This National Park In The Northwest Is Called The 'Crown Of The Continent'

"Far away in northwestern Montana, hidden from view by clustering mountain peaks, lies an unmapped corner — the Crown of the Continent," wrote American explorer George Bird Grinnell over 100 years ago. The natural uncharted treasure he described on his travels is known today as Glacier National Park. By 1910, Grinnell helped establish this national park that is now visited by almost three million people every year.

This park is a miracle that is over two billion years in the making — and it shows. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glacier National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring, unique, and panoramic destinations in the Northwest. With 1 million acres, two mountain ranges, 150 mountain peaks over 8,000 feet, 25 glaciers, 200 waterfalls, 762 lakes, thousands of plant species, hundreds of various types of animals, and a wide range of ecosystems from alpine meadows to serene forests, it's one of the most beautiful places in America.

But what makes this national treasure so special is quite literally melting away. In 1910, it had over 100 glaciers. Now, only 25 meet the criteria of a designated active glacier. Due to environmental changes, the glaciers have shrunk by as much as 80% over the last 50 years. "We do know the park in 2100 will be different than it was in 1900, and to some extent, we can work toward a future we want", the park conceded on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Glacier National Park: Conservation and adventure

Now more than ever, it is crucial to support the conservation efforts of Glacier National Park. Being on the border with Canada, the park is an International Peace Park, allowing the two countries to address resource management and other environmental challenges. Furthermore, its status under the Man and the Biosphere Programme (committing to preserve biodiversity) and its recognition as an International Dark Sky Park (committing to preserve the night sky) underscores its invaluable significance. The Crown of the Continent is the only place in the U.S. that has all these designations. 

For visitors, Glacier National Park has many things to do and see. It boasts 700 miles of hiking trails that lead to mesmerizing valleys, glaciers, and waterfalls, providing endless opportunities for adventure. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most scenic drives in the country, which was even featured in the opening scene of "The Shining" (1980). Engage in ranger-led day hikes and stargazing sessions at Logan's Pass and find your way to the famous Hidden Lake. Enjoy the plentiful opportunities for cycling, camping, mountain climbing, hiking, rafting, and more in relative privacy and serenity.

Glacier National Park receives one million fewer annual visitors than the nearby Yellowstone, thus offering a more private, quiet experience. To see what George Bird Grinnell was writing about, plan your journey to Glacier National Park and witness the magic of the Northwest's natural beauty before it melts away. It will capture your heart and leave you with memories to cherish for years to come. The Crown of the Continent awaits.