Glacier National Park
Known to native Blackfeet as the Land of Shining Mountains, Glacier Park was homesteaded in the late 19C. Pressure to establish the park began in 1891 with the arrival of the Great Northern Railway; Congress gave its nod in 1910. The railroad built numerous delightful Swiss-style chalets and hotels, five of which still operate.Glacier's rugged mountainscape takes its name not from living glaciers, but from ancient rivers of ice that carved the peaks, finger lakes and U-shaped valleys. The remoteness of the park's 1,584sq mi makes it an ideal home for grizzly bears and mountain goats, bighorn sheep and bugling elk.Western Approaches - Coming from Kalispell, visitors pass through the village of Hungry Horse, named for two lost horses that nearly starved one long-ago winter. Hungry Horse Dam, which impounds a 34mi-long reservoir, offers grand views up the South Fork of the Flathead River, into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Guided tours from a visitor center lead to the massive turbines and generators of the 564ft-high arched concrete dam.Charming West Glacier, a park gateway town, is an outfitting center. Amtrak trains stop at a renovated depot that now houses the nonprofit Glacier Natural History Association. Belton Chalet, built by the Great Northern Railroad in 1910, is restored and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
©T. Steinhardt/Author's Image/Photononstop