It's Day Three. We've seen one national park, and we're ready for more. Namely, glaciers. My mom is obsessed with glaciers and demands to see some. Lucky for her (and me), Canada's Glacier National Park is chock-full.
Where is Glacier National Park, you might be wondering. Isn't that in Montana? Yes, and Canada, too. There are two, and Canada's Glacier National Park has 131 glaciers, spanning 51 square miles, between its two mountain ranges. It also has one of the largest cave systems in Canada, though entrance is restricted.
The Trans-Canada Highway goes right through Glacier National Park, and from the highway (though you should pull over), you can see multiple glaciers. These are all glacial valleys, where the glaciers form between mountain ridges. In many cases, the snowmelt turns into awesome waterfalls down the mountainside. It was impossible to walk through Glacier without hearing the roar of a waterfall or river or both. You can see Swiss Glacier clearly in this picture from a highway rest stop.
We hiked the Illecillewaet Trail to the Glacier House at Roger's Pass. This and another hike in Golden brought us to a big day of 5.5 miles. This hike offered outstanding views of one of the largest glaciers visible from the highway, the Illecillewaet Glacier, and a second (the Vaux Glacier on Mount Sir Donald) off to the side.
If we had more time and energy, Glacier National Park has some long (5-6 hour) hikes that get you up close and personal with the glaciers. We had to settle for seeing them from afar, but we still loved the experience. Glacier is an easy stop on a road trip through the Canadian Rockies, and it's definitely worth planning a day or half-day for the park.