Traveling east to west, Going-to-the-Sun Road is a 50 mile-long scenic drive through the park. The road, which was opened in 1933 with all the major structures finished in 1937, has received several distinctive honors, including being registered as a National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark, and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
The road is famous, too, having appeared in the opening credits of the classic horror film The Shining, and having received several distinctive honors, including being registered as a National Historic Landmark, a National Historic Place and a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The road crosses the Continental Divide via Logan’s Pass, which can accumulate up to 80 feet of snow in the winter.
Although the park receives an average annual snowfall of around 138 inches, Glacier has a long history of wildfires. The park recorded 64 fires in 1936 and experienced a severe fire season in 2003 when 13 percent of the park’s land burned.
Located along Waterton Lake, Goat Haunt is considered the center of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Visitors wishing to cross the border into either country need to present their ID before receiving a mountain goat-shaped stamp in their passports. According to an article I found on MentalFloss.com
According to this article on AmtrakVacations.com Glacier National Park is home to 26 glaciers, down from approximately 150 in 1850. That number is expected to continue its rapid decline as climate changes shrink their size, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Of the existing glaciers, the largest is Harrison Glacier, at 1.6 million square meters.
There are a whopping 762 lakes in Glacier National Park, 131 of which are named. The largest lake in the park is Lake McDonald, at 9.4 miles long, 1.5 miles wide and 464 feet deep. While Lake McDonald isn’t considered a prime fishing lake, visitors flock to catch a sight of the many wild animals that live along its shore, including moose, black bears and mule deer. The park is also home to 2,865 miles of streams, the longest of which is Upper McDonald Creek at 25.8 miles.
There are a total of 175 mountains in Glacier National Park, the tallest of which is Mt. Cleveland at 10,448 feet. Logan Pass, the highest point on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, located along the Continental Divide, comes in at 6,646 feet.
The largest glacier in the park is called Blackfoot Glacier; it measures approximately 18 square kilometers (7 square miles) and is so large it can be seen for kilometers. – JustFunFacts.com
I found this cool fact on OutdoorPhotography.com – Between 1910 and 1913, the Great Northern Railway built nine chalets. Visitors would travel by horseback from one chalet to another in order to see the park, which took several weeks to accomplish. In 1915, the average visitor spent over a month in the park.
Glacier National Park lodging includes approximately 78 campgrounds with more than 1200 different sites. They are separated into classes. 13 are class A or B campgrounds. The remaining are considered backcountry.
Glacier is the second leg of our National Park road trip! Next up is Banff National Park in Canada.