A historic landmark with plenty of activities for all ages, Glacier Montana National Park is comprised of roughly 1.4 million acres of wonderful wilderness land in the western United States. Open year round, a full range of park services are available from late May through September, and limited service is available off season.
The park was established in the late 1890's with visitors arriving at West Glacier (formerly known as Belton) by train. Since no roads existed at that time in the mountainous region, sightseers would then continue traveling by stagecoach for several miles to Lake McDonald. Then they continued by boat to the Snyder Hotel, an approximate 8-mile trip.
The region became a Forest Preserve in 1900, open to mining and homesteading. However in 1910, after efforts of explorer George Bird Grinnell and others to further help protect the area, President Taft signed a bill establishing Glacier as the country's 10th national park.
Glacier Montana National Park Facts
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with these facts about the area:
- Archaeological surveys found evidence of humans in this area dating back more than 10,000 years.
- Various Indian tribes inhabited the area; the Blackfeet Indians (east), Salish and Kootenai Indians (west).
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition came within 50 miles of this park in 1806.
- The railroad over Marias Pass was completed in 1891; the Great Northern Railway resulted in homesteaders settling small towns developing.
- Aggressive mining efforts resulted in the mountains east of the Continental Divide being taken from the Blackfeet in 1895. However, no large copper or gold deposits were ever located, as evidenced by abandoned mine shafts throughout the park today.
- Wildlife in the area today includes: big horn sheep, black and grizzly bears, endangered bald eagles, moose, mountain goats, mule & whitetail deer, wapiti, (elk) and wolves.
- Glacier Montana National Park began as sediments deposited in an ancient sea that slowly hardened into thick layers of limestone, mudstone, and sandstone.
- Most of the rocks that visitors see in the park today are sedimentary rocks from the Proterozoic age that were deposited from 1,600 to 800 million years ago.
A historic land, in Glacier Montana National Park visitors can visit all types of rock formations, beautiful mountain scenery and wildlife, many sacred spiritual sites of former inhabitants; ie the Blackfoot and Kootenai Indian tribes. And travelers can check out the more than 50 glaciers in the park, over 200 lakes or streams and enjoy more than 730 miles of hiking trails, where glacier and travel go hand in hand.
About The Author: David Lawlor runs various websites including http://www.glacier-travel.info
and loves to travel the great ourdoors.