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Tips for a Great Trip to Glacier National Park

The summer months are coming to an end, but it’s still not to late to go out and explore the outdoors. One of the best national parks to explore the outdoors is Glacier National Park. Leafcanoer, searchingforyourzen, recently posted information about their trip to Glacier National Park in their leaf titled, “Jaw Dropping Scenery at Glacier National Park.” If you’re inspired to do your own trip to Glacier National Park, here are six tips to help you have a great trip to the park:

St. Mary

Dress in layers
The weather at Glacier National Park can be extremely fickle. Temperatures on a summer day can go from extremely hot to extremely cold. Additionally, wind and rain is a big part of the climate in the area, so it’s best to be prepared when planning a trip. Even for a day trip, be sure to dress in layers and bring a day pack. When it gets hot, store your layers in your day pack, and when it gets cold, put on those extra layers.

Going to the Sun Road

Let someone know where you’re going
Countless stories have been told of hikers getting lost at Glacier National Park. One of the simplest things you can do before heading out on your trip is to let someone know where you’re going, as well as give them an expected return date. Most smart phones these days have GPS tracking technology, so it wouldn’t be hard to set that up ahead of time with someone you know. But in case you’re in an area where that technology won’t work, it’s good to use the old fashioned method of telling someone where you will be.

Hungry Horse Dam

Plan your route
There are more than 700 miles of trails at Glacier National Park that you can discover and explore. If you only have a limited amount of time, it’s helpful to plan your route ahead of time. On a similar note, with over 150 mountain peaks at the park, elevation can fluctuate dramatically. Pace yourself, and take plenty of breaks so that you don’t get too exhausted too early in your trip.

Logan's Pass

Learn before you go
Part of planning involves doing a bit of research ahead of time. Before your trip to Glacier National Park, learn about some of the flora and fauna that you might see there. The National Park Service website has a page dedicted to Glacier National Park that has a lot of useful information including activities that the park is offering, the history and culture of the park, and facts about the animals and plants that inhabit the park. The NPS website also posts park alerts, so it’s helpful to check the site before your trip to stay up to date with what is going on at the park.

Ram

Stay hydrated and energized
With all the hiking and exploring that you’ll be doing at Glacier National Park, it’s important to stay hydrated, and bring snacks to keep you energized. Dried fruit and nuts are always a staple in every hiker’s snack list, but also consider bringing some fresh fruit. This can be a refreshing treat on a hot day.

Montana rivers

Bring your camera
Glacier National Park has an abundance of breathtaking views, it would be a pity not to be able to share it with others when you get back from your trip. If you can manage it, bring along a camera on your trip. A good DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera can help you capture some of the beauty of the park, but even a phone with a decent camera can suffice, though you won’t get the same quality photo as with a good camera.

Glacier National Park

Hiking in the outdoors is one of the best ways to enjoy the last months of summer. For more ideas of places to enjoy the outdoors, download the Leafcanoe app.

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Back to Nature in the Rockies

When people think of the Rockies, most automatically think of Colorado or Montana. But the region that encompasses the Rocky Mountains actually stretches as far North as Canada, and as far South as New Mexico. The Rocky Mountain region is known for its natural beauty, and is an excellent place to get in touch with the great outdoors.

Leafcanoer, cmlenny, recently shared highlights of a trip to the Rockies in the leaf, “Eastern Idaho/Yellowstone National Park – adventure awaits!” From rivers to sand dunes, geysers to wild animals, the Rockies has no shortage of sights and activities. For those needing a break from everyday life, here are five ways to get back to nature in the Rockies.

Explore the Snake River
The Snake River is considered the largest tributary of the Columbia River, and winds through Wyoming, Idaho, and into Washington state. The river is approximately 1,078 miles long, and forms parts of the historic Oregon Trail. Since the 1890’s, the river has been used to generate hydroelectricity, and is also used to provide water to surrounding farmlands. The Snake River cuts through North America’s deepest river gorge, Hells Canyon. Popular activities to do along the Snake River include fishing, hiking, and boating. The largest white water rapids can also be found along the Snake River, in Idaho.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - Snake River

Visit Mesa Falls
A must-do while exploring the Snake River is a visit to Mesa Falls. There are actually two sets of waterfalls: Upper Mesa Falls and Lower Mesa Falls. These two waterfalls are known to be the last two prominent waterfalls untouched by human control. Upper Mesa Falls stands almost as tall as a 10-story building, and Lower Mesa Falls is not that far behind in height. The views surrounding the falls are breath-taking, and an excellent reminder of the beauty and power of nature. Mesa Falls is located in Eastern Idaho, in the Targhee National Forest.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - Upper Mesa Falls

Camp Out at St. Anthony Sand Dunes
Also in Idaho is St. Anthony sand dunes, which comprises of 11,000 acres of white quartz sand. The dunes are constantly shifting. Some of them reach up to 400 feet high and can move up to 8 feet each year. The sand dunes, located near St. Anthony, Idaho, are a great place to go camping. There are campsites along the east end of the dunes, and also in the south-central portion. Another popular activity to do at St. Anthony Sand Dunes is to go off-roading. Visitors have also explored the sand dunes on horseback.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - St. Anthony Sand Dunes

Observe Animals in their Natural Habitat    
The Rocky Mountains are home to a wide variety of animals. These include elk, moose, mule deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, and coyotes. In Yellowstone National Park, you can also find bison, lynx, mountain lions, and bobcats. The best way time to see animals are in the early mornings and the evening hours, when they are most likely to be feeding. And many visitors opt to camp out in the park, to increase their chances of seeing animals and to be more immersed in nature. However, there are a number of safety considerations to keep in mind when visiting Yellowstone, mainly that since these are wild animals, it’s wise to maintain a safe distance from them to avoid getting injured.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - Bears

Witness Geysers at Yellowstone National Park
Another draw to Yellowstone National Park are the geysers, which are periodically erupting hot springs. The most famous geyser at Yellowstone National Park is Old Faithful, aptly named due to its almost routine eruption every 63 minutes. According to the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park has almost half of the world’s geysers. Besides Old Faithful, there are a number of other geysers throughout the park, each with its own unique feature that is worth visiting.

Back to Nature in the Rockies - Old Faithful

For many of us, everyday life can get tiresome and tedious. But now that it’s summer, it’s the perfect time to visit the Rocky Mountains and witness nature at its best. For more ideas about how to get back to nature in the Rockies, check out the “Eastern Idaho/Yellowstone National Park – adventure awaits!” leaf and more like it by downloading the LeafCanoe app.

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