Interesting Facts about Glacier National Park

Montana is a state that truly has something for everyone. With so much culture, history and scenic beauty, each visit to Montana would be different. This state truly does have enough to offer everyone.  Here are a few reasons to make Montana your next destination:

  • Wildlife
  • Glaciers
  • Indian Culture
  • History

The wildlife in Glacier National Park in northern Montana is absolutely breathtaking.  Endangered wildlife, such as the bald eagle, black bear and the Lynx are among some of the animals you may encounter. Frequently seen are mule deer, wolves, mountain goats and big horn sheep, since they live there throughout the year.  In 1900s the moose was thought to be extinct in the Rockies south of Canada.  The moose count today is well over 8,000 in the state of Montana.  They also have the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states. In Montana, the number of elk, deer and antelope populations outnumber the humans!

There are several types of glaciers throughout Glacier National Park.  Each name represents the action from the glacier to create different kinds of landscape:

  • Aretes
  • Cirques
  • Hanging Valleys

An arête forms when two glaciers work on opposite sides of the same wall, leaving a narrow ridge. The Garden Wall, Glacier National Park’s prominent features, is an arête separating two valleys. The second glacier, Cirques, is when a large bowl formed at the head of the glacier begins to melt, leaving a lake in the depression gouged by the glacier, over 250 lakes within its boundaries.  Finally, the Hanging Valleys are throughout the park.  Since these types of glaciers don’t cut into the ground as deep, small valleys are left high up on the mountain which creates a waterfall.

Archaeologists have found evidence of humans in northern Montana dating back 10,000 years.  The tribes that still exist today could most likely be traced back to these people from very long ago. One of the tribes that lived in this area of Montana was the Blackfeet Indians. Before the northwestern part of Montana had been explored by the English and before it became a national park, the Blackfeet Indians lived off the abundance the land provided them with. In 1895, the Blackfeet Indians sold part of this land to the government and soon after, the land was declared a national park. It was appropriately named Glacier National Park because of the glaciers from millions of years ago that carved out the valleys and lakes we see in Montana today.

The most impressive fact about Glacier National Park is that it is over 1 million acres! This park straddles the Continental Divide, and contains some of the most unspoiled wilderness you will ever find.  A scenic and breathtaking drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road is an engineering feat and is a National Historic Landmark. Completed in 1932, after 11 years, it has forever changed the way visitors would experience Glacier National Park. Take a drive for yourself and you will agree that Glacier National Park in northern Montana is one of the best destinations you can experience!