Glacier National Park (Canada)

The Glacier National Park (English Glacier National Park of Canada, French Parc national du Canada des Glaciers ) is one of seven national parks in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The park is located about 18 kilometers east of Mount Revelstoke National Park and is 1349 km ², which he is also the largest National Park in the province. The Glacier National Park is located mostly in the Selkirk Mountains and to a lesser extent in the Purcell Mountains, two mountain ranges of the Columbia Mountains. About 50 % of the park area is above the tree line of 2000 meters, twelve percent of the park are open year covered by ice and glaciers. In the park stand up to 17 meters of new snow per year, these amounts of snow are among the most productive in the world and feed the over 400 glaciers. Right through the park leads the Trans - Canada Highway through Rogers Pass, which is protected because of its importance in the construction of the first transcontinental railway and the Trans-Canada highways as a National Historic Site of Canada.


The park is located mainly in the Selkirk Mountains, a mountain range of the Columbia Mountains. The mountains began to unfold before 175 million years, making it older than the east adjacent Rocky Mountains. Part of the mountains consisted of sediments that have been pressure to slate and quartzite and now form the craggy peaks of Sir Donald, Mount Rogers, of Mount Tupper and other mountains in the park. The resulting by the mountain folding fracture lines formed deep valleys. The Beaver River in the eastern half of the Park Selkirk Mountains separates from the Purcell Mountains. Highest mountain in the park is the 3390 meter high Mount Dawson. Located in Balu Valley in 1904 discovered Nakimu Cave, a cave system that has been researched at 5900 meters in length and one of the largest in Canada. The cave is located in a limestone layer and formed by rain and melt water of the Cougar Brook, which disappears in the caves.


From the Pacific pull mild, precipitation -rich air masses over the parking area where the rainfall rain down in the summer as torrential rain and bring heavy snowfall in winter. The amounts of snow are among the highest in the world, with the westerly winds in winter also lead to relatively moderate temperatures.

Flora and Fauna

The harsh climate, the large amounts of snow and steep mountain slopes allow for a closed vegetation cover only in the lower valley areas. In the lowest parking zones is growing, due to the high rainfall, the only rain forest in the temperate inland. The forest consists of giant trees of life, Weymouthkiefern and West American hemlock with a dense understory of hedgehog force Wurzen and ferns. The deeply incised valleys in the interior of the park are densely forested with Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir. The Engelmann spruce in the valley of the Beaver River are up to 1000 years old. The forests are greatly interrupted by avalanche dashes, where lush flowers blooming meadow in spring and summer. Above the tree line from 2000 meters there is no closed vegetation more, but only alpine plants such as saxifrage -like. Most areas from this height made ​​of rock and glaciers. The park management is one of 54 species of mammals and 183 bird species within the park. In the forests of the park black bears, grizzly bears and wolverines live. In the valley of Beaver River Beavers and muskrats are found, here also is a small Elk herd to find. At higher elevations, woodland caribou live in the rocky area live about 300 mountain goats, marmots and hoary to Pikas and birds such as ptarmigan and Rose abdominal Rosy Finch.

Tourist Facilities

The visitor center of the park is located at the Rogers Pass. In the vicinity of the pass lies the one kilometer in length Abandoned Rails Trail, to which one can look at the old railway facilities and avalanche. Several paths lead to viewpoints on glaciers or railway facilities from the highway. The park has three campgrounds with more than 90 spaces, the Glacier Park Lodge at Rogers Pass is open all year. The park is crossed ten trails that were mostly invested at the beginning of the 20th century by rock climbers. The American Alpine Club is one of the park to the famous classical climbing regions of North America with rock and ice climbing routes for all abilities.


The Glacier National Park was established in 1886 simultaneously with the eastern Yoho National Park. The Canadian Pacific Railway had just completed the first transcontinental connection that was for the young nation Canada is of enormous importance. The mountains along the railway promised enormous potential for tourism, so that parts of it were asked as a national park protection. Built to power the train passengers, the railway company the Glacier House, but not only accommodation and a restaurant offered but soon was a popular destination for tourists. So the park is the birthplace of the sport climbing in North America, as of 1888, British mountaineer William Spotswood Green and Henry Swanzy took the first climbing routes in the park. 1899 Swiss guides were recruited, the paths to viewpoints docked and gave the guests at the Glacier House Climbing School.

1904 saw the hunter and prospector Charles German man near the Clacier House a cave, which he called Nakimu Cave. The name comes from the Shuswap language and means Murr end spirits, because in the cave constantly hear the sound of flowing water. German man sold his rights to the cave in 1909 to the State and was hired as a guard and guide. He was the first official leader in a Canadian national park. The cave was opened up to a length of over 100 meters by bridges and walkways and used by tourists until the 1920s, but with the closure of the nearby Glacier House was the interest after. In 1935, the cave to the public was completely closed. The entrance to the cave is located in a high-traffic area of grizzly bears, the scale of German Mann bridges and stairs have been removed.

The steep for trains pass and increase the avalanche danger, which led to several accidents, persuaded the railway company for the construction of the eight -kilometer-long Connaught Tunnel, which runs along under the Rogers Pass and was completed in 1916. 1925 Glacier House was closed, and the tourist use of the park was heavily after.

The completion of the Trans-Canada highways in 1962 made ​​the park a destination for car tourists. The park administration laid out picnic areas, campgrounds and other tourist facilities. 1971 Rogers Pass National Historic Site was declared to so include the three campgrounds at Rogers Pass of the few places in Canada where camping is allowed in a National Historic Site. Since 1986, the park is supported by a Friends of the Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier. The association is simultaneously Foundation for the Mount Revelstoke National Park. The club operates a book and souvenir shop at the Rogers Pass.