Exploring the History of Glacier National Park Montana

Named the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem” Glacier National Park in Montana is a well-preserved national park. It features over 1 million acres of active glaciers, glacial lakes, alpine meadows, untouched forests, and exceptional wildlife. With over two million people visiting Glacier Park each year, there is so much to experience and learn.

Here are some basic facts and information about the history of Glacier National Park.


10th National Park in the US

Glacier Park was officially established in 1910 as America’s tenth National Park, right after Colorado’s Mesa Verde in 1906 and before Colorado’s Rocky Mountain in 1915.

A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

In 1976 the Park received its designation as a World Biosphere Reserve, which distinguishes it as having a healthy relationship between people and nature.

Where is Glacier National Park?

The Park is located in the northwestern part of Montana bordering with the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.

Building the Going-to-the-Sun Road

Named after the Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, the famous two-lane “Going-to-the-Sun” Road takes Park visitors up to Logan Pass and over the Continental Divide. Going-to-the-Sun road was officially completed in 1932 under the direction of National Park Service Director Stephen Mather. At the time it was one of the first National Park projects to facilitate the use of automobiles inside a National Park. Today it is still one of the hardest roads to plow every spring. Historically, it can often take up to ten weeks to clear the road despite using high-powered equipment that can move 4,000 tons of snow each hour.

The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

An historic event took place in 1932. Glacier National Park joined with Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park (established earlier in 1895) to become the world’s first ever International Peace Park. Today, Canada and the United States work together to protect the natural habitat within these two national parks.

Park Webcams

There are several webcams located throughout the Park to help you explore the area from your own home before going there, as well as to check out current weather conditions. Visit nsp.gov to see popular webcam locations in Glacier Park including:

  • Many Glacier
  • Apgar Lookout
  • Lake McDonald
  • Two Medicine
  • Park Headquarters
  • Goat Haunt
  • And more

Glacier National Park Weather

The Park has a history of extreme weather conditions that can change quickly mainly because it straddles the Continental Divide (where water drains either to the east or west oceans, depending on which side of the mountains the rains fall). When warm wet Pacific air moves in from the west and clashes with cold dry Arctic air coming in from the northeast the weather can dramatically change within hours, if not minutes. It is always good to wear several layers of clothing when you travel, hike, and explore Glacier National Park.

Temperatures down near Lake McDonald can vary significantly also, as you drive up along the Going-to-the-Sun Road to the top of Logan Pass. Early each spring the process of removing snow from the Going-to-the-Sun Road begins and the full length of the road often only opens up to vehicles in mid-June. Between June and September average temperature highs at the Park are between 66 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lows are between 39 and 47 degrees.

Visit Glacier Park with Caravan Tours

Caravan Tours’ Canadian Rockies and Glacier Park Tours include a full day exploring Glacier National Park with ride in a historic Red Jammer bus up the Going-to-the-Sun Road and Logan Pass. The tour also includes a visit to Lake Louise Canada.

Glacier Park Testimonials

Here’s what some Caravan guests have said about their Glacier Park tour with Caravan:

“The guide in Glacier National Park was excellent, very knowledgeable and entertaining!”

Ms. J.B., Montgomery, Texas

“My favorite part of the tour was exploring Glacier National Park. Overall, this was an experience to remember and recommend to family and friends. Don’t hesitate to travel with Caravan, it’s a very professional operation!”

Mr. & Mrs. R.G., Galliano, Louisiana

“I really enjoyed the Jammer ride in the Glaciers. This is a tour that we would like to take again.”

Mr. & Mrs. K.S., Tallahassee, Florida

About Caravan Tours

Caravan’s western Canada tours include Glacier National Park and Waterton Park, plus Banff, Lake Louise, the Columbia Icefields, and Jasper National Park.

All Canadian vacation packages are fully guided and all-inclusive. We also offer guide tours throughout the United States and Central America!

To learn more, check out all Glacier Park reviews as well as our travel tips page for this very popular western Canada tour.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) with your specific questions
or to book your next Glacier National Park vacation.