Glacier National Park is one of the most popular hiking parks in the nation because of its eye-popping overlooks and photogenic resident mountain goats.
Do you think this photo looks like it was taken on the slopes of the Swiss Alps? Think again. Montana's picturesque Glacier National Park includes parts of two mountain ranges, more than 130 named lakes, more than 20 active glaciers, 1,000 different species of plants and hundreds of species of animals and counting.
Part of a pristine ecosystem called the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, this national park encompasses 16,000 square miles of protected land—ranging from prairie to tundra—and for good reason. Glacier is home to large mammals and apex predators such as grizzly bear, moose and mountain goat, as well as rare or endangered species like wolverine and Canadian lynx. Hundreds of species of birds, more than a dozen fish species and a few reptile and amphibian species have been documented in bioregistries.
Video: Watch baby mountain goats playing at Glacier National Park!
Video: finleyholiday, YouTube
The towering, often snow-capped, mountains of Glacier began to form 170 million years ago when ancient rocks were forced eastward up and over much younger rock strata. The sedimentary rocks found here are considered to have some of the finest fossilized examples of early life found anywhere on Earth.
Photo: jankgo, flickr
The Wilderness Society's work in this region is focused on protecting the most deserving wild places for the future while restoring forests that have been degraded and are susceptible to climate change. Glacier National Park represents one of the best opportunities in the nation to keep big blocks of wild country connected and healthy.
For more than a decade, we have been leading efforts to protect the Crown of the Continent region by partnering with ranchers, outfitters, loggers, sportsmen, scientists and outdoor enthusiasts to build lasting solutions for clean water, healthy wildlife and a better quality of life.
Photo: Canadian lynx, Eric Kilby, flickr