provide lake tours as well.

On the way out, I stopped to see about a helicopter tour, but it was a minimum of four people and for Sam and I to take the tour on our own, it would have been fairly expensive, so I decided not to do that. Looking back, I think that would have been well worth it. Another problem that deterred me, was that the winds were high that day, so they were only offering a short tour of one part of the park. I still think it would have been worth it. It's not often that I get to see pristine wilderness.

Wild Fires

Every year there are about 14 wild fires in the park. The fires are allowed to burn until they go out on their own, unless it looks like they might damage existing buildings. In 2003 about 15% of the park was burnt. That was the worst. Fires are natural part of the eco system and serve to regenerate it, by allowing new growth which attracts wildlife. it's kind of like building a new house for them.

Enjoy the pictures.

Craig 

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