Unlike Yellowstone National Park, as I remember it, the entrance to Glacier was quiet and unassuming. I forgot my National Park senior pass so had to purchase another one. No worries; I can spend 10 bucks to see one of the most spectacular landscapes in the country.
Heading up Going to the Sun Road a sign warned: No Center Stripe on Road. And above the sign I could see the road cantilevered around a shear cliff with a 2-foot, stone guardrail. Carol, very acrophobic, would hate this, I thought. By now she should be used to it given that I have tortured her on these types of roads in several places in the world. I must admit that looking over that 2 foot wall into space at 20 mph from my high and open perch on Boxxer gave me the heebie-jeebies for a moment.
Going to the Sun Road is a spectacular, 50 mile paved road spanning Glacier National Park and crossing the western continental divide. It was completed in 1932 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Glacial lakes, alpine tundra, melting glaciers, cedar forests, wolves, mountain goats and grizzly bears–the views from this road are in your face (see if you can find the family of 3 mountain goats in one of the photos). Glacier is the place for wilderness hikers. Except for this one road, the hikers have millions of acres of wild landscape to themselves. Hiking, biking, or driving, it is a must see place; plan on it.
But you had better get here quick if you want to see glaciers. Interpretive signs in the Visitor’s Centers say the glaciers will be gone by 2020 due to climate change (will they need to rename the park?). Already gone are vast tracts of spruce and fir forests killed by the bark beetles and other types of pestilence (last photo). That’s what an average increase of 1.5 degrees did to this ecosystem. The projected 5 degree increase in a few decades could be scary.