Today we are headed off to the Glacier National Park located in the northwest corner of Montana just south of the Canadian border. Established in 1910 this one million acre park was carved out by receding glaciers which left behind breathtaking scenery including lakes and valley's among the mountains.
We started our tour at the Lake McDonald Lodge where our group boarded three of these Red Bus "Jammers" since vehicles over 21 feet in length are prohibited from driving on the road.
One of the highlights of Glacier is the 52 mile long Going-To-The-Sun Road which bisects the park and crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass.
A view of Heavens Peak, elevation 8,987 feet. Despite all the snow on Heavens Peak, there is no glacier.
These historic red busses "Jammers" were built in the 1930s for the park and have a Ohio connection. They were built by the White Motor Company in Cleveland. 500 busses were built for various western parks, but most of the other parks did not restore their busses and were retired from service in the 50s. Glacier however did completely restore their fleet in 1989 and are still in service today.
They call them "jammers" because when they were first used, they had standard transmissions and the residents could hear the drivers "jammin" the gears up and down the mountains.
This pretty waterfall is located along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and cascades down to and under the highway and continues falling down the mountainside.
Mount Oberlin is on the left and Cannon Mountain on the right.
The Garden Wall.
The sharp spire to the right is Bishops Cap, Mount Gould in the center,
With a name like Glacier National Park, one would think you would see Glaciers all over the park. The truth is 150 years ago there were 150 glaciers in Glacier National Park. Today there are only 25 left. Most of them are tucked away on the north faces of peaks and gradually disappearing. It is assumed in another 10-15 years the park could be glacier free.
The little patch of snow peeking out from behind the Garden Wall is Gem Glacier, the smallest named Glacier in the park.
Another view of Heavens Peak from a higher elevation.
Mount Clements and the alpine meadows at Logan Pass.
As we leave the park we pass by McDonald Lake again......
And the last of the beautiful Montana ranches and countryside.
We keep heading north and crossed the border into Canada around 4:00pm. The scenery just doesn't stop.
It's just incredibly beautiful and this is just the beginning of the Canadian Rockies.
The Aspen Lodge in Banff is our home for the night.
Next: The Canadian Rockies