Pacific Northwest - Day 8 - Glacier National Park - Snyder Lake, Going-to-the-Sun Road
Glacier National Park Travel Blog› entry 968 of 1090 › view all entries
Glacier National Park is a unique park. Not only because of it landscapes, flora, and fauna. But also because it is more or less an international park. It stretches out from north Montana to the US-Canadian Border, where it continues as the Canadian Waterton Lakes National Park.
Glacier National Park was founded in 1910. In size it slightly bigger than Olympic National Park. It consists of many mountains, lakes, and, of course, glaciers. A sad thing, however, is that the glaciers are disappearing rapidly. It is expected that all the glaciers in the park will be gone in a few years. In that case one will have to come up with a new name. Since just "National Park" is a bit of a silly name.
The park has two main sections, each section is separated by a steep range of mountains and connected by the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road.
An icon and very remarkable appearance in the park are the Red Jammers. These vintage looking red buses cruise the park bringing guests to and from hiking trails. These buses have been around since the 1930s. They were tested in Yosemite Natl. Park. They are currently used in Glacier and Yellowstone Natl. Parks, as well as the Gettysburg National Battlefield.
Our first activity in the park was the 15-kilometer (9.3 mile) hike to Snyder Lake with an ascent of more than 600 meters (1968 ft). Quite a hike with nice nature and good views on the snow capped peaks. We also learnt about the local flower, the Bear Grass with its distinct cone shaped flowers. And, the highlight of the day, I finally saw a Pika. A cute Guinea Pig like mountain rodent, which I still had to add to my "see-it-live" collection.
Our next stop was the Lake McDonald Lodge one of the ancient and impressive lodges in the park.
The last activity for today was to get at least some feeling of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Although it was closed for cars we could still hike it. So we spent almost two hours and a 7.5-kilometer (4.7-mile) roundtrip on the road, it was only one twentieth part of the road, but it still gave us nice views on the river alongside the road and the high peaks surrounding it. And yes, I have to go back to drive it....
More pictures below!