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Experience: Glacier

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June 2011

A Bucket List Must:
Glacier and Beyond

If you crave mountain vistas, thrive on fresh air (and huckleberry French toast), and prefer your ecosystems wild and intact, point your hiking boots towards the Crown of the Continent. Surrounding Glacier National Park and reaching into Canada, the Crown region is a straight-out-of-National-Geographic land of rugged peaks, endless prairies, mountain towns and quiet forests begging to be explored by foot, horseback, raft, bike or station wagon.
The Crown's Majestic Landscape and Culture
In the Crown, excuses to get outside (way outside) abound. Load up on trail mix at Heaven's Peak Organics in Eureka and head to the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. Grab a milk shake at Norm's News in Kalispell before hiking Lone Pine State Park. Go deep into the wild in the biodeverse Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and lace up at the Jewel Basin Hiking Area. Take a Sun Tour of Glacier National Park and see it from the Blackfeet perspective. Stop in Pablo at The People's Center for Native Ed-Ventures based on the Salish, Pend d'Oreille and Kootenai tribes.
Here we go and more stuff etc ›
DID YOU KNOW? Beargrass blooms only once every seven years. See a photo of this beautiful flower on Flickr. LOCAL SCOOP Glacier's quintessential, gasp-worthy hike: The Garden Wall.
Montana's Beauty Queen - Glacier National Park
The heart of the Crown, Glacier National Park is a beauty queen from every angle: winding up the unreal Going-to-the-Sun Road, hiking the taste-of-everything Highline Trail, or boating across placid Lake McDonald. Goats clamor, grizzlies hide (mostly), beargrass blooms, and glaciers like Grinnell Glacier persevere. From tiny, off-the-grid Polebridge, float the North Fork, sneak in the scenic way to Bowman Lake, and marvel at the clear night sky.
EXPERIENCE GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
Back to Civilization (or not...)
With all the outdoor allure, it's easy to forget the Crown's more refined offerings. Here, you can arrive via train, catch theatre season and galleries in Bigfork and Whitefish, and stay in historic lodges like the Izaak Walton Inn. Then again, sometimes forgetting civilization is part of the charm. Take East Glacier, for instance. The backpacker cabins behind Serrano's Mexican Restaurant, the huckleberry-stuffed French toast at the down-home Whistle Stop Cafe, and the dramatic backdrop of mountains meeting prairies helps keep things comfortably rustic.
FIND PLACES TO STAY IN THE CROWN

If you need at least one photo from your summer showcasing you backdropped by jagged peaks, munching on wild huckleberries, pointing your binoculars towards a baby mountain goat and manning a cataraft down a wild river filled with catch-and-release opportunities ...then the Crown of the Continent has your photo op ready. (If you just need a shot of you and fresh huckleberry pie, we've got that covered, too.)

READY TO PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE?

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