With over 1 million acres of towering, jagged peaks, cascading waterfalls, wild meadows and sparkling waters, plus wildlife watching and recreation opportunities, it is, quite simply, the vacation of a lifetime.
Many Glacier is named for its “many glaciers” and is an enchanting valley full of wildlife, hiking and spectacular scenery.
Come see the glaciers in this magical valley from the seats of two historic wooden boats — Chief Two Guns on Swiftcurrent Lake and Morning Eagle on Lake Josephine.
Glacier has welcomed over 100 million visitors to the park. The park’s annual visitation has been rising over the past five years, hitting a record high of 2,946,681 in 2016. Glacier has certainly come a long way since 1911 with an annual visitation of only 4,000.
Glacier holds over 700 miles of hiking trails. Over half of the visitors to Glacier National Park hit the trail to see some of the outstanding scenic views the park has to offer. With opportunities for both long backpacking trips and shorter hikes, there is something for everyone.
Grinnell Lake is the reward at the end of the Grinnell Lake Trail. And what a reward it is!
If you only have one trip to Glacier National Park in your future, then Grinnell Lake Trail is a great option for experiencing both the mountains and the glaciers that cover many of them. Bring the hiking boots and the binoculars. They and the camera will be your most important supplies for this lovely 11-mile round trip hike.
The hike to Grinnell Lake (pictured below) begins near the shoreline of Swiftcurrent Lake, located at the south end of the Many Glacier Hotel.
The lake, falls, mountain and glacier are all named after George Bird Grinnell, an early American conservationist, explorer, and founder of the Audubon Society. Grinnell was so inspired by the scenery during his first trip to the area in 1885 that he spent the next two decades working to establish it as a national park. In 1896 Grinnell was one of the three commissioners to sign the treaty with the Blackfeet Indians that transferred the land that would become Glacier National Park.
Grinnell Lake is known for its turquoise-colored water due to the glaciation of Grinnell Glacier, Salamander Glacier and Gem Glacier that loom far above Grinnell Lake.
This turquoise coloration is due to the finely ground-up rock particles suspended in the water knowned as "glacial flour". This "glacial flour" is created by the glaciers grinding across the rocks as they slowly move downhill. The flour isn't itself turquoise-colored, it's actually grey. But when the blue sky reflects off these tiny particles in the water, it makes the water appear turquoise-colored.
Glacier provides the core of one of the largest remaining grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states.
Going-to-the-Sun Road is a spectacular marvel and a must see on your trip to Glacier.
Going-to-the-Sun Road connects the east and west sides through the middle of the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Covering 50 miles of awe-inspiring landscapes, glaciers, and cascading waterfalls, this drive is certainly a quintessential part of your visit.
At Logan Pass, Reynolds Mountain and Clements Mountain tower over fields of wildflowers that carpet the ground throughout the summer.
Glacier straddles the Continental Divide, allowing for extreme weather. That’s because the opposing Pacific and Arctic airs meet at the Divide, creating a dramatic clash of weather. In one instance just outside the park’s eastern boundary in Browning, Montana, the temperature was noted as dropping 100 degrees in just 24 hours. When heading out for a day in the park, be sure to bring rain gear and extra clothes.
The sheer beauty is jaw dropping from every angle.
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, named for their large horns that can weigh up to 30 pounds on males, inhabit alpine meadows and grassy mountain slopes in the Rocky Mountains of Canada and the United States.
Glacier’s wildlife has hardly changed since it was first discovered. Home to 71 species of mammals, Glacier’s ecosystem has essentially remained intact and undisturbed. This is mostly because of its large acreage and early protection efforts, but nonetheless the park’s preservation of species since early European explorations is quite impressive.
Glacier National Park is a part of the world’s first international peace park. The vision for a park was to celebrate peace and friendship between the United States and Canada. In 1932 Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberton, Canada, were designated the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Today, the parks collaborate seamlessly in their preservation, fire management, and research efforts.
Many Glacier Hotel is located in the “Switzerland of North America,′′ in the northeastern area of Glacier National Park. Outside, awe-inspiring majesty. Inside, a magnificent towering lobby.
Big Sky Brewing’s Moose Drool Brown Ale is the best-selling beer brewed in Montana. At 5.1% alcohol, 26 IBU, and 38 SRM this American brown ale is light on the palate with subtle coffee and cocoa notes!
Moose Drool has a rich malty backbone, a hint of spiciness, and a creamy smooth taste.
Brewing Great Beer in the Northern Rockies Since 1995.
Community spirit built the Carousel for Missoula and continuing support keeps the local treasure operating.
Helena is Montana’s capital, and while it’s not a popular tourist destination, it does offer an excellent representation of the state’s past and present. A mix of modern and historic, the city has hung on to much of its past by preserving many of its old buildings and attractions that made it popular during the post-gold rush era, when it was a haven for those who got lucky striking it rich. If you want to delve into the state’s history, visiting here offers the chance to take one of many tours that provide an excellent insight. It may not look like much at first glance, but when you venture off the Interstate, you’ll discover a gem.
A statue of Thomas Francis Meagher, first governor of the Montana Territory, was placed in front of the Montana Capitol and dedicated on July 4, 1905.
As is customary in American statehouses, Montana’s Capitol is adorned with a variety of murals and statues that embellish its grandest spaces. These artworks, however, serve as more than mere decoration. They also depict the Treasure State’s storied past and the notable figures who played key roles in the state’s development.
The Grand Stairway inside the Montana State Capitol.
Looking up into the dome in the rotunda of the Montana capitol.
The Montana House of Representatives is composed of 100 members and elects its leadership every two years.
The Montana Senate is the upper house of the Montana State Legislature and is composed of 50 senators.
Ultra wide angle view of the Montana Senate Chamber.
Ultra wide angle view of the Montana Supreme Court.
The Cathedral of Saint Helena is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Montana. Modeled by architect A.O. Von Herbulis after the Votivkirche in Vienna, Austria, the construction began on the Cathedral in 1908, and held its first mass in November 1914.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument stands as a memorial for one of the most famous battles in American history, which took place in 1876 between the U.S. Seventh Cavalry Regiment led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, and the Sioux and Cheyenne under the leadership of Sitting Bull. It was one of the Indian’s last armed efforts to preserve their traditional way of life. The site is also home to Custer National Cemetery, where thousands of soldiers who fell in battle are resting in eternity. A visitor center and museum hosts exhibits relating to the battle, Custer, Plains Indian life, weapons and archaeology.
Tension between the United States and the Lakota escalated in 1874, when Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer was ordered to make an exploration of the Black Hills inside the boundary of the Great Sioux Reservation. Custer was to map the area, locate a suitable site for a future military post, and to make note of the natural resources. During the expedition, professional geologists discovered deposits of gold. Word of the discovery of mineral wealth caused an invasion of miners and entrepreneurs to the Black Hills in direct violation of the treaty of 1868. The United States negotiated with the Lakota to purchase the Black Hills, but the offered price was rejected by the Lakota. The climax came in the winter of 1875, when the Commissioner of Indian Affairs issued an ultimatum requiring all Sioux to report to a reservation by January 31, 1876. The deadline came with virtually no response from the Indians, and matters were handed to the military.
The tribes had come together for a variety of reasons. The region containing the Powder, Rosebud, Bighorn, and Yellowstone rivers was a productive hunting ground. The tribes regularly gathered in large numbers during early summer to celebrate their annual sun dance ceremony. This ceremony had occurred about two weeks earlier near present-day Lame Deer, Montana. During the ceremony, Sitting Bull received a vision of soldiers falling upside down into his village. He prophesized there soon would be a great victory for his people.
Our Lady of the Rockies sits atop the Continental Divide, 3,500 feet above Butte, Montana. Her serene gaze has looked out over Butte since December 1985 – a testament to the hard work of the volunteers who created her. At 90-feet tall, she is the second largest statue in the United States after the Statue of Liberty. She is a tribute to women everywhere, especially mothers.
The idea for her first came to a local man whose wife was seriously ill with cancer; he had promised the Virgin Mary that he would build a statue in honor of her if his wife recovered. When his wife did recover, the man fulfilled his promise – with the help of many members of his community.
People from all over the world contribute to keep her lit at night, and in so doing they create a memorial to someone they love. Even folks who are not religious have a hard time not being touched in her presence.
Discover the inspiring true story behind Our Lady of the Rockies.
Long know as the "Richest Hill on Earth," Butte, Montana produced more mineral wealth than any other mining district in the world up to the middle of the 20th century. This extraordinary phenomenon emerged at the height of the Industrial Revolution, when the mining community became the most concentrated area of industrial machines on earth. To date, over $48 billion of gold, copper and silver have been unearthed from this hill.
The city's gold rush past is evident in its vintage signs, historic buildings and numerous trolleys and tours devoted to the memory of mining days.
Today, the only remaining active mine in Butte is the Continental Pit, operated by Montana Resources LLP.
The Berkeley Pit is a former open pit copper mine in Butte, Montana. Approximately 320 million tons of ore and over 700 million tons of waste rock were mined from the Butte Hill.
Today, the Pit is filling with highly contaminated water, and managed as a federal Superfund environmental cleanup site.
Butte has an estimated population of 33,854
Sleep in an authentic sheepherder's wagon and say hello to the animals! At Serenity Sheep Farm Stay, visitors can experience life on a working homestead with the beautiful mountains surrounding you and the stars above you.
Watch the sheep graze in the pasture, listen to the many sounds of birds, deer and other wildlife that call this place home. And in the morning, try your hand at milking goats, collecting chicken eggs and taking in the beauty of Big Sky Country.
Inside the sheepherder's wagon.