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Glacier NP, Montana
16th Jun 2008
Glacier National Park; driving Montana

I complete the last stretch of the journey up to Glacier National Park, which shared a border with Alberta, Canada.
The park was great, but I was frustrated that the management had not ploughed the road through the park, meaning it was closed.  I happened to be trapped in the half where there were no glaciers, and was annoyed, angry actually, that I had to drive over 2 hours around the edge of the park to be on the correct (Eastern) side of the pass.  I saw some glaciers, but to be honest they could have simply been piles of smooth snow.  Had they been naked they would have been more impressive.
I took a hike up a gorge until snow blocked my path, but this snow had formed a natural bridge (an arch) over the stream.  Adjacent to the stream, in between the snow, were Alpine-like meadows of colourful wildflowers.

After leaving Glacier I drove what I hoped would be a few hours toward Bozeman in the south of Montana, near Yellowstone. The scenery changed incredibly quickly; just an hour from the park I was in the middle of grass prairie, driving long needle-straight roads of gentle hills. There was even the odd silo too. Strangely, despite there being such an abundance of grassland just a tiny fraction was grazed.

The scenery changed towards the centre of the state, as I drove though a rocky pass and passed the aptly-named Castle Rock.  The entire range looked like it had once been the fantasy castle of a long-dead giant king, with castle-like formations, battlements along the edge of the cliffs, and equally-spaced shrubs along the top of the cliff that looked like petrified sentry guards.

As I drove I called to make a booking for the night, but was out of luck with all the I90 corridor towns. In the end my salvation was a shared room in a hotel in West Yellowstone, 90 miles south of Bozeman just a stone's throw from the park.  In the end I had another exhausting 7 hour drive, arriving in the dark.

Next: Yellowstone National Park
Previous: Drive across Washington and Idaho

Diary Photos

Glacier NP, Montana

Glacier district, Montana

Gorge, Glacier NP, Montana

Snow bridge, Glacier NP, Montana

Wildflowers, Glacier NP, Montana

Gorge, Glacier NP, Montana

Prairie, Montana

Prairie, Montana

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