On this day in 1910, Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana was established. Created from ancient upheavals and the artistic whittling of glaciers, its magnificent peaks and valleys are revered by local Native American tribes and are an awe-inspiring experience for visitors.
Named for the glaciers that sculpted the landscape more than 10,000 years ago and for the Little Ice Age glaciers there today, Glacier National Park preserves more than a million acres of rugged peaks, panoramic valleys, flowering alpine meadows, sparkling rivers, spectacular lakes, and great wooded forests in the Northern Rocky Mountains.
The park’s Triple Divide Peak straddles the Continental Divide. From this location, the water that falls west flows to the Pacific Ocean, while the water that falls northeast and southeast flows to the Hudson Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Ranges in elevation and the variable climatic conditions created by the park’s location yield a patchwork of habitats enjoyed by biologically diverse plant and bird communities.
More than 1,800 species of plants have been identified in the park to date. The park is a haven for wildlife with 277 species of birds and 67 species of mammals, including bald eagle, wolverine, lynx, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, and wolf. The park is also home to one of the largest remaining grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states.
Issued earlier this year, the 85-cent Glacier National Park stamp is part of the Scenic American Lanscapes series. On June 23, the Postal Service will release a second set of Scenic American Landscapes stamped cards featuring 10 stamp images from the Scenic American Landscapes series, including Glacier National Park.