The northwestern corner of North America holds some of the most indescribable natural wonders on the continent. The one million acre park is located in the state of Montana and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Glacier National Park was established in 1910 to preserve the natural beauty of the wild lands for future generations. While the whole park offers dramatically breathtaking vistas, these ten locations stand out from the rest.
1. Cracker Lake
The clear blue waters of Cracker Lake are set off by the towering Mount Siyeh that rises up majestically in the background. The view is simply stunning. Rock flour silt, combined with the constant low temperatures of the lake, make it a crystal clear aqua blue.
2. Chief Mountain
The unique appearance of this mountain is due to the lack of sloping as a result of the way it formed. The mountain rises 5,000 feet into the air giving the appearance of a rectangular formation from a distance. The sheer faces make this one of the most difficult mountaineering locations in the area.
3. Endangered Wildlife
Glacier National Park is filled with many different species of wildlife. Due to the lack of development, it is a haven for rare and endangered species. Visitors may catch a rare glimpse of the majestic bald eagles that soar near the mountains. The two endangered species that are rarely sighted are grizzly bears and Canadian lynx. This park holds the largest populations of these animals outside of Alaska.
4. Grinnell Glacier
The six-mile hike that leads to Grinnell Glacier begins at Swiftcurrent Lake. The hike provides a beautiful view of the glacier carved land. The hiking path is well maintained and winds through wildflower meadows and past waterfalls. Wildlife sightings are very common for hikers on this trail. Mountain goats, bighorn sheep and grizzly bears occupy this part of the park.
5. Triple Divide Peak
This 8,000-foot peak is a unique landmark in Glacier National Park because of its status as a hydrological apex. This means that water shed from the peak of the mountain eventually drains into the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Hikes around this mountain are multiday affairs but well worth the amazing scenery.
6. Rogers Pass
Directly in the center of Glacier National Park, Rogers Pass was the first area of the park open to the public. Consequently, it contains some of the most developed areas. A scenic train ride allows visitors to see the pass from the comfort of a rail car. The more adventurous visitors will love the amazing ski trails in the pass.
7. Bird Woman Falls
Water flowing from a glacier remnant creates this nearly 600-foot waterfall that flows down Mount Oberlin. The large falls can be seen from nearly two miles away. Most visitors view the falls from a nearby highway, but some choose to climb Mount Oberlin. It is ranked as the second easiest peak to climb in the entire park.
8. Illecillewaet Glacier
The fast melting Illecillewaet Glacier is a good example of the type of glacier that carved the geography of Glacier National Park. The glacier is surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. Several trails allow short day long hikes from the nearby campgrounds.
9. Nakimu Caves
A spectacular reward awaits any adventurous caver who makes the four hour advanced hike to the Nakimu Caves. There are nearly four miles of underground caverns and tunnels to explore. The cave walls are covered with soft calcium deposits called moon milk, and there are many breathtaking examples of crystal clear tubular stalactites.
10. Two Medicine Lake
The deep blue waters of Two Medicine Lake perfectly captures the beauty of the far northwest. Stunning snow capped mountains provide a backdrop to the rippling lake. Visitors can rent kayaks, canoes or rowboats or take a guided boat tour and witness the natural beauties from the center of the lake.