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Contact: Denise Germann , 406-888-5838
Contact: Jennifer Lutman, 406-888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – The schedule for summer ranger-led activities in Glacier National Park through July 31 has been released. The activities include a variety of hikes, talks, boat tours, demonstrations, and evening programs. Hour-long to day-long hikes led by rangers are offered in many areas of the park, including Lake McDonald Valley, Two Medicine, Many Glacier, and St. Mary. Most programs are free of charge. The schedule of activities is available at http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/inforequest/inforequest3.cfm or may be obtained when entering the park.
Ranger-led programs cover a wide range of topics. Visitors are encouraged to learn more about the natural history of the park by joining "Rocky Point Ramble," an intimate look at the ever-changing trail to the shores of Lake McDonald. This activity begins at the Rocky Point trailhead north of the Fish Creek Campground and is a moderate hike lasting two hours. View wildlife in the Many Glacier Valley from a safe distance during "Scope It Out," a watchable wildlife activity. Visitors can drop by the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn parking lot between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and use spotting scopes to scan the slopes for wildlife while a park ranger is available to answer questions about wildlife in the park. Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act on the "Wild About Wilderness Hike" in the St. Mary Valley. This 3-mile, moderate hike explores the Beaver Pond Loop Trail, ideal habitat for a variety of wildflowers and wildlife.
Visitors, especially families, are encouraged to join ranger-led talks and evening programs such as "Amazing Animals," a 30-minute dialogue in the Apgar area regarding adaptations of the park's most interesting wildlife. Children can explore the fascinating connections between plants, animals, and non-living material on the "Junior Ranger Explorers Walk," an easy and interactive walk lasting an hour and a half in the Apgar area. On the east side of the park, join a park ranger for "Animal Olympics for Kids," a fun, interactive program where kids can test their abilities against Glacier's animal athletes. This program is available in St. Mary at the 1913 Ranger Station parking lot.
In addition to ranger-led activities, the "Native America Speaks" interpretive program at Glacier National Park began June 25. Members from the Blackfeet and Kootenai tribes will share their knowledge of the history and culture of Native America with park visitors throughout the summer. The program includes free 45-minute presentations available in the Apgar, Many Glacier, Rising Sun, and Two Medicine Campgrounds.
Jack Gladstone, Blackfeet PoetSinger and lecturer, uses a blend of song and narrative to guide visitors through tribal stories, animal legends, and character portraits of Native American heritage. His evening program can be found at the Many Glacier Hotel and the Lake McDonald Lodge auditorium beginning June 29. The Blackfeet Singers and Dancers, led by Joe McKay and Ray Croff, will provide insight into Blackfeet history and culture through narration and fancy, jingle, traditional, and grass dance demonstrations. Demonstrations are available weekly at the St. Mary Visitor Center Auditorium. Tickets for these programs are $5 per adult, free to children 12 and under. Tickets are available at the St. Mary Visitor Center bookstore for the Blackfeet Singers and Dancers on the day of the performance. Tickets for both performances are also available at the door (cash only) prior to the beginning of the show.
All Native American interpretive programs offered at Glacier National Park are made possible through donations from the Glacier National Park Conservancy. For more information about the "Native America Speaks" program, including a schedule of events, please visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/nas.htm.
Visitors are reminded to be prepared when participating in ranger-led activities, especially guided hikes. Sturdy foot wear, such as boots with ankle support, is essential for hiking. Bring plenty of water and food for the length of the hike. Weather can change quickly, so be prepared by dressing in layers and bring raingear. Children are welcome at all interpretive programs, but should be accompanied by an adult.
A self-guided historic walking tour of the park's headquarters area in West Glacier is also an option for locals and visitors. The park headquarters historic district is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A brochure to facilitate the tour, including information about an audio tour available via cell phone, is available at the park's website http://www.nps.gov/glac/historyculture/hq-historic-walking-tour.htm or from park headquarters in West Glacier. The tour is about a mile long and will take approximately one hour.
For more information on ranger-led activities in Glacier National Park, visit the park's website at http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ranger-led-activities.htm or call 406-888-7800.