A Nation's Crown -- Glacier National Park

Staff Writer

Glacier National Park is located in which state?

Montana is home to the park. It sprawls more than 1 million acres.

In what year was the area established as a national park?

The park was established on May 11, 1910. Since then, it's become one of America's most popular attractions.

How many mountains are there in the park?

There are about 175 mountains in Glacier National Park. They are a popular destination for hikers and climbers who enjoy backcounty areas.

The park does NOT extend into which Canadian province?

The park doesn't cross into Saskatchewan. But there is a Glacier National Park in British Columbia

Which animal is the official symbol for Glacier National Park?

Mountain goats are everywhere in the park -- scaling the cliffs, hanging out in parking lots or standing in the middle of roads. They are the official animals of the park.

In the mid-1800s, the park had about how many active glaciers?

In the mid-1800s, there were about 150 glaciers slowly grinding through the park. Due to a warming climate, the number of glaciers has dropped dramatically in recent years.

How many active glaciers currently exist within the park?

There were about 150 glaciers in the middle of the 19th century. Now there are only 25, meaning that Glacier may at some point require a name change.

If current climate warming continues, scientists say the park's glaciers could completely disappear by which year?

The rate of climate warming has a profound effect on glaciers in the park. They could be just a memory as soon as 2030.

Which group of Native Americans was essentially forced to give up their traditional lands as the federal government made way for the park?

The Blackfeet dominated the area when Europeans arrived. The tribes gave up many parts of the land when they signed a treaty with the U.S. in the 1890s.

About how many people visit Glacier National Park each year?

In 2014, about 2.3 million people visited the park. That means of more than 400 national parks, Glacier was among the top 10 most visited.

Glacier National Park was named the world's first International Peace Park.

In 1932, between World War I and World War II, the U.S. and Canada named the area as the world's first International Peace Park. As such, the park isn't divided at the border -- instead, it's one massive park controlled by both countries.

You need a passport to cross between countries at the Peace Park visitor center.

It may be a Peace Park, but you still need proper paperwork to go back and forth between borders. Those who do get a fun mountain goat stamp for their passports.

What's the name of the iconic (and supremely scenic) road that winds through the park and crosses the Continental Divide?

Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most famous roads in America, with stunning views all along its many twists and turns. It has many important distinctions, including National Historic Place.

In what year was Going-to-the-Sun Road completed?

Construction began in 1931 and was completed in 1932. It was a phenomenal work of engineering to complete the 50-mile stretch through remote and unforgiving territory.

Which person first led the push to create a national park in the area?

George Bird Grinnell explored the area in in 1885 and then set about looking for ways to create a national park. It took 25 years, but his dream was finally realized.

Which U.S. president created Glacier National Park?

William Howard Taft signed the legislation that made the park official. His signature provided new protections for the area intended to preserve its landscape and animal species.

In the spring, about how long does it take for work crews to clear Going-to-the-Sun Road for vehicular travel?

On average, it takes even heavily-equipped crews more than two months to clear the road of drifts that may be dozens of feet deep. Heavy snows often damage roads during winter, necessitating constant repair work.

How many different species of mammals are there in the park?

Researchers have documented 71 species of mammals in the park. The park's huge size and preservation have helped mammals thrive within its boundaries.

Which railroad company was instrumental in developing the area for tourist access?

The Great Northern Railway built railroads to haul in tens of thousands of visitors. But the company also built roads and hotels to fuel local tourism.

About how many visitors die each year during trips to Glacier?

Roughly 2.6 people die each year in Glacier. Poor decision-making and inexperience often contribute to fatalities, as people fall from cliffs or drown in icy rivers.

Glacier National Park is often called what?

Due to its beauty and location at the northern border of America, Glacier is often called the Crown of the Continent. In a country filled with parks, this one is considered royalty of sorts.

Which of the following native animals is no longer found in the park?

Most of the park's original species still roam the area, thanks to its remoteness and vastness. But two have disappeared -- the caribou and bison.

What color are the famous buses that haul tourists through the park?

The bright red Jammer buses have been in use since the 1930s. They were introduced to help reduce vehicle congestion along the narrow, winding roads.

When they were purchased in the 1930s, how much did the red tour buses cost?

The large buses were about $5,000 back in the 1930s. If you look closely at the front grills of the buses you can still see the area where the crank starters used to be located.

When the buses were rebuilt in 2001, they were converted to run on what type of fuel?

The aging buses were updated with modern chassis and the engines were upgraded, too. They now run on propane, which is much cleaner than gasoline or diesel fuel.

The park's peaks send water into how many different oceans?

Glacier's enormity means that its watershed flows many directions. It sends water to the Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean and perhaps most surprisingly, the Atlantic Ocean.

Since the park opened in 1910, how many people have been killed by bears?

There are a lot of bears (and people) in the park, but there are only about one or two bear attacks per year. Only 10 people have been killed by bears in the park's history.

Who was the park's first superintendent?

William Logan was the park's first superintendent. He served only a year, from 1911 to 1912.

Mt. Cleveland is the tallest mountain in the park. How tall is this peak?

Glacier's mountains aren't as tall as many others in the country. Mt. Cleveland tops out at about 10,500 feet.

In 2003, wildfires ravaged the park. About how much of the park's land burned?

In 2003, about 13% of the park burned due to massive fires. As the climate continues to warm, wildfires could become a bigger and bigger challenge for park managers.

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About This Quiz

Nothing beats a hike in Glacier National Park. Take this quiz and test your knowledge about this beautiful place.

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