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Glacier National Park, BC
Canada's Second Oldest National Park
Encompassing over 1,300 square kilometres, Glacier National Park was established in 1886 to help preserve the vast forests and dense landscapes around the Columbia Mountains and Rogers Pass.
Glacier National Park is located in eastern British Columbia, just past Revelstroke along Trans-Canada Highway 1 heading east towards Golden.
The park is open roughly 11 months out of the year – closing from mid-October through late November.
Park hours vary by the season. However, hours generally range from early morning to mid-evening – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its shortest.
The Glacier National Park Headquarters is located in Revelstroke – open year round from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Park closures due to severe weather are subject to change. It’s best to check for possible closures with the park headquarters before exploring Glacier NP.
Attractions & Activities
From the peaks of Mount Dawson to the depths of Balu Pass to the dense cedar-hemlock forests – there is absolutely no shortage of adventure and discovery throughout Glacier NP.
For instance, if you fancy yourself a hiker, you’ll feel right at home. There is a massive collection of hiking trails throughout the Illecillewaet and Asulkan Valleys. From the one-kilometre Meeting of the Waters Trail to the almost seven-kilometre Abbott Ridge and Marion Lake Trail – trails can reach up to 1,000 metres elevation, passing through some of the most iconic landmarks in the park.
Too, you’d be remiss not stopping at Rogers Pass National Historic Site – a landmark featuring the stone ruins of the 1885 Canadian Pacific Railway, carved through Rogers Pass by North American explorers. This must-see park landmark is accessible via the Abandoned Rails Trail – a one-kilometre one-way path leading to Rodgers Pass NHS.
In fact, the Abandoned Rails Trail is one of several self-guided park trails – collectively known as the Amazing Trees Tour – most of which are easy, peaceful walks through the park. Hemlock Grove Boardwalk Trail is a one of the most frequented – sitting above the ground floor, intertwining through the cedar-hemlock rainforests – ideal for those with disabilities, stroller, and the like.
Given its namesake, large, active glaciers make up a large part of the park’s geography. As such, these ice masses are ripe for exploration. See for yourself – atop the Selkirk Range and along the Asulkan Valley Trail, glacier views come readily available. Be sure and catch a panoramic view of the Illecillewaet Glacier visible at trail’s end.
Located west of Rogers Pass in the Selkirk Mountains, the Nakimu Caves provide unmatched exploration all their own. After scheduling your entry date with the park office, you’ll trek up a mountain pass into the Cougar Valley. From there, you’ll descend into the caves – head lamp and all – taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells the nearly six kilometres of cave passageways have to offer.
Perhaps less exploratory but still better lit, the extensive history of the park is available for your viewing at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre through an abundance of exhibits, orientation films, and other interactive displays. Nearby, the Summer Monument and Memory Garden serves as both a historic memorial and a tranquil picnic area.
And this only the tip of the iceberg – err, glacier. There are many more trails, natural landmarks, park itineraries, and outdoor activities across the entirety of the park. Moreover, don’t miss the special events and educational opportunities hosted by the park service. Adventure awaits here at Glacier NP.