The spectacle of Glacier National Park is one you will never forget. The iconic glaciers for which it is named are a sight everyone should experience. Glacier National Park is unique, diverse, and inviting, offering activities and experiences for the entire family.
Visiting the Glaciers
At the time the park was established in 1910, most of the original 150 alpine glaciers remained. Due to significant changes in temperature and precipitation, however, there are now only 25 glaciers larger than 25 acres. Scientists predict that some of the park's largest glaciers will be totally gone by 2030.
Having a chance to see these magnificent frozen monuments has now become an historic event that may not be available for generations to come. It is a sobering experience for adults and a lesson in natural history and climate science for the kids.
The Flathead River borders Glacier National Park and provides all levels of adventure for the entire family. Scenic rafting trips are offered by a variety of local outfitters and are generally safe for most children. (You'll need to check with the individual rafting companies for specific age requirements.)
For teenagers who may be bored floating on a raft with Mom and Dad, most outfitters also offer inflatable ducky rentals that allow the older kids to float on their own a short distance from the raft.
More adventurous families might want to choose white-water rafting or overnight river trips, which are also available from many local outfitters.
For those who have never experienced the thrill of fly fishing, Glacier National Park is a great place to get your feet wet. Local outfitters can provide everything you need, from your fishing license to an assortment of flies. Private instruction is also available and highly recommended for beginners. Even if you don't actually land a fish, the experience is one you'll never forget. Buy the kids a couple of inexpensive flies to take home, and they'll be all set for Show and Tell.
Glacier National Park is home to both black bears and grizzlies. Although seeing one is not guaranteed, it is a somewhat common experience. For many, just knowing they are there and waiting to be spotted by the observant vacationer is enough to get your adrenaline pumping.
The best way to see a bear is from a safe distance, but you might not always have that luxury. So before heading out on the trail, know what to do in case of a bear encounter.
Family vacations in Glacier National Park provide opportunities to do and experience things unique to the park itself. It's a great way to participate in and be a part of history before the glaciers disappear forever.
- Glacier National Park