Glacier National Park

One of the first national parks in Canada, Glacier was established in 1886 just after the Canadian transcontinental railway was completed through the Rogers Pass. Glacier National Park is home to the Rogers Pass National Historic Site and Discovery Centre. The route through this pass was vital for the completion of the railway.

The park is named for its many glaciers, including the “Great” or Illecillewaet Glacier. 12% of the park is permanent ice and snow.

Not the Rocky Mountains
Glacier National Park is not actually in the Rocky Mountains but in the Columbia Mountains which are comprised of the Purcell, Selkirk, Cariboo and Monashee ranges. The Columbia Mountains are geologically and climatically distinct from the Rockies. The region has three different life zones determined by elevation.

The lowest zone, Rainforest, is a unique interior rainforest characterized by dense vegetation and large trees such as Western Red Cedar and Western Hemlock, as well as ferns and mosses. The middle zone, Snowforest, is characterized by Subalpine Fir, Mountain Hemlock and Spruce. The highest zone, No Forest, is above the treeline and provides habitat for much of the area’s wildlife.

Glacier National Park is home to grizzly and black bears, mountain goats, white-tailed ptarmigans, hoary marmots, golden-mantled ground squirrel, pika and mountain caribou. The mountain caribou is a unique ecotype related to the woodland caribou found throughout boreal Canada. Unfortunately, the mountain caribou is considered to be endangered.

Trails in the park include the Abandoned Rails Trail with hiking along an abandoned rail grade, Loop Brook Trail with stone pillar ruins that once carried railway track across the valley, Hemlock Grove Boardwalk Trail through an old growth stand of Hemlock, and Rockgarden Trail through grizzly and black bear habitat with viewpoints overlooking the glaciers and mountain barrier of Rogers Pass.

For backcountry hikers there are campsites available and four huts which can be reserved. There are also 80 rustic campsites accessible by car.

Where It’s At
Glacier National Park is approximately 80 km/60 miles east of Three Valley Gap.

*All facilities are a division of Three Valley Lake Chateau Ltd.