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Hiking (or Flying?) in Glacier National Park

hiking, national parks
An unnamed hiker gets some air at Glacier National Park. The park encompasses more than 1 million acres of forests, alpine meadows, lakes, rugged peaks and valleys carved by glaciers. (Image credit: Mike Mamrosh, National Park Service )

Glacier National Park has 700 miles of trails. Not everyone stays on them. The park, in Montana, has some of the most remote country in the United States. But that doesn’t mean nobody ever sees it. About 2 million visitors a year come to the park.

There are multiple ways to see the park. There’s a tour bus, a boat cruise, ranger-guided walks, and horseback trips. And there are 13 fairly accessible campgrounds (in the frontcountry, as opposed to the backcountry). The main attractions are, of course, the glaciers and the valleys they carved upon receding since the last ice age.

Glacier National Park is inhabited by elk, several wolf packs, one of the largest remaining grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states, and snow-white mountain goats.

Humans have lived in what are now the park’s boundaries going back 10,000 years. When Europeans arrived, the region was inhabited by Blackfeet, Salish and Kootenai tribes. More recently, nearly three dozen Hollywood films have been set in Glacier National Park.

Live Science Staff
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