Happy Birthday Glacier National Park
Glacier joined the National Park family on this date in 1910. Glacier borders Alberta and British Columbia on our northern border and is comprised of over 1 million acres.
It includes two sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains, has over 130 named lakes, over one thousand species of plants and hundreds of species of wildlife.
The 16,000 square miles of protected pristine ecosystem has been referred to as the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.
Glacier National Park History
Part of the land that would be part of the park was ceded from the Blackfeet, under pressure, to the US Government in 1895. The Great Northern Railway moved in and built a number of historic hotels and chalets.
There are 350 Glacier locations currently listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
By 1932 work was completed on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, later designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, which provided greater accessibility for automobiles into the heart of the park.
Much of the park was formed by moving land masses millions of years ago along with massive glacial activity.
This activity created many of the lakes located in the U-shaped valleys.
It’s estimated that as many as 150 glaciers existed in the part by the middle of the 19th century but only 25 remained by 2010.
Scientists believe that all active glaciers will be gone by 2030 because of climate change.
Most all of the native plant and animal species still remain in the park. The more popular grizzly bears, moose and mountain goats keep company with endangered species like wolverines and Canadian lynxes.
There are more than a dozen species of fish, hundreds of birds, along with a few reptile and amphibian species that have been recorded.
Fires are rare in Glacier, but 13 percent of the park was burned in a 2003 fire.
Some Final Thoughts
This is once again one of the many National Parks that I have yet to visit. However, I have seen pictures and video, so I can confirm its undeniable beauty.
If you’re in Montana, or plan to visit, you might want to put Glacier on your to-do list.
You’ll see just one more reason why Montana is the Last Best Place on Earth.