Cut the controversy. The conclusion isn’t in doubt. Global warming is a given. Among the casualties are glaciers. Still, while the ice may be receding, the folks who run Glacier National Park have no intention of changing the name.
Named for the massive movements of ice that carved and molded this rugged Montana landscape, Glacier National Park is still magnificent, a magnet for anyone who appreciates unmitigated, immutable beauty.
Two places in the park are must-sees:
Many Glacier is considered the heart of the park. Magnificent mountains, abundant hiking trails, lots of lakes and extraordinary wildlife render these reaches of the park close to perfect. Catch the ice while you can. Scientists predict all of it will be gone by 2020, and that will affect animal habitats throughout the area. That makes the Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake trails must-hikes. You can hike for a week up here, taking a different trail each day, and still not come close to seeing it all.
Lake McDonald Valley is the epicenter of the action on the west end of Glacier National Park. Once, it was the site for the majestic mountains of ice that scoured this region. Now—still very much ringed with mountains—it’s home to a range of wildlife, and some of the most sublime scenery in the park. If you’re in search of a place to stay, you’d do well to consider Lake McDonald Lodge.
Yeah, the glaciers may be fading fast, but the mystic ambiance of Glacier National Park isn’t.
Story by Jerry Chandler