Tribute to Glacier & 100th Anniversary of National Park System
To commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the National Parks, I would like to discuss one of my favorites, Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the most stunning locations to visit. As a hiker, there is always something new to discover. My road trip out to Montana began from the Midwest and lasted about two weeks. If I was given the opportunity to stay for longer I would have taken it, no questions asked. Glacier is a place you need to add to your bucket-list, and once you’ve visited, you’ll have the urge to go back and rediscover all that this national park has to offer.
My trip was in early June, which made me skeptical at first because tourist season is further into the summer. Some of the trails were snowed in at certain points and required specific equipment and skills I did not have in order to complete. This may not have been ideal, but the park was extremely helpful in providing trail reports and updates to ensure that all visitors had safe treks. Even with certain trails being inaccessible, I still would not have gone at a different time of the year. The trails were less crowded than during the tourist season, and it was the time of the year in which the waterfalls were active. It was also a great time to see all sorts of wildlife. I had sighted a couple of bears, and had plenty of encounters with big horned sheep and all sorts of other animals. Respecting the animals and researching safety procedures to avoid dangerous situations was very important before I began exploring.
A Trail worth Mentioning
One of my favorite hikes while I was at the park was out to Grinnell Glacier. Along almost the entirety of the trail are vast meadows and outstanding views. The hike was about 10 miles round trip (depending on where you start from), with an elevation gain of about 2000 feet. The trail difficulty rating is strenuous, but is definitely worth the work. I also believe that even if a person only wanted to complete a portion of the hike they would still be greatly satisfied with the experience.
During my hike, I was dazzled by the landscape and had a few of those moments where you ask yourself, “Is this actually real?”
Everything before me was so expansive, dreamy and spectacular that I really couldn’t believe it was possible to be in such a place.
The trails were easy to navigate and the only complaint I had during the entire experience was due to one big horned sheep that had the audacity to steal my backpack. My advice to you is: If you’re going to take a photograph, don’t set your bag down on the trail without paying close attention to it. You may get a visit from this guy–>
Other hikes I enjoyed included a journey out to Iceberg Lake and Avalanche Lake. The park is also known for its Going-to-the-Sun Road, which can be taken by car from one side of the park to the other with plenty of wonderful stopping points and hikes along the way. I spent most of my trip at Many Glacier and Two Medicine but highly recommend venturing out to other areas in the park.
A map of the area can be found on the National Park’s website at: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/maps.htm