Glacier National Park, business as usual!

We are aware that there is currently a media frenzy concerning wildfire in our area and in Montana as a whole. Wildfires are a natural and normal part of our Summers here and we adapt to them in the same way that we adapt to snowstorms in Winter, or any other natural event.  We have outstanding wildfire management teams that are fully competent and capable of doing everything possible to limit the effect of wildfire on property and people and we leave the management of the wildfire situations to them whilst everyday life continues as normal.

As I am typing this I am sitting on my deck located within a mile of the Park entrance.  I can see Apgar mountain and Belton Hills, and also the occasional helicopter flying overhead towards the Sprague fire.  The sky is blue.  The sun is shining and there is only a slight blur of haze over the peaks in the distance.  However, if I turn the tv on, the news stations (that aren’t covering the devastation in Texas) paint a picture of Montana as a blazing inferno with zero visibility due to smoke and wildfire conditions.

Don’t believe the hype.

It is true that there are areas that have been badly hit by fire, it is true that the Sprague Fire is burning in Glacier National Park.

HOWEVER, Montana is larger in size than the country of Germany.

Less than 1% of this is currently affected by wildfire.

Glacier National Park is more than one million acres of wilderness.

The fires are affecting 5,000 acres of this.  That’s 0.5%.

There is still plenty to enjoy in the Park, from the newly restored spiral staircase at the lodge in Many Glacier, to hiking at Two Medicine.  Enjoy a boat trip on St Mary Lake and hike to Virginia Falls to see how quickly an area regenerates after fire.

The largest lake west of the Mississippi, Flathead Lake, is approx 40mins away with its lakeshore communities of Bigfork, Lakeside and Polson offering microbreweries, restaurants, antique stores and art galleries alongside fishing trips, SUP, kayak and boat rentals.

You can take a gondola ride to the top of nearby Whitefish Mountain for views into Glacier National Park, across the Flathead Valley and even into Canada.  For indoor entertainment we highly recommend the Miracle of America Museum and Kalispell’s Conrad Mansion.

These are just a few examples of places to see and things to do during your trip. Your vacation will still be an outstanding experience of America’s natural beauty and wilderness, and you will still experience that Montana hospitality we are famous for.

Check your sources.  If you are worried about a particular fire – turn off the tv and check inciweb for the latest, most accurate information; look at the webcams in the Park; and talk to us about what is actually happening right here.  Blue sky, warm sunshine, relaxed pace of life, and acres and acres of wilderness.  There is no need to change your plans.  If things should change and we are in ANY danger at all, the fire management teams will let us know and we will let you, our guests, know.

We take seriously our roles as ambassadors of the Treasure State and honor the reputation of Montana as a tourist destination.  Our loyalty is to you and the State we live in.

Turn off the tv and talk to us.

 

Other references:

https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Montana/Publications/Special_Interest_Reports/agfacts.pdf

 

 

Glacier National Park Wildfires 2017

The long, hot days of July have produced ideal conditions for wildfires this Summer and, it is true, that Montana has been affected by some substantial fires.  Fortunately, Glacier National Park has not experienced the devastation experienced in some areas so far but we are not unfamiliar with large scale forest fires and the impact they can have on a community.

Wildfires are a natural phenomena, often caused by dry lightning strikes.  They can be helpful in maintaining a healthy forest environment.  For example, fire enables the regeneration of a forest floor that has become overgrown with fast-growing shrubs and trees that have blocked the light to seedlings below.  Fire also disinfects as it travels – destroying any plant diseases and insect infestation.  Its natural effects on the eco-system are one reason why the National Park Service in Glacier National Park prefer not to manage naturally started wildfires, unless they begin to threaten property or life.

It is also true that many fires are needlessly caused by human action, whether deliberate acts or arson or accidental means.  It is here where we can help support our environment at the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins.

In our area, Stage 2 Fire_Restrictions are currently being enforced and, as a result, there are no campfires, BBQ grills or smoking currently permitted on property.

We know our guests, as visitors here to appreciate the natural beauty of the area, will honor the restrictions and continue to enjoy their vacations, including the particular aspects unique to wildfire season.  After all, wildfire is a part of the wilderness area in which we live and is to be respected and appreciated as is any other element of nature.

Here are some ways to appreciate the season:

  • Enjoy the views! Sunsets and sunrises, in particular, can be unworldly at this time and provide outstanding and unique photography opportunities.  At other times, you may notice the silhouettes of hillsides that may not otherwise have been noticed, or hazy mountain tops that look like an artist painted them into the background.
  • Learn how planting affects the health of a forest and can mitigate against fire by visiting Coram Experimental Forest.
  • Discover how our hotshot crews manage fires.
  • Watch our #montanastrong community spirit in action (eg hay donation, how you can help).
  • Involve the littlest members of the family and design a coloring book, or write a story with Smokey the Bear.
  • Visit the sites of recent fires in the Park, such as Virginia Falls (which burned in the Reynolds Creek fire of 2015), to see how quickly regeneration happens.
  • Drive the Camas Road to see how the Robert Fire of 2003 changed the scenery and opened up views of the peaks of Glacier National Park previously blocked by trees.

Best places to stay near Glacier National Park

Historically, visitors to Glacier National Park stayed in the great lodges that are still in existence today, and many present day visitors still choose to book lodging in these lodges to enjoy the history and beauty of the tradition they embody.

However, the lodges book up quickly and, by keeping the original features that makes them valued as historic buildings come with few of the comforts and amenities of modern life.

Our lodge was originally located right between the train station and the original entrance to the Park and served as an arrival hall for visitors disembarking from the train.  The same logs you see today in the lodge have been privy to the hopes, dreams and plans for the Glacier National Park vacations of generations of visitors.

Now located just eight miles away from the West entrance to Glacier, the lodge stays out of the congestion at the Park entrance whilst still offering lodging full of Park history.

With the tag line ‘Classic ambiance, modern amenities’ we strive to preserve the history of our property and surrounding area whilst also providing the modern conveniences our guests expect.

The lodge itself is heated and cooled with a geothermal system, leaving it at the ideal temperature all year-round.  For extra comfort and that essential element of Winter in the mountains, the lodge also features a working fireplace in the original stone setting.

Four rooms on the upper floor of the lodge – each with private bath and air conditioning provide cozy character with wifi and satellite tv.  These rooms are built under the eaves with exposed beams and sloping ceilings.  Two of our lodge rooms also share a covered balcony overlooking the front driveway.

We also have a Saloon (serving locally produced beer, wine and spirits). a restaurant (serving breakfast and dinner) and a small gift shop and sleep approx 130 with an additional 26 cabins on site.

Its the best Glacier National Park lodging  – without a wait-list or the crowds!