Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The supreme glory of the Glacier National Park

"The supreme glory of the Glacier National Park is its lakes. The world has none to surpass, perhaps few to equal them. Some are valley gems grown to the water's edge with forests. Some are cradled among precipices. Some float ice-fields in midsummer.

From the continental divide seven principal valleys drop precipitously upon the east, twelve sweep down the longer western slopes. Each valley holds between its feet its greater lake to which are tributary many smaller lakes of astonishing wildness.

On the east side St. Mary Lake is destined to world-wide celebrity, but so also is Lake McDonald on the west side. These are the largest in the park.

But some, perhaps many, of the smaller lakes are candidates for beauty's highest honors. Of these Lake McDermott with its minaretted peaks stands first—perhaps because best known, for here is one of the finest hotels in any national park and a luxurious camp.

Upper Two Medicine Lake is another east-side candidate widely known because of its accessibility, while far to the north the Belly River Valley, difficult to reach and seldom seen, holds lakes, fed by eighteen glaciers, which will compare with Switzerland's noblest.

The west-side valleys north of McDonald constitute a little-known wilderness of the earth's choicest scenery, destined to future appreciation."

-- From the National Parks Portfolio brochure from 1916.

One of the grandest of all the lakes in Glacier National Park is Cracker Lake in the Many Glacier area:

For suggestions on some of the other top lake hikes in Glacier, please click here.

Hiking in Glacier.com

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