It is regarded as The Crown of the Continent.
“Wander here a whole summer, if you can. Thousands of God’s wild blessings will search you and soak you as if you were a sponge, and the big days will go uncounted…
Here – at the border of Montana and Canada – glacier-carved, snow-capped mountains of the Lewis and Livingston Ranges stand tall on the horizon, casting shadows over 1 million acres of the protected wilderness of Glacier National Park.
Inside its boundary exists what many consider to be among the most beautiful mountain regions of the world, as well as an estimated 130 sapphire lakes and a completely intact ecosystem of more than 1,000 species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals.
…find yourself in the midst of what you are sure to say is the best care-killing scenery on the continent – beautiful lakes derived straight from glaciers, lofty mountains steeped in lovely nemophila-blue skies and clad with forests and glaciers, mossy ferny waterfalls in their hollows, nameless and numberless, and meadowy gardens abounding in the best of everything …
Find yourself at Glacier National Park with Backcountry Journeys, and find yourself in the midst of ‘America’s Switzerland,’ ready to create images with both your camera and your mind, that will last the rest of your life.
Glacier National Park has almost all its original native plant and animal species. Large mammals such as Grizzly bear, moose, and mountain goat, as well as rare or endangered species like wolverines and Canadian lynx, inhabit the park. Hundreds of species of birds, more than a dozen fish species, and a few reptiles and amphibian species have been documented. The park has numerous ecosystems ranging from prairie to tundra.
The mountains of Glacier National Park began forming 170 million years ago when ancient rocks were forced eastward up and over much younger rock strata. These sedimentary rocks are considered to have some of the finest examples of early life fossils on Earth.
The current shapes of the Lewis and Livingston mountain ranges and the positioning and size of the lakes show the telltale evidence of massive glacial action, which carved U-shaped valleys and left behind moraines that impounded water, creating lakes.
Of the estimated 150 glaciers in existence in 1910, when Glacier was set aside as a National Park, only 25 active glaciers remain (as of 2010).
One way to see up close the best features of the Park, is by driving the famous ‘Going-To-The-Sun Road,’ so that is exactly what we’ll do. The road is a 50+ mile scenic mountain traverse that spans the width of the Park between the east and west entrance stations, reaching its highest elevation of over 6,500 feet while crossing the Continental Divide. The road was one of the first National Park Service projects specifically intended to accommodate the automobile-borne tourist when it broke ground in 1921 and is the first road to have been registered as a National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark, and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Sidenote: You may remember this road, combined with the backdrop of Saint Mary Lake, were featured in the opening sequence of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining.’ We’ll post up at sunrise to shoot this lake, probably one of the most photogenic lakes in the world.
Lake McDonald, which is the largest lake in Glacier National Park, is approximately 10 miles long and over a mile wide, and 472 feet deep. It lies on the west side of the Continental Divide at an elevation of 3,153 feet, and we’ll plan to visit this lake for sunrise, as well.
Glacier National Park is a visual cornucopia and one of the most surreal and colorful places on the planet. It’s stunning peaks, roaring waterfalls, brilliant night skies, and summer storms allow for virtually endless photographic possibilities.