Glacier National Park

In Montana (Alaska) who is a territorial unit of the United States of America, near the border with Canada is a place that will appreciate lovers of beautiful scenery and wildlife. There is literally everything perfectly – the sky impresses with its expressiveness, plants – saturation of green shades, snow – perfect whiteness. Complete the picture of reservoirs with calm water, which looks more like a mirror surface and the beautiful mountains which are perfectly complete the picture. And another important aspect – it is beautiful and amazing glaciers. Meet with the protagonist of this article – Glacier National Park, which is geographically located near the northern end of the Rocky Mountains. Therefore sedimentary rocks predominate here. Harmoniously complements the picture of a large vegetation. For greater precision, yet it should be noted that in the US there is a large part of the national park, and a small part is located in Canada. The Canadian portion is called Waterton Park. Incorporated the area is best known in the world as a park Waterton-Glacier.

Initially, it would be desirable to pay attention to the climate. For Glacier is characterized by a fairly warm winter, during which the temperature is kept at the level not lower than minus two degrees Celsius. Summer is pretty cool and the average temperature is usually not more than fifteen degrees Celsius. But we should especially mention the fact that this average temperature. In this same area, for that matter, and other similar to it, there is quite a substantial difference when in the mountains is much colder than in the valley. Most dry and pleasant months to visit – it’s April, May and June. On the contrary, the greatest amount of precipitation falls in the autumn – in September and October. However, it should be noted that to circumvent all this, it is necessary to spend a considerable amount of time. Did not even one full tourist season. After all, only one “official” routes are stretching for 1,127 kilometers.

On the manifold Glacier affected by the fact that the amplitude of elevation here is 2,100 meters. Here you can observe not only the variety of microclimates, and even full-fledged climate – and it’s in the same area. So, on the western part of the national park, which is strongly influenced by the Pacific Ocean, has a mild and humid climate. To the east is more typical are sharp temperature changes. How? Here you can bring a small but representative data: on the night of the twenty-third to the twenty-fourth in January 1916 is 24 hours, the temperature changed by 56 degrees Celsius, falling from +7 to -49. Important in the overall picture is the air and water. Another significant advantage enjoyed by Glacier, is the excellent quality of the necessary conditions for human existence. Since the surrounding area there are no large settlements, and almost no factories, there is nice and easy to breathe. The water quality is rated as A-1, which is the highest level of quality on the territory of Montana. True to drink it all the same to be careful, and after a few paragraphs, we will talk with you, why it is so.

The area of ​​Glacier National Park, a little more than four thousand square kilometers. To be more precise – the 4101. This is 410 100 hectares of land! There are mountain ranges and hundreds of small and large lakes, waterfalls, numerous meadows and glaciers that were formed many centuries and millennia ago. That’s such a variety in a relatively small area. Now Glacier inhabit many animals and birds. But people here have appeared relatively recently – about ten thousand years ago. The first settlers here were representatives of Indian tribes. The original inhabitants are considered representatives of the Native American tribes of the Crow, Blackfeet, Assiniboine, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Gros Ventre. Europeans arrived here only at the beginning of the nineteenth century (the first was Clark expedition and Lewis). In 1807 we built a fort here, Manuel, whose main task was to serve as a point of trade with the Indians. Already in 1811, due to hostility on the part of the Blackfeet fort turned their activities. But the heyday was yet to come. Over time, deposits of gold found here (in 1858), and almost uninhabited area quickly became a populous and lively area. Fortunately, there were enthusiasts who were able to refract the course of history and saved the territory from Glacier its transformation into the territory of the fur trade and gold-bearing veins.

In 1910 this area received the status of a national park. At about the same time and started flourishing tourism. Appropriate infrastructure appeared fairly quickly and at the moment there are about 300 facilities. Fully familiar with this site can only be starting in May and ending September. A stay here can be at other times of the year, but then there are quite significant and severe restrictions. Glacier attracts a significant number of supporters of ecotourism. The greatest interest here are the glaciers, because the trend of extinction due to the ongoing changes in the climate. So, at the moment it can be estimated roughly three dozen glaciers. It may seem that it is very good – but relatively recent nineteenth century there were one hundred and fifty! The very same name of the park can be translated as “Glacier”. The most massive glaciers enough to significantly affect the formation of the local scenery. Well, you should take the current process of extinction as a fact, because the researchers of this place as one assert that melting at a given time is not reversible and stop it is not possible. According to some estimates, the last glacier melt is already in the 2020-2030 years. Although it is possible that some will remain in place – in fact cool the surrounding water masses has not been canceled.

Glaciers and also contributed to the creation of modern forms of terrain. What we see now, Nature started to create about 12 thousand years ago. Silent witnesses of those times are the cars, troughs, and other pre-glacial lakes forming. By the way, due to a number of features that are occasionally cold, it warms. Who runs “warm” part of the cycle. The last cooling (also called small ice age) was here about 1550 and 1850. Then it was a characteristic increase in the area of ​​glaciers. Given the existing negative trends, with 1980 glaciers began systematically studied. This process continues until now. The end result of glacial retreat completely predict quite difficult. But there is every reason to believe that in the ecosystem of Glacier affected animals and plants, which are in strong dependence on the cold water. In addition, the river and the stream will become deficient and lowered the groundwater level. And to top it off – increase the risk of forest fires, which have devastating consequences – continue their scale will be mentioned.

Explore Glacier can be both on foot and on transport. The most popular and at the same time covering a route of “Road to the Sun” slowness of eighty kilometers. It starts with the bottom of the national park, and ends at a height of two kilometers above sea level. His final point — Continental Pass. Although it is a relatively short journey, but it allows you to see a lot of exciting species on each of them bothered creator named Nature. On this route, you can move around and by car. But the best, most magical and stunning views can be seen only with hiking trails. The Glacier Route and water route transportation. When traveling by boat, you can see the glaciers in detail, each of which has its own unique color and pattern. If you are lucky, you can see and hear from the coastal ice massif block of ice break away. At the same time they make a loud noise, which can be confused with a powerful shot and fell with a splash into the water. The truth is too close to the ice are not suitable because of the extremely high risk. This disadvantage is more than offset excursions on light aircraft and helicopters.

For visitors’ convenience offered considerable choice among numerous facilities. So, here in the scenic spots built tourist complexes, which include hotels, restaurants, cafes and recreational areas. On the biggest Lake McDonald in Glacier is titled one of the oldest representatives of this kind of buildings. And in the general architecture of the stand so that it complements the beauty of the surrounding countryside, speaking a delightful addition. Quite amusing architecture and complex, which is located near the eastern shore of Swiftcurrent Lake. But still, admiring the architectural delights, there are few who spends time. Most people come here to enjoy hiking, horseback riding, water and air walk and ride on the tour bus on the magical places of the national park and enjoy the magnificent views, which can be reached only by using the four-horse. The main thing that attracts many tourists from all over the world — it’s magnificent views. It follows from this and a regular feature — the farther from the crowds of places you’re ready to go, the less crowded it will be possible and will enjoy the beauty of these places in peace and quiet. In this case, you should be prepared to travel long distances.

The diversity of the place is evident in almost everything, even in the height. Thus, in the Glacier there are many lowlands, there is a hill a thousand meters and the mountain peaks, the height of which exceeds three thousand meters. Interest provide limestone cliffs and waterfalls available here. To say exactly how many there are lakes do not undertake, but probably their number is not less than seven hundred, though their own names only in 131 of them. This place has become a kind of Mecca for numerous photographers who want to capture in photographs the local beauty. All in all, enjoy the local beauty attracts about two million people a year. Visit this place and for active recreation like fishing. True if the free movement of need to be careful, because there are found quite dangerous grizzly bears.

By the way, about the local people of the world of flora and fauna almost nothing has been told, and this is a big omission that needs to be remedied. At this point in the park found 1132 species of plants. They serve as a biological basis for the existence of three species of reptiles, 6 species of amphibians, 260 species of birds and 62 species of mammals x. In addition to these water resources Glacier inhabits 23 species of fish. Also grizzly bears mentioned above can be found here and more American black bear, mountain goats, Canadian lynx, moose, bighorn, wolverines and many other species. Their existence can not be called completely unproblematic — Human activity such a scale is still not very positive impact on their lives. Problems are added and various unforeseen and unfortunate events. So, in 2003, we were very strong forest fires, resulting in affected almost 13.5% of the total fleet. Yet it can not be perceived unambiguously bad. Now the majority of forest fires are considered to be something definitely bad for the protected areas, but it’s a moot point. So, if the wood is not burned, it accumulates a lot of decaying and dead trees. When burned as fast “exempt” minerals necessary for the development of many plants and thus animals. Therefore widely used practice of fire management: those involved in the creation of which man is completely eliminated. If a fire broke out due to natural causes, it is analyzed and corrective actions depend on its size and irrespective of the degree of danger they pose to buildings and people. This process attracts and residents of adjacent areas. So, fallen and dead trees are trying to quickly remove from the vicinity of human dwellings, and the buildings themselves are trying to do as much as possible fireproof. There is also a warning system, which promptly notify park visitors and local residents about the fire hazards arising. In an average year are fixed around 14 fires, which burn out during the twenty square kilometers of forest. For comparison – in the fire mentioned earlier in 2003, burned 550 square kilometers of territory.

Now let’s talk about the internal water resources. The longest, largest and deepest is the previously mentioned Lake McDonald. Small lakes may be found, usually in the cupped recessed area that formed due glacial activity. They are not always the same color. The largest in this regard highlighted Avalanche and Cracker. Their feature is the presence of an opaque turquoise water. Why do all that? This effect originated by glacial deposits. It should be noted that a warm swim in some water did not get as cold lakes Glacier — their temperature near the surface in a rare day will exceed 10 degrees Celsius. To honor the lakes should notice and amazingly clear water. It is true because of a significant lack of microscopic organic liquid filtration in contact with it in the pollutant is very slow. Speaking of inland water resources can not be ignored and waterfalls. In total there are about 200, but in dry weather, many of them dry up. Height of the highest waterfall is 150 meters.

Sedimentary rocks from which the area of ​​the park is formed, completed its formation some 800 million years ago. Although the first harbingers of this development appeared twice before — about 1.6 billion years ago. Then there was a shallow sea and rocks themselves were located to the west of 80 kilometers, than now. This shift occurred during the formation of the Rocky Mountains — about 170 million years ago. One of the most beautiful and expressive evidence of such processes is an isolated peak, which is known as the Mountain Chief. It rises above the Great Plains at 800 meters above sea level. Overall, the area has more than 6 Glacier peaks whose height exceeds 3000 meters. National Park represents the greatest value for geologists due to the fact that there is an extremely well preserved fossils that allow qualitatively to study the Earth’s history. There are 6 types of stromatolites, which roughly 1 billion years — is the most valuable find!

Wow, how much material has already been written! And more left to tell you about the local flora and fauna. First, start with the vegetation. Since the time when the first Europeans arrived here, almost all plants (and animals) were lucky to survive and survive. In total there are 1132 species of plants. On the territory of the Glacier can be found and coniferous and deciduous forests. Among the first are the most common spruce, fir, pine and larch. From deciduous forests you can find many poplars and aspens. Due to the fact that the west falls more precipitation and winter there is much milder than in the east, the forest is thick and the trees — above. In the highlands, you can even find areas of mountain tundra, where you can find relatively few herbaceous plant species that can survive in almost year-round presence of snow (well, it is here the first nine months of the year). Of the variety of vegetation there are 30 endemic species. Grow them either exclusively in the Glacier, or in adjacent to the national park forests. The forest in this area can be divided into several conditional areas, each of which is dominated by certain species of trees. So, in the north-west and west, you’ll find most fir and spruce. But in the southwest of the most frequent representatives of vegetation are hemlock and Thuja giant. In the east, the forest is a mixture of pine, spruce and fir. Worse things have vegetation are with píne with white bark. At the moment, about 30% of this species have died because of the influence of fungus-parasite. The remaining trees are infected and also, alas, die slowly. All attempts to cure the fungus failed. And the existence of these trees depends on the opportunity to live here American nutcrackers and protein. Therefore, we can assume that in the near future, the species diversity of the area can be significantly reduced.

Followed at the beginning of the article mentioned that the park is considered a symbol of goat snow. But, it is better to make up for this omission a little late than to forget about it. In general, a variety of animals here in the last few centuries almost unchanged (except that vanished bison and woodland caribou). Due to the fact that it is almost untouched ecological system, it is of great interest to biologists studying animals in question. However, it should be noted that two more species are threatened with extinction – a Canadian lynx and grizzly. But everything is relative. Here, for example, the number of grizzlies hovering around 300 representatives. Potentially, this is not enough. But the fact that this is their normal historical strength in this territory! Despite this, they are still considered to be endangered. Although they are considered quite dangerous creatures, only one or two attacks on people is fixed in a year, and since the establishment of Glacier was recorded only ten deaths from grizzly paws. Yet, even though the statistics and shows a picture of a pretty secure, it should still be careful. In addition to the previously mentioned animals live here more white-tailed and mule deer, coyotes, wolves and even cougars. Among the smaller inhabitants of the national park are common badgers, Canadian otters, porcupines, mink, marten, martes pennanti, bats and many other animals — only 62 species of mammals.

Since there is enough cold climate, is in the territory of Glacier can only find three species of reptiles. Two of them belong to the garden Adders and another – a subspecies of the western painted turtle. Also because of the cold here, as mentioned earlier, only 6 amphibians. True to fish a variety of low temperatures do not affect. The most common here is the pike, whitefish, grayling, salmon and sockeye Clark. There is truth and endangered species, which, if they are caught while fishing, you need to let go. These include, for example, we can mention big-char. And finally, I want to mention about some of the 260 species of birds. Here live such famous predators like the golden eagle, peregrine falcon, bald eagles and even a few species of falcons. Some lakes and rivers can be seen harlequin duck, great blue heron, Canada goose, tundra swan and American wigeon. When deepening in the forests can be found crested black woodpecker, great horned owl, the North American nutcracker, American waxwing Blackheads and the blue jay. And if you climb up into the mountains, then you will see more and mountain finches, and white-tailed ptarmigan. However, the number of bird species is also changing with the times. Most significantly decreased the number of North American nutcracker because they nest on the píne with white bark, which, as we know, kills fungi, parasites. Oh, that I told you, my dear readers that this is also an amazingly beautiful and exquisite, magical place. I hope that you will be able to enjoy not only this, but also a variety of other such beautiful places. And on this I want to thank you for your attention and say goodbye until the next meeting.

 

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