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Glacier National Park Celebrates 100th Anniversary This Year

Friday, July 30, 2010 @ 08:07 AM Karen Hood

Glacier National Park, located in northwestern Montana, became the nation’s tenth national park on May 11, 1910 and celebrates its Centennial this year.

Often referred to as the “Crown of the Continent”, Glacier National Park boasts over 1,000,000 acres of land, over 130 lakes, 25 active glaciers, and over a thousand types of plant and animal species. It is located along the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountain range in northwestern Montana, with a small portion spanning into southwestern Alberta, Canada.

The park is open every day and provides year-round opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife watchers to hike, camp, backpack, horseback ride, fish, cross-country ski, and participate in numerous educational and enriching wilderness experiences.

Glacier National Park’s Centennial Celebration

There is a bundle of activities going on almost daily to celebrate Glacier’s 100th year as a national park. According to the Centennial’s website, where a full calendar of events can be found, their mission is to “CELEBRATE the rich history of preservation, INSPIRE personal connections and partnerships through the commemoration, and ENGAGE future park stewards.” Their long-term goal is to raise three million dollars over the next five years for legacy projects and endowments to preserve the park and its history.

Through the work of more than 70 volunteers, the park is able to present the public with a wide variety of programs this year, such as the Glacier Centennial Film Festival, “The Art of Preservation” centennial art exhibition, poetry readings, a lecture series, interpretive programs, and special hiking and backpacking trips to the park’s various summits. Most of these events will run through the summer into early October and are located throughout the park and in nearby Montana towns and cities.

About the “Crown of the Continent”

Glacier National Park is home to real glaciers that were formed in the last Ice Age over 12,000 years ago. Many of them have disappeared or are shrinking rapidly, but about 25 glaciers can still be seen throughout the park.

Visitors to the park will witness an otherwise pristine wilderness that is home to grizzly bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, black bear, mountain lions, a variety of birds, and beautiful plant life, lakes, and streams. Taking a drive along Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 52-mile road that cuts across the park and provides breathtaking views of the mountains on the Continental Divide, is a main attraction. Other possibilities for day trips include going on a ranger-led walk, taking a boat tour, or hiking one of the 700 miles of hiking trails.

The park has numerous cabins and campsites that can be rented, some with access to toilets and running water. A permit may be needed to camp or participate in certain other outdoor activities, such as fishing.

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