Wildlife Glacier National Park & Western Montana

Wildlife

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Wildlife: Montana Made

Within our regional boundaries, we have more than 22,000 square miles, thousands of waterfalls, lakes and streams, not to mention numerous wilderness areas and Glacier National Park—one of the most intact ecosystems in the lower 48 states. Living within this terrain are numerous species of wildlife, including grizzly bear, black bear, bison, whitetail deer, mountain goat, elk, moose, wolves and eagles. Read more about wildlife in Glacier National Park.

When viewing wildlife in Montana, remember to keep them wild. Please don't feed them and always view from a safe distance.

Montana Wildlife, Mammals, Fish and Critters

Montana is for the birds. And they sure are pretty. Check out our birding page for more.

Larger wildlife that make their home here include grizzly bears, lynx, black bears, moose, wolverines, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, coyotes and wolves. The region is also home to badgers, beavers, otters, porcupines, mink, bats and more. For more on Montana's wild things, visit Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Our streams, river and lakes are home to a variety of fish, including bull trout (practice catch and release as they are a threatened species), lake trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, whitefish, bass, pike and more. For more, check out our information on fishing in Glacier Country or Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Western Montana is also home to a variety of insects, including centipedes, millipedes, beetles, spiders, moths and more. During late summer, grizzly bears feast on moths living under loose rocks on steep mountainsides. Read the National Park Service's entry on insects, spiders, centipedes, millipedes for more information on this complex habitat in Glacier National Park.

Recreating in Bear Country

It's important to remember that many types of wildlife call Western Montana home. Many grizzly and black bears travel the forests, trails and terrain of Glacier Country. The grizzly bear is identified by a distinctive hump on its shoulders. Typically its coat is dark brown, but can vary from very light cream to black. Grizzlies reach weights of between 400 and 1,500 pounds and can stand up to eight feet tall on their hind legs. They also move very quickly and can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

When recreating in bear country, it's important to follow and practice certain rules and guidelines.

Read more about bear safety.

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Western Montana's Glacier Country

News from Glacier National Park: Currently 16.5 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.View Full Road Report

Events

Fall Mack Days Oct 24, 2014

Tiny Tales Oct 24, 2014

Fall Mack Days Oct 25, 2014

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Bird Woman Falls

An icon in Glacier National Park, Bird Woman Falls is a glistening 492-foot-high waterfall that cascades down the side of Mt. Oberlin. From West Glacier, travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Bird Woman Falls Overlook, located on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Trail of the Cedars

This short boardwalk trail (ADA accessible) takes visitors through an old growth cedar forest. It’s also the beginning of the Avalanche Lake Trail (just over two miles long) that leads to Avalanche Lake—one of the most popular day hikes in Glacier National Park. Trail of the Cedars is located about five and a half miles north of Lake McDonald Lodge.

Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road

If your time in Glacier National Park is limited, one must-see attraction is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 50-mile long road takes travelers between St. Mary and West Glacier through the heart of the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. There are numerous pullouts along the road, ideal for taking photographs and enjoying the scenery.

See a Glacier

As you’re traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road, pull over at Jackson Glacier Overlook (located east of Logan Pass). The overlook offers the best opportunity to see a glacier from the road.

Many Glacier Valley

Home to incredible mountains, active glaciers, abundant wildlife and miles of hiking trails, Many Glacier is located in the northwest section of Glacier National Park. Trails leave from this valley in numerous directions, with popular hiking destinations including Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel.