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By Guest Bloggers /

I have been fascinated by and respectful of the native animal life of the Rocky Mountains my entire life.  My family went camping in Yellowstone National Park every summer while I was growing up and I came to love and observe everything I could of wild creatures. I have never tired of visiting and exploring Glacier National Park for these very same reasons.  Glacier is home to many different ecosystems that are teeming with life and diversity. The iconic symbols of Glacier are the mountain goat, the grizzly bear, the moose, all mammals superbly adapted to that spectacular environment that is their home. These noble creatures can be found throughout the vast, mountainous region of the Pacific Northwest, and are commonly seen on many of our Montana Vacations.

A lot of visitors just stepping out of their car or tour bus at Logan Pass (the highest point of the Going-to-the-Sun highway) have been thrilled and awed by the prolific tribe of mountain goats that seem to reside in and around the visitor’s center. Whether it’s hiking vacations into the deep woods, the crystal clear and bone-chilling waters of the streams and lakes, the craggy granite peaks, the high altitude meadows filled with wild flowers, you will see unique habitats that support an incredible variety of animal and insect life.  Bald eagles and osprey are often seen fishing in the lakes and streams. Enormous moose, belly deep in the swampy wetlands, are occasionally observed grazing on succulent water plants, while the shy white-tail and mule deer browse along the edges of the forests and in the meadows alert for any signs of danger.  In the high-country you often hear the shrill squeak of the pica or the whistle of the yellow-bellied marmots, and with luck, you might even spot a mother bear with cubs, foraging or digging roots on the slopes of the exposed high altitude meadows.  The early summer air is usually sweet, perfumed by flowering plants while in the darker, shadowy forests you’ll catch the smell of damp earth, cedar and spruce.  My favorite sound of all is the melodic pan-pipe trill of the hermit thrush, resident of the dark forests that often gives me the feeling that I’m in a primordial world.  These natural places are magical, and when you stop, watch and listen you will be amazed by the kinds of life that is abuzz around you .  The scenery and wildlife of Glacier are sure to leave a memorable impression on any and all visitors who go there. If you’re an animal lover like I am you really don’t want to miss Glacier National Park!

See you on the trails,

Richard Tooke

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