"Walking in the Footsteps of the Grizzly" Top 5 Page for this destination Glacier National Park by richiecdisc

Glacier National Park Travel Guide: 358 reviews and 835 photos

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a study in contrasts. While it does have what is possibly the most scenic drive of any US National Park, its most incredible spots can only be reached on foot. The park does its very best to make these spots accessible, from shuttles to shorten hikes to extremely useful free trail descriptions and sketch maps, but in the end, Glacier National Park is a vast wilderness, one that cannot be tamed. But even in a park noted for grizzlies and even their attacks, people of all walks of life are hitting the trail. Why? This has to be in part due to the rangers that man this rugged park, doling out information, rules, and warnings matter-of-factly, not so much to make them less pertinent but less frightening. We live on this planet with many creatures and as a rule, man has dominated and taken everything for himself. Glacier National Park is that rare glimpse of a world where we share it. The thought of seeing that is enough to make even the wary abandon caution, and march into a world where man is just part of the universe and not the center.

Where have all the glaciers gone?

In a park called Glacier, you might expect to see one every time you turn around but sadly glaciers in the park as with those around the world are steadily shrinking. The Going-to-the-Sun Road offers only a glimpse of a few but you can hike to a couple of fairly impressive ones complete with glacial pools with floating icebergs, something extremely rare at this latitude. Grizzlies, however, are on the rise with the largest population in the Lower 48. It would not be unreasonable perhaps to rename it Grizzly National Park once all the glaciers have totally disappeared, predicted by the year 2030. Or perhaps more poignantly, Where Glaciers Once Flowed National Park.

a very special place

Glacier National Park is a vast area and with limited time, one can only hope to scratch its surface. I was here for three days in 1994, camping on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and doing hikes strictly from there. To be fair, the hikes in the Many Glacier area were closed due to bear activity at the time.

I returned in 2008 to show the park to my wife and camped in the Many Glacier area, finally getting to to some of the hikes there, amongst the best day hikes in the park. We also explored Two Medicine. We did not see much of the west side of the park aside from Lake McDonald and its historic hotel. We did get into the park's interior with two multi-day backpacking trips. These were by far the highlight of our time in this very special place. They were not easy trips, nor necessarily relaxing times, but it did give us a real sense of sharing this wilderness with the creatures who call it home.

  • Last visit to Glacier National Park: Sep 2008
  • Intro Updated Dec 10, 2009
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Reviews (47)

Comments (12)

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Good transportation tips for starting further research.

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    This looks like a real gem of the NP, Richie!! Hiking with the bears was a great Sunday morning reading ;) Worth getting up early for such beautiful pictures!! Hanging the food is a great idea, and haha, I had to laugh about the underwear chewing dear ;)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Very interesting tips on the Park rules for dealing with bears! Stunning photos of both the scenery and abundant wildlife! I enjoyed hiking with you since Sue & I did not manage many ourselves!! A beautiful page Richie.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2010 at 5:59 AM

    Wonderful photos & very comprehensive tips. Excellent guide - one I will come back to when I fulfill my ambition of adding Glacier to our tally of US Nat Parks. And it seems I must do so soon if I'm not to miss seeing the glaciers themselves - how sad.

  • Sharrie's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    Yep, you're right on this. You photography skill has improved :-) I love that opening shot. Such majesty! Ahem, I've no desire to meet up with a bear either, that makes 2 of us, bear and me, I mean. I don't even want to see it in the stock market!!! ;-)

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2009 at 7:41 AM

    Absolutely wonderful Glacier National Park page. The photos are stunning. I really love the pics of the Grizzly's and the Bighorn Sheep. Well done.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Such lovely photographs! LOL, I guess you could say that deer got a mouthful..ewe! They are quite the curious creatures. My sister use to fish along side the bears, as long as the fish were good they were happy. If not she'd vacate:) Beautiful page!

  • DoreenDe's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2009 at 4:22 PM

    That must be the funniest warnings & dangers tip EVER :) I still see you guys chasing the poor little thing...

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2009 at 5:23 AM

    "Our planet is indeed warming" -- so true! Fantastic photos and texts from this awesome park! I'm glad to hear there is still train service via The Empire Builder and even a free shuttle bus within the park.

  • Gili_S's Profile Photo
    Dec 7, 2009 at 11:12 AM

    What a fantastic place and so much to do and see here, some of your photos are like postcards.

richiecdisc

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