Glacier National Park
The Glacier National Park was established in 1910. It is a land of mountain ranges, alpine meadows, deep forests, waterfalls, about 50 glaciers and 200 sparkling lakes. The park features more than 700mi/1,100km of foot and horse trails.
The 50 mi. long road (completed in 1932) from St Mary over the Logan Pass (7747 ft) to West Glacier is rated one of the most beautiful mountain roads in North America. Narrow and with many bends, it is normally closed to vehicles over 8 ft wide and 29 ft long. From St Mary the road follows the north side of St Mary Lake (coming in 3 mi., on the south side, to the Triple Divide, the watershed between three drainage systems - to the Pacific, the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico). The view of St Mary Lake and the surrounding peaks from the wide bend beyond Rising Sun is probably the most photographed scene in the park. From the lake the road climbs steeply to the Logan Pass, with the Logan Pass Visitor Center, above which tower the imposing peaks of Reynolds (9128 ft) and Clements Mountain (8773 ft).
9 mi. before St Mary, at Babb, a road (closed in winter) goes off to the Many Glacier, a region of great scenic beauty in which Rocky Mountain goats and black bears can be seen. On the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake is the Many Glacier Hotel (built in 1914), from which there are a variety of walks and climbs - to the Grinnell Glacier, the Granite Park area, Iceberg Lake, on whose shimmering green water there are ice floes even in the height of summer, and the Red Rock Falls.
Sperry Chalet was built in 1913 by James J and son Louis Hill of the Great Northern Railway. The buildings are built of native rock and consist of a two- story hotel building and a kitchen/dining room building. The chalet can only be reached by foot or horseback.
Avalanche Creek is a deep and narrow gorge that cuts through red mudstone filled with potholes. A trail travels to Avalanche Basin and Lake which has many waterfalls.
From the Visitor Center a nature trail (1 1/4 mi.) runs through the Hanging Gardens, which are gay with color during the short summer season. In this alpine ecosystem marmots and Rocky Mountain goats can sometimes be observed. There are rewarding mountain hikes to the Hidden Lake and the Granite Park Chalet. The section of the road between Logan Pass and McDonald Valley is a masterpiece of engineering, winding its way down into the valley in a series of sharp bends and a large loop.
More Glacier National Park Pictures