Mountain goat in Logan Pass off the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Located in proximity to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, this waterfall is
fed by the melting snow in summer.
I spotted three glaciers from the Going-to-the-Sun Road. They’re barely distinguishable from snowfields by streaks of gray ice. I was given a better, birds-eye view of them by Jim Kruger, owner of Kruger Helicop-Tours. Seeing the mountains from above provided an even more stunning panorama of nature’s glory. Kruger pointed out landmarks I’d seen from below – and many I hadn’t – as we soared over the mountaintops.
“This is the only way I’ll ever see it,” quipped Kruger, who has participated in numerous rescue and recovery missions, including extracting the bodies of five failed hikers in 1970, documented in the book and film White Death.
The park and surrounding environs are an adventurer’s paradise and nature lover’s haven. Hikers, bikers, skiers, and river rafters course through the park at dizzying velocities. Thrill seekers are charged by the inherent risks. But while it might seem that residents of the wilderness – including grizzly bears, wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions – pose the greatest threat, that’s far from true. Although bear attacks command national headlines, they are rare.
The leading danger in Glacier National Park is water – the fast-moving, ice-cold streams and deep, clear lakes are the most treacherous terrain, with hiking injuries running second. Risk-taking activities are not for the faint of heart, and park rangers implore adventurers to avoid risks that endanger rescuers and incur great expenses.
There are many ways to enjoy relaxing in the heart of nature without these high risk levels. In addition to hiking and biking, visitors can explore the park via unique red convertible “jammers,” free park shuttle vans, or via car, traversing the Going-to-the-Sun Road for about 50 miles.