Glacier National Park is a little farther from Missoula than a typical day trip, but it is well worth the visit. The beauty of the park varies from rolling foothills to glacial carved peaks with wildflower-filled meadows, to stunning 400-foot waterfalls. One of the best ways to see the park is to travel the 50-mile-long Going to the Sun Road as it crosses the continental Divide at Logan Pass. Or if you'd rather leave the driving to someone else, hop aboard the Park's free shuttle service, take a guided Red Bus tour or learn about the Park from the perspective of the Blackfeet Tribe with a Glacier Sun Tour.
It was born thousands of years ago, carved by glacial movements and the hands of nature. It was reborn as a national park in 1910. And again, as the world’s first International Peace Park (with Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park) in 1932. It is also a World Heritage Site and is the only site that borders two countries without walls or fences. Today, it is a destination for those seeking unsurpassed beauty, thrilling adventure and the trip of a lifetime.
Going-to-the-Sun Road was completed in 1932 and is a spectacular 50-mile, paved two-lane highway that bisects the park east and west. It runs the width of Glacier, crossing the Continental Divide at 6,646 feet atop Logan Pass. It passes through almost every type of terrain in the park, from large glacial lakes and cedar forests in the lower valleys to windswept alpine tundra atop the pass. Going-to-the-Sun Road was included in the National Register of Historic Places and in 1985 was made a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Glacier National Park preserves more than one million acres of forests, alpine meadows and lakes. Its diverse habitats are home to more than 70 species of mammals and more than 260 species of birds. The spectacular glaciated landscape is a hiker’s or walker’s paradise, containing 700 miles of maintained trails that lead deep into one of the largest intact ecosystems in the Lower 48. The park contains more than 350 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and six National Historic Landmarks. Glacier National Park is open year-round, with each season offering a wealth of unique experiences and stories.
Glacier National Park Facts:
Established: May 11th, 1910
1st International Peace Park
1,600 square miles
Highest elevation: Mt. Cleveland 10,466 ft
Lowest elevation: Middle & North Forks of the Flathead River, 3150 ft
2012 visitation: 2,162,254
Entrance fees provide visitors with a 7-day entrance permit to Glacier National Park and is non-transferrable.