OUR NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: Glacier National Park


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Published: June 8th 2018
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I first visited Glacier Park in 1969 after graduating from Dental School and before my activation to active duty with the U.S. Army Dental corps. It was part of an extensive road trip from San Francisco to Alaska via the Alcan Highway and back utilizing the Alaskan Ferry system. Glacier Park was one of the highlights of my trip. The views from the Going-to-the-Sun Road through the Rocky Mountains were spectacular. I look forward to revisiting this park again.

Lake McDonald is Glacier National Park's biggest lake; ten miles long and 472 feet deep, filling a basin gouged out by Ice Age glaciers. This long fjord-like lake is surrounded by mountains on the north, south, and east with the Continental Divide, 14 miles away. The mountains provide a spectacular backdrop for the lake and also act as a rain block. Much of the blocked precipitation ends up falling on the McDonald valley. The result is a mild, damp climate. Stands of western red cedar and hemlock flourish in the valley of Lake McDonald. The wildlife-viewing here can be spectacular, with species including bighorn sheep, mountain goat, elk, black bear, and whitetail and mule deer.


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