39 facts about one of the most popular national parks in America


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If you’re stuck at home but are yearning for adventure, look no further than Glacier National Park. You don’t need to visit this park in person to appreciate it.

Keep scrolling to see more of this park’s natural beauty and learn about its history.

Image Credit: Ershov_Maks / istockphoto.

1. It’s in Montana and Canada

The park is actually international, with the border between the United States and Canada running through it.

Image Credit: Alisha Bube / istockphoto.

2. Glacier National Park is 1,583 square miles in size

Image Credit: kellyvandellen / istockphoto.

3. It’s home to Montana’s state flower

You can find lovely fields of bitterroot in Glacier National Park during wildflower season.

Image Credit: Grant Bowling / istockphoto.

4. It has 700 miles of hiking trails

Visitors relish the park’s 700 miles of hiking trails.

Image Credit: TheBigMK / istockphoto.

5. You can see sunbeams here

If you’re lucky, you may spot sunbeams over Avalanche Creek, as pictured here.

Image Credit: Jeffrey Ross / istockphoto.

6. It also has glaciers

On the Canadian side, you can see glacier-carved peaks and valleys.

Image Credit: Different_Brian / istockphoto.

7. It has 700 lakes

You can find more than 700 lakes across the park.

Image Credit: Jon Farmer / istockphoto.

8. It’s popular with kayakers and backpackers

The park is a sought-after destination for kayakers and backpackers.

Image Credit: Greg Meland / istockphoto.

9. The park has more than 200 waterfalls

Those waterfalls nclude St. Mary Falls, pictured here.

Image Credit: Willard / istockphoto.

10. Not all the falls have names

While St. Marys and other popular destinations are named, there are two unnamed falls on the way to St. Marys alone.

Image Credit: kellyvandellen / istockphoto.

11. It’s home to Grinnell Point, Many Glacier Hotel and Swiftcurrent Lake

Grinnell Point looms over Swiftcurrent Lake behind Many Glacier Hotel, another popular destination inside the park.

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12. It’s also home to Hidden Lake

Hidden Lake, pictured below from Bearhat Mountain, is another popular scenic stop for park visitors.

Image Credit: JPDworld / istockphoto.

13. It has a Swiss Chalet

Like other popular hiking destinations, the park has a Swiss Chalet that visotirs can enjoy.

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14. You can kayak in Kintla Lake

Kintla Lake is one of the park’s most visited stops for kayakers.

Image Credit: mlharing / istockphoto.

15. There’s a lot of wide-open spaces

Glacier County, where the park is located, is more than 3,000 square miles in size, but just 13,732 people call Glacier County their full-time home.

Image Credit: benkrut / istockphoto.

16. Going-to-the-Sun Road is one road people don’t avoid

That’s because it’s absolutely beautiful and was designed to blend into its mountain setting.

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17. Many Glacier is on the park’s east side

On the east side of the park, Many Glacier sees many visitors for its own scenic views.

Image Credit: NASAPhotog / istockphoto.

18. More than 3 million visitors per year

In 2019, the park welcomed more than 3.05 million visitors.

Image Credit: Jeffrey Ross / istockphoto.

19. It only had about 1.7 million in 2020

Because of the pandemic, only 1,698,864 were able to visit the park in 2020.

Image Credit: Jeffrey Ross / istockphoto.

20. It has rams. Lots and lots of rams

You can find many Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram in the park’s forests.

Image Credit: Dan Martin / istockphoto.

21. There are also grizzly bears

Grizzly bears also forage through the forests.

Image Credit: Gus Noah / istockphoto.

22. Glacier County is also known as “Backbone of the World”

Glacier County has two well-known nicknames: Blackfeet and the “Backbone of the World.”

Image Credit: Teacherdad48 / istockphoto.

23. The Hidden Lake Overlook is a popular stop

You can see the park from the air from The Hidden Lake Overlook.

Image Credit: bennymarty /istockphoto.

24. It’s the world’s first international peace park

The park was created to celebrate peace between the United States and Canada.

Image Credit: Yobro10 / istockphoto.

25. It’s the country’s 10th national park

Glacier National Park became a national park in 1910 when President Taft declared it a national park on May 11.

Image Credit: Alisha Bube / istockphoto.

26. You’ll likely spot a pika when you visit IRL

This close relative of the rabbit is plentiful in the park, with an estimated 1,800 to 3,600 living there.

Image Credit: mlharing / istockphoto.

27. It’s bigger than Rhode Island

The park has over a million acres of “glacier-carved peaks and valleys, pristine turquoise lakes and streams, and dense ancient forests,” according to the Department of the Interior. Poor Rhode Island has just 988,832.

Image Credit: RhondaSuka / istockphoto.

28. It has beautiful wildflowers

The park is also home to many different wildflower varieties.

Image Credit: kellyvandellen / istockphoto.

29. Many mountain goats call the park home

You’ll see them everywhere.

Image Credit: Bkamprath / istockphoto.

30. The Canadian side is called Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park came into existence in 1932.

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31. The two parks work together in emergencies

Both the Canadian and American sides of the park have agreed to work together to preserve wildlife and respond to emergency situations, such as fires or flooding.

Image Credit: Jon Farmer / istockphoto.

32. It’s near the “Continental Divide”

The Continental Divide runs through the close-by Rocky Mountains.

Image Credit: Brian Miller / istockphoto.

33. Because of that, it has extreme weather

Pacific and Arctic air meet at the Divide, which can create extreme weather conditions.

Image Credit: Ershov_Maks / istockphoto.

34. Nearby Browning, Montana, saw a one-day temp drop of 100 degrees

In just 24 hours back in January, 1916, the temperature in this small town dropped

from 44 °F to -56 °F. This is not only the U.S. record for the greatest temperature drop in 24 hours, it’s also the world record.

Image Credit: Greg Meland / istockphoto.

35. Buffalo roam many parts of the park

Both sides of the park have recently undergone collaborative efforts to bring bufallo to both the Candian and American sides of the park.

Image Credit: scgerding / istockphoto.

36. Going-to-the-Sun Road splits the park in half

Going-to-the-Sun Road separates the eastern and western halves of the park.

Image Credit: Bkamprath / istockphoto.

37. The road also crosses the Continental Divide

You can cross the Continental Divide through Logan Pass.

Image Credit: Dean_Fikar /istockphoto.

38. Going-to-the-Sun Road is 50 miles long

You can see about 50 miles of the park’s beauty on this road.

Image Credit: Jon Farmer / istockphoto.

39. Humans have lived in the park area for 12,000 years

The mountains still hold spiritual significance for the local Blackfeet, Salish, and Kootenai Tribes.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: Bkamprath / istockphoto.

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Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.