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Avalanche Lake on the western side of the park
Glacier National Park
Closest available address
PO Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936
Park is open all year, but various facilities vary by season.
Best time to visit
Glacier National Park was created in 1910 as the 10th national park in the US and is over one million acres. Called the Crown of the Continent, Glacier is known for scenic mountains, clear lakes, extensive forests and as a gateway to the Great Plains. Due to warming trends, glaciers in the park are receding quickly and all may be gone by 2030.
Glacier and Canadian Waterton Lakes Park jointly form an international park. They preserve a pristine expanse of the rocky mountains. Soon after Glacier was founded, a railroad company built lodges and other facilities there to encourage tourism. Some of them are now National Historic Landmarks (NHL). The Going-to-the-Sun Road which was built in 1932 and crosses the park also is a NHL. Historic red Jammer tour busses still drive it.
When planning a visit spend at least a day on both the west and east sides of the park. On the west side check out Lake McDonald either by driving or a boat tour. Slightly to the east, Avalanche Creek Trail is a nice hike to a natural amphitheatre. In the middle of the park, the high-elevation Logan Pass area includes Hidden Lake Trail with good views. On the east side of the park, the historic Many Glacier Hotel is interesting, and Grinnell Lake is worth seeing too. You can get to the lake by a joint hike and boat option. Glacier is a destination park with a lot to do. It is a good choice in the summer for a family outdoor-oriented vacation. If you like historic hotels and want to limit driving, stay at a lodge in the park, but book early because they fill up. Two days is enough to get a taste, but if you want to take longer hikes, more tours, or just lounge around a historic hotel, stay longer.
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