Glacier National Park is located in the beautiful state of Montana on the border with Canada. The park covers an area of over 1 million acres, including two mountain ranges, 130 lakes, more than 1000 plant species and over 100 animal species. This abundant ecosystem is often referred to as the jewel in the crown of the continent’s ecosystems. The mountains at Glacier National Park started forming 170 million years ago. These fine sediment rocks are known as the home of the Earth’s oldest fossils, many of which can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
The current shape of the mountains in the Park is due glacier activity that formed lakes between the rocks. Full of rivers, lakes, trails, forests, glaciers, and valleys, Glacier National Park is one of the most visited in the country. If you’re looking for a place that offers plenty of outdoor activities for any age, then this is the perfect park for you. You will be especially happy to enjoy its stunning landscapes during summer time.
There are over 700 miles of trails crossing the park where you can choose anything from a short hike to a long backpacking trip. The most visited trails in the Park are Lake McDonald, Many Glacier, North Fork and Goat Haunt, St. Mary and Two Medicine. When hiking, try to do it with a group of people to avoid potentially dangerous wildlife encounters.
Before heading for a trail, stop at the visitors center to inform yourself about the weather conditions and to let authorities know what your hiking plans are. Be sure to have sturdy footwear, adequate food and water supplies, bear spray, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent.
With all the abundant wildlife, alpine lakes and towering mountains, Glacier National Park is a paradise for backpackers. To be able to camp here, you need to get a permit and pay $7 per person at one of the backcountry permit offices. Permit centers where you can register are St. Mary Visitor Center, Many Glacier Ranger Station, Waterton Lakes National Park Visitor Reception Centre, Two Medicine Ranger Station, Polebridge Ranger Station (Open daily from May through mid-September).
The park has 65 designated campgrounds. Recommended gear for your backcountry camping trip includes bear spray, topographic maps, compass, first aid kit, high-calorie food, shelter, sleeping bag and pad, appropriate footwear, rain jacket, lightweight camp shoes, footwear for stream crossings, weatherproof food, and garbage hanging bag, water container and water filter, camp stove, fuel, and emergency signaling device.
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