Montana’s Glacier National Park in Four Days

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Glacier National Park in Montana should be on your must visit list. The park is full of pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. The park touts over 700 miles of trails, a a hiker’s paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude.

The average visitor spends three to four days in the area, although you easily could fill a week with activities in the park. Listed below are some suggestions based on length of stay.

If you have…

One Day

  • Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
  • Participate in a ranger-led talk or walk.
  • Investigate the Discovery Cabin in Apgar Village, where you can learn about the park’s plants and animals.

Multiple Days

  • Take a backpacking trip deep within Glacier’s wild interior.
  • Hike through forests and up mountains on over 700 miles of hiking trails.
  • Camp (there are 13 front country campgrounds to choose from).
  • Take a boat cruise to learn about geology, park history, etc.
  • Guided Horseback trips are available inside the park. Ride on a horse and explore historic and contemporary routes.
  • Tour the Going-to-the-Sun Road in a Red Bus or learn all about the Blackfeet Indian culture in in a coach or your car.
  • Attend ranger-led walks, talks, hikes, and amphitheater programs — they run from early June to early September.

A little history about the park itself:

Evidence of human use in this area dates back to over 10,000 years. By the time the first European explorers came into this region, several different tribes inhabited the area. The Blackfeet Indians controlled the vast prairies east of the mountains, while the Salish and Kootenai Indians lived in the western valleys, traveling over the mountains in search of game and to hunt the great herds of buffalo on the eastern plains.

The majority of early European explorers came to this area in search of beaver and other pelts. They were soon followed by miners and, eventually, settlers looking for land. By 1891, the completion of the Great Northern Railway sealed the area’s fate, allowing a greater number of people to enter into the heart of northwest Montana. Homesteaders settled in the valleys west of Marias Pass and soon small towns developed.

George Bird Grinnell exploring a GlacierAbove Dr. and Mrs. George Bird Grinnell ontop of Grinnell GlacierBy the late 1800s, influential leaders like George Bird Grinnell, pushed for the creation of a national park. In 1910, Grinnell and others saw their efforts rewarded when President Taft signed the bill establishing Glacier as the country’s 10th national park

Top Photo credit: iliketowastemytime. com.

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