Monday, October 3, 2016

Glacier National Park Part One, Many Glacier


After my husband and I visited the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument--click here to read that post-- we drove on towards Billings, Montana to spend the night. The next morning we left our hotel early, knowing we had a lot of driving ahead of us as we drove across the state of Montana towards its north western corner to begin our visit to Glacier National Park--called the "Crown of the Continent."  Much of eastern and central Montana consisted of wide open skies and large ranches and farms. Montana's major crops are wheat, barley and hay, and we saw many miles of those crops on our journey. 


(All photos will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)


Finally, after almost a day of driving, we entered the eastern boundary of Glacier National Park, which is the Blackfeet Nation. The Blackfeet are one of the tenth largest tribes in the United States. Blackfeet reservation was founded by treaty in 1855 and consists of 3,000 square miles--twice the size of the national park and larger than the state of Delaware.  On the Blackfeet Country Welcome web site you can read more about the Blackfeet Native Americans, their history, and points of interest on the reservation.  We could see the Rocky Mountains ahead and our anticipation grew, but we also saw heavy clouds growing in the distance and we feared we might have inclement weather of the beginning of our visit to the Many Glacier part of Glacier National Park.


We entered the Many Glacier section of Glacier National Park, which is located on the eastern section of the park, and north, but not connected to the "Going to the Sun Road," which is the major road within Glacier National Park.  Many Glacier is surrounded by the high peaks of the Lewis Range of the Rocky Mountains and numerous hiking trails can be accessed from the area. We knew we arrived too late in the day to venture out on a trail so instead we planned to take a boat ride on Swiftcurrent Lake within the park, and headed towards the Many Glacier Hotel to buy the tickets do this.


Along the road inside the park we passed magnificent mountain peaks...


...of all shapes and colors.


We were on the lookout for wild animals, as this part of Glacier National Park is supposed to be the best area to see them.


I was really hoping to see a grizzly bear, from a distance of course, but unfortunately we did not see any.


We drove around to the end of the road in Many Glacier and back to see the sights, and saw our first glaciers within the park.

Click to enlarge

This placard within the park explains what glaciers are and how they form.  Unfortunately, the changing climate has reduced the numbers of glaciers remaining within Glacier National Park and scientists predict they may all disappear by 2030 if climate conditions continue as they are. That will have a large impact on the entire ecological system in the park


It has been estimated that there were approximately 150 glaciers present in 1850, and most were still present in 1910 when the park was established. In 2010 there were only 25 glaciers larger than 25 acres remaining in Glacier National Park and those remaining are melting at a faster than expected rate.


If you look closely at the photo above you can see the steams of water pouring down from the melting glacier, water that eventually empties into the lakes.


We turned into the Many Glacier Hotel Parking lot and walked over a hill to reach the hotel entrance.  Many Glacier Hotel was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1914-15, and is situated on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake.  It's 215 + rooms are said to be rustic, yet comfortable. This year, extensive renovations were taking place which closed some areas of the hotel, and we could not book a room even though we tried in to well in advance. The only hotel  room we were able to find near the park was in West Glacier, in the historic Belton Chalet.  Glacier National Park broke attendance records this year with 1.5 million visitors--800,000 of which visited in the month of July!


We enjoyed looking at the views around the Many Glacier Hotel, although the sky was dark and threatening.  Beautiful Mount Grinnell loomed high above the lake.


Between the chalet style of the Many Glacier Hotel and the high jagged mountain peaks surrounding it, we felt as if we were visiting Switzerland.  We just wished we had better weather for our visit!


When we passed through the hotel to look at the lake, we decided not to purchase tickets for the boat ride we had previously planned.



It began to thunder, and big drops of rain began to fall.


From the porch of the hotel we watched the  boat sail off with just a few hardy passengers on board.


Since the weather was inclement we decided it would be best to drive west towards the Belton Chalet in West Glacier and have a nice dinner there.



We drove out of the park, passing by Sherburne Lake.


We passed Sherburne Dam and entered the town of Browning in Blackfeet Nation, where we saw the first of many cattle that roam free along the side of the road and the scenic tipi campground.




We passed by a burn scar area in St. Mary.  Lightning started a 12,000 acre fire in the eastern part of Glacier National Park into St. Mary in Blackfeet Nation in August, 2015.



As we drove along the outside of the park, towards West Glacier,  the rain continued to pour.


This was the only way I could take any photos.


When we turned into the town of West Glacier and saw the historic Belton Chalet, where we would be staying for the rest of our visit, we sighed in relief. It had been a very long day.  The rain had finally stopped and, happily, we had beautiful weather for the rest of our trip to Glacier.  We were going to enter the park again tomorrow morning and drive on the "Going to the Sun Road" that traverses the major part of the park. Come back next post to see that exciting drive!




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44 comments:

riitta k said...

Great photos & amazing views! In those sceneries the soul rests.

diane b said...

I had never heard of this National Park so I'm looking forward to you showing me around. Bad luck with the weather on the first day. The Chalet looks Swiss as does the scenery. Just beautiful.

Louise Teger-McKoy said...

Great pictures! Don't know if I'll ever make it there, but It felt like I was there!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Pat! Your photos brought back good memories of my trip to Glacier. The views are beautiful of the mountains and lakes. The scenic drives are stunning. Wonderful collection of photos. Happy Monday, enjoy the new week ahead!

Maggie said...

Hi Pat,
I feel like I've been on a mini vacation with you today, your photographs are wonderful and reminded me of an RV trip the Senior Partner and I took, in the early '90's,to Jasper National Park and the Athabasca glacier which was amazing.
Looking forward to the next leg of the journey soon.
Happy MM!
Maggie

happywonderer.com said...

So beautiful Pat. Love all the scenery you captured.

Linda W. said...

I love the Many Glacier area - visited it twice and hiked to Iceberg lake once. Hope the weather improved for the rest of your visit.

Lorrie said...

Wonderful photos, Pat, of a most beautiful area. The mountains, even with the clouds and rain, stand so tall and majestic. I'd say you made the best choice in carrying on with the drive instead of going out onto the lake.

Lady Fi said...

Wow - what spectacular scenery.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

The scenery is so beautiful! We've never been to Montana but it's on our bucket list. Can't wait to see the next photos of this wonderful trip. Have a great week!

Jeanna said...

You just have to brave the rain when you're traveling, don't you? You got some amazing photos nonetheless. It really is a striking series. 2030 seems just around the corner, what is wrong with all those global warming deniers?

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots from national park. I like those rocky mountains.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Oh wow! Gorgeous scenes. I remember driving the Going to the Sun Highway.It was rugged and beautiful.

Barb said...

All your photos look so quiet and people-free! That landscape is stunning. I haven't visited there in years. A truly scenic gem.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm glad you were able to take photos from your car! That's always a challenge! Beautiful...a fabulous place to visit! Hugs!

carol l mckenna said...

You are blessed to see our beautiful country and thanks for sharing these awesome photos ~ thanks!

Wishing you a Happy Week ~ ^_^

LV said...

Enjoyed this trip through your lens so much. The only way I will ever get to see it.

bettyl-NZ said...

What an amazing part of the country with so much to see! Thanks for the info along with the great photos.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Pat your photos are truly stunning! What a majestic place! I am in awe. We visited Glacier Bay in Alaska and were told the same thing about the melting glaciers. So sad.... We must plan a trip to visit this outstanding area. ♥

NC Sue said...

Marvelous photos.
Thank you so much for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/10/playing-with-photoshop.html

The Furry Gnome said...

One of the places on our bucket list too.

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, I am sorry about the link mix up. It was my fault. We were out of town and arrived home late on Sunday night. I was falling asleep doing my post and copied the wrong link. Sigh. I tried to link you and it did finally link but I swear, I wasn't sure if I did it or you. HA!


Your story and photos of the park are so awesome. It looks very familiar. I think I told you we stayed at the lake Mary entrance to the park. In sounds like you had a wonderful time in spite of the bad weather.

Happy Blue Monday.
Hugs,
Jeanne

Pamela S said...

Beautiful and breath taking as usual! My husband and I are doing a cross country trip next summer from WV to Denver CO. I only hope that we can experience some of the wonderful tings you write about.

Kalantikan said...

These are indeed amazing incredible landscapes! The peaks are so spectacular. Maybe when i go there the title would already be "Formerly Glacier National Park", haha. I've seen a few glaciers also in New Zealand but they are so far from us unlike where you positioned yourself.

podso said...

What grandeur and majesty show in your photos of amazing sights. You are the best tour guide! The hotel will be amazing when the remodeling is completed. What a view!

Mary Cromer said...

I recognize almost everything in your post, oh glorious Glacier...Love, Love, Love it. I wish that we could have gone this past season.

Photo Cache said...

How majestic. This is in the bucket list.

Worth a Thousand Words

jeannettestgermain said...

Wow, you travel everywhere! Love the view of the mountains, even though I see it every day:) Beautiful scenery, Pat.
The chalet at the end reminds me so much of the chalets in Switzerland and many thanks for sharing your trip with SEASONS! Are the Tipis actually used?
Have a great week!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Jeannette

Yes the tipis are actually used at that campground. The website --link is highlighted in my post--says that it will give one a "true Native American experience."

Al said...

Despite the weather your photos are beautiful. This is very high on my list of places to see!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful Glacier park; it has been way too long for us and we certainly didn't stay in either of those fabulous lodges -- we were camping with our 4 kids (so now you know how long ago it was -- practically back in another lifetime)..... But we have driven across other routes in Big Sky country Montana in more recent years -- and so I know exactly what you mean about long days and the miles and miles and miles of .... well, big sky, for sure!

But once you get where you are going the drive is definitely worth it as your gorgeous pictures prove. And now I really wish we could go back -- in our present life! I love how you are making the most of your new life "out West"!

Lea said...

Beautiful! Wonderful! Fantastic!

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

My jaw dropped like three times while scrolling thru your photos. What a place! I see a lot of photos of the Going to the Sun Road but not of the place you are presenting here. Everything looks so pristine. And, I like that you are able to see the glaciers. I didn't know they were visible from the road.

abrianna said...

Beautiful photos. When we were in Denver I was glad of the storm clouds-made my skies more interesting.

Denise inVA said...

Thank you for sharing this amazing place Pat, your photos are fantastic and show how breathtaking the scenery is. I would love to visit one day. I showed your photos to hubby and he said the same thing.

Julie From Superficial Gallery said...

Thanks for thte lovely tour, I felt like I had been there myself! Great shots!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh Pat - You brought back some dear memories of a trip there years and years ago. You and Vinny are having such a great retirement in Colorado. Happy Anniversary to two wonderful people.

SpicingUpIdaho said...

What a lovely trip you had! One year we headed out to Glacier, and found that the snow was still covering the passes, and we didn't get to explore the park at all. It is our hope to one day get back there to visit. I really enjoyed your pictures... and it does seem that mountain weather is always rather moody and rebellious, lol! Enjoyed my visit with you today :)

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for these impressive photos!

Rambling Woods said...

Wow....what a great post and so informative.... thank you for linking into Nature Notes... Michelle

Photo(Geo)grapher said...

Beautiful views! Lovely photos!

Felicia said...

I remember the beauty of this park when we visited briefly for one day. I often wish we had spent more time there but we were on our way home from Canada.

Alexa T said...

Outstanding views of the mountains peaks... so, so gorgeous place to have a travel and see so many amazing aspects. Many thanks for sharing all of these with us!

Splendid Little Stars said...

Your wonderful photos bring back treasured memories of visiting Glacier! Isn't Many Glacier a fabulous hotel?! We tried to book a room in 2011, but couldn't get one because of the renovations. So they're still going on?
From the hotel, we hiked to Grinnell Glacier twice. That hike is in my top 3 all time favorite hikes.