Glacier National Park

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images glacier nationalHere is a plug for the National Parks in America.  We are so gifted with an abundance of scenic parks and, in my opinion, Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the very finest.  We wandered the backcountry trails and were treated to a pallet of natural beauty.  Everything from snow-capped mountain peaks, alpine lakes, and broad fields full of wildflowers.  The bear-grass flower is unique.  Mountainsides are covered in fields of pale yellow flowers that grow on top of a stalk that reaches waist-high, so that a person may walk in a field of flowers and hold their arms out to skim the tops of the flower heads.  It is magical.  At the top of triple divide pass, a hiker may walk a short distance and gaze down into 3 different valley systems. As the hiker climbs up from the valley floor, they can encounter new spring flowers bursting forth at the edge of the snow line as it melts and retreats.  Spring is eternal, since it is entirely possible to find it just a little higher up the mountainside at the edge of the melting snow.

There is an abundance of wildlife to enjoy.  Shaggy white mountain goats, high up on the slopes, elk, mule deer and the amusing marmots in the fields and in every pass.  Yes, there are Grizzly bears and they can be dangerous.  A hiker needs to approach back-country hiking with an abundance of common-sense and respect.  I have had many bear-encounters through the years, but never had a real problem.  The rewards are well worth the risks, but it pays to be aware, sensible and cautious.  The streams and lakes are full of trout.  It is worth the weight to carry a small spinning rod or fly-fishing reel.  The scenery is spectacular and the catch is delicious.

If a person decides to go, you should plan to go soon.  According to many of the people who study the climate,  Glacier National may lose its glaciers in the next few years.  If you don’t believe all this “science non-sense” then I suppose there is no particular hurry.  In either event, the area holds an abundance of natural wonders to enjoy.


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