Glacier National Park 09.2018

In September I traveled to the Glacier National Park (GNP) in Montana, USA. I have longed to see the majestic beauty of this park. The trip was last minute, and the cloud cover made it a little challenging for pictures, but Mother Nature did not disappoint.

Some of the pictures I have shared show trees left after the Reynolds Fire in July of 2015. This fire burned on the Going-to-the-Sun Road near the East Entrance at St. Mary Falls. The cause of the fire was never determined. Eventually, the fire would engulf 4,850 acres of forest grassland. On August 11, 2018, the Howe-Ridge fire started in the park. It was believed to have started from lightning. I was able to see much of the park as the fire was contained on the West Entrance from Agpar, along Going-to-the-Sun road, past Lake McDonald, as far as Logan Pass. This fire burned over 14,000 acres and lasted almost 2 months. I will go back to GNP to see the part of the park that was closed due to this fire. I also want to see the part of the park that extends into British Columbia, Canada, known as the Waterton Lakes National Park (WLNP). Together, the park extends two countries and is known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (WGIPP). Created in 1932, the WGIPP serves as a commemoration of the peace and goodwill between the two nations. The flora, geology, and animal life were spectacular in late summer.

  • Some of the rocks had a strange ripple pattern and were different colors. This is a sign of how the body of water known as the Belt Sea was covered with clay, silt, and sand for hundreds of millions of years until layer upon layer, the rocks were formed. At 1.6 billion years old, these are some of the best preserved sedimentary rocks in the world.
  • The Rocky Mountains were formed after about 150 million years of tectonic plates colliding until the pressure pushed the mountains upward. We’re talking sections of rock that are 300 miles long, 50 miles wide, and 4 miles thick!
  • About 2 million years ago, when a third of the Earth was covered in ice, the Pleistocene glaciers were formed throughout the landscape. The glaciers that exist today were formed more recently and are much smaller. In 1850 there were an estimated 150 glaciers, but with climate control, there are just 25 remaining. Some scientists estimate that by 2020 there will be no glaciers left. What will this mean for the ecosystem in that area?
  • Finally, as a former tree myself, I was fascinated by how dense the trees are in GNP. Due to the strong winds and cold winters, trees remain dwarfed and grow close together to conserve warmth. The trees have adapted for survival! Most have needles rather than leaves but for those that do have leaves, they have grown a type of fuzzy “hair” on the leaves which helps to reduce moisture loss.

For a few pictures of my recent trip visit


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