Trying to find the next National Park Service site to spend YOUR next vacation at? Stop by and take a look at our “Glacier at a Glance” for a quick over view of the Crown of the Continent, in Montana.
First established in May of 1910, Glacier National Park is known as the “Crown of the Continent”. Exploration into one of the 760+ lakes, 2,860+ miles of streams or any of the area that this 1 million+ acres park encompasses, you are bound to fall in love with Glacier. Many have sought the “rugged peaks, clear waters and glacial carved valleys” as a destination for both education, relaxation and of course….motivation.
For nearly 10,000 years, this spectacular corner of the world has been inhabited by Blackfeet, Salish and Kootenai Indians, not being explored by European visitors until the need for beaver and other pelts had come in high demand. Following the typical path of these Western parks, the trajectory of human inhabitancy starts with Native Americans, flows to trappers, followed by miners for a brief period of time and eventually, those homesteaders looking to stake out a claim of this land of enchantment for themselves and cash in their personal manifest destiny. The completion of the Great Northern Railway in 1891 solidified the draw to Montana by creating a safer and easier way for homesteaders to settle in the area. Much like the other parks established around the same time, Glacier became a park through the persistence of those who love the wilderness; Influential outdoors men such as George Bird Grinnell were integral in Glacier National Park’s welcome into the Park Service family in 1910, becoming the nation’s 10th national park.
Aside from the obvious outdoors-men draw, Glacier National Park is a must for anyone who has a little bit of history nerd in them. Among the 375 historic properties that are scattered throughout Glacier’s 1 Million acres, six are registered as National Historic Landmarks! These historic buildings were chosen by the Secretary of the Interior for their “exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.” These buildings are extremely beneficial in creating a thorough understanding of the park and its importance. Interested in learning even more? Head on over to Glacier National Park’s approximately 600,000 item-archive related to Glacier’s natural and cultural history and research library! If sticking your nose into a book or sifting through archives isn’t your thing, check out the archaeology side of Glacier; a team of archaeologists are constantly, and painstakingly, working to unwrap Glacier’s history and prehistory. Working closely with tribal members, who have called portions of Glacier home for centuries, archaeologists combine first-hand accounts, traditional archaeological techniques and good old fashion digging to help uncover the fascinating, and encompassing history, that is Glacier National Park.