At Glacier National Park, visitors can experience Glacier's pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. The Park can relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, transportation, and stories of Native Americans.
Glacier National Park is located in the U.S. state of Montana, south from the Canadian borders of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km2) and includes parts of two mountain ranges (sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains), over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants and hundreds of species of animals. This vast pristine ecosystem is the centerpiece of what has been referred to as the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem", a region of protected land encompassing 16,000 square miles.
Many day hikes can be taken in the park. Back-country camping is allowed at campsites along the trails. A permit is required and can be obtained from certain visitor centers or arranged for in advance. Much of Glacier's back country is usually inaccessible to hikers until early June due to accumulated snow pack and avalanche risk, and many trails at higher altitudes remain snow packed until July. Campgrounds that allow vehicle access are found throughout the park, most of which are near one of the larger lakes. The campgrounds at St. Mary and at Apgar are open year round, but conditions are primitive in the off-season, as the restroom facilities are closed and there is no running water. All campgrounds with vehicle access are usually open from mid-June until mid-September.