Nature is everywhere, seen by everybody, but not everyone realizes the true beauty. I live on a farm in Montana. My house was built in a valley, surrounded by rolling hills, secluded from the rest of the world it sometimes seems. Trees grow all around the valley, a small creek flows, cows eat grass from the meadows, and birds chirp. I live with the sounds of nature, but I never appreciated it until my parents and I took a vacation to Glacier National Park.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Thousands of years ago, during the Ice Age, glaciers were scattered among the Earth. One particular glacier is responsible for Glacier National Park. This one glacier carved a valley through the Rocky Mountains; this is the same valley that attracts millions of people each year. Glacier National Park (GNP) is actually named for that glacier, not the 25 small glaciers that remain today.
Stress levels can reach high levels in my family, so sometimes a completely unplanned vacation is needed. We packed a bag, got in our RV, and took off. We got to the park just before the tourist season really took off, but the campground was already starting to fill up. We decided to stay at the Apgar Campground, less than a quarter mile from Apgar Village. There were about 10 campsites available, but we wanted to get the best spot we could. After driving around the loop about five times we settled for a spot that ended up being perfect, it had beautiful trees that almost secluded us from the rest of the campers.
GNP holds a dozen large lakes and about 700 smaller lakes, plus over 200 waterfalls are scattered throughout the park. GNP also has 700 hiking trails, in which you get to view many of the lakes and waterfalls, as well as the beautiful forest and possibly some wildlife. We went on many hikes seeing beautiful creeks, waterfalls, and lakes. I think the best hike we embarked on was the 4-mile round trip hike to Avalanche Lake and Gorge. It is a pleasant hike down to the lake, with no real “view” until you reach the end. We highly anticipated the end because many of the returning hikers told us it was well worth the hike. The view that greeted us was breathtaking, and we all agreed that it was worth it.
But in GNP you don’t even have to go on a hike to see natures’ beauty. Right down the road from our campsite was a picturesque view of Lake McDonald, the parks largest, longest, and deepest lake.
The Going To The Sun Road is probably the most well known landmark in the park. It spans 53 miles and was completed in 1932. The public is allowed to drive the road but we decided to take the famous red bus “Jammer” tour. The tour was about 4 hours and was filled with information and breathtakingly striking sight seeing.
Nature is all around us, whether it is the grass you mow in your backyard, the lake you visit every year, or the magnificent Rocky Mountains. We all know that nature reins the world we live in; it determines if that plane your taking tomorrow will get delayed because of storms, it made you lose your important document because the lighting caused the power to go out before you could save. But many people do realize natures’ beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so why don’t you be the beholder of that eye and experience true beauty at Glacier National Park.
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