The Climax At Granite Park

It is at Granite Park that one realizes the geography of Glacier. You have crossed the continental divide and emerged upon a lofty abutment just west of it. You are very nearly in the park’s centre, and on the margin of a forested canyon of impressive breadth and depth, lined on either side by mountain monsters, and reaching from Mount Cannon at the head of Lake McDonald northward to the Alberta plain. The western wall of this vast avenue is the Livingston Range. Its eastern wall is the Lewis Range. Both in turn carry the continental divide, which crosses the avenue from Livingston to Lewis by way of low-crowned Flattop Mountain, a few miles north of where you stand, and back to Livingston by way of Clements Mountain, a few miles south. Opposite you, across the chasm, rises snowy Heavens Peak. Southwest lies Lake McDonald, hidden by Heavens’ shoulder.

South is Logan Pass, carrying another trail across the divide, and disclosing hanging gardens beyond on Reynolds’ eastern slope. Still south of that, unseen from here, is famous Gunsight Pass.

It is a stirring spectacle. But wait. A half-hour’s climb to the summit of Swiftcurrent Mountain close at hand (the chalet is most of the way up, to start with) and all of Glacier lies before you like a model in relief. Here you see the Iceberg Cirque from without and above. The Belly River chasm yawns enormously. Mount Cleveland, monarch of the region, flaunts his crown of snow among his near-by court of only lesser monsters. The Avenue of the Giants deeply splits the northern half of the park, that land of extravagant accent, mysterious because so little known; the Glacier of tourists lying south. A marvellous spectacle, this, indeed, and one which clears up many misconceptions. The Canadian Rockies hang on the misty northern horizon, the Montana plains float eastward, the American Rockies roll south and west.