Glacier National Park Trivia

Did you know…

…The bald eagles seen on the western side of the park began showing up in 1916 when koanee salmon were introduced in nearby Flathead Lake.

…a snow field shaped like the continent of South America appears on the slope of Mt. Altyn at Many Glacier Hotel every year.

…after Many Glacier Hotel employees worked diligently through the night fighting the wind-driven inferno of the Heaven’s Peak fire of 1936 and wired the Great Northern Railway management that they had saved the company’s hotel, the return telegram said: WHY?

…Glacier National Park’s hotels were closed due to wartime austerity measures between 1943 and 1945.

…the light-colored limestone and dolomite of the Altyn Formation rocks along the Going-to-the-Sun highway show ripple marks and fossil algae from the warm seas of their birth.

…in 1900, there was a mining boom town named Altyn in Swiftcurrent Valley a few miles from the present day site of Many Glacier Hotel where copper, oil, gold and other minerals lured developers to what many thought would become a great mining center.

…the ice of Grinnell Glacier moves 30 to 50 feet a year.

…the rain and snow melt from Triple Divide Peak flows away from the park in three directions ending up in the Atlantic, Pacific and Hudson’s Bay.

…at 10,438 feet, Mt. Cleveland is the highest peak in the park.

…the monument where U.S. Highway 2 and the BNSF mainline go over Marias Pass attributing the discovery of the route through the mountains to John F. Stevens stems from Great Northern Railway mythology rather than fact–Native Americans as well as explorers had been using the pass for years.

…while Libby Smith Collins, the Cattle Queen of Montana, did come to the mountains of present-day Glacier National Park in search of copper in the 1890s, the “Cattle Queen of Montana” movie staring Barbara Stanwyck and Ronald Reagan has little to do with her life.

…while the Japanese lanterns hanging in Many Glacier, a Swiss Style Hotel, had little to do with the time, place or ambiance, the Great Northern Railway hung them there in 1915 to help advertise its steamship traffic between the U.S. and Japan.

…the glaciers in the park will probably have finished melting away by 2030.

…Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) men logged off 5,000 acres of Glacier’s forests in the 1930s for use as fence posts and telephone poles.

…The park’s restored fleet of 1930s White Motor Company convertible tour buses will not run on either gasoline or propane.

…this year is the 100th birthday of the park.

TSScover2014–Malcolm R. Campbell, author of “The Sun Singer,” a novel set in Glacier National Park.


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