2012 85¢ Glacier National Park
Scenic American Landscapes
Issue Date: January 19, 2012
City: Kalispell, MT
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
George Bird Grinnell knew the “Crown of the Continent” was a treasure worth preserving, so he worked for 20 years to safeguard its beauty. His diligence paid off on May 11, 1910, when the Crown, 1.4 million acres in Montana, was designated as Glacier National Park.
In ancient times, the region’s U-shaped valleys and over 800 lakes were formed by glaciers melting. The turquoise waters of the lakes are colored by glacial sediment reflecting the sun’s blue and green rays. Though the massive ice forms recede each year, there are still about 50 glaciers left in the park.
The Great Northern Railroad began bringing tourists and adventure seekers to the area in 1891. The company built hotels by the lakes and cabins fashioned like Swiss chalets along the trails.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road, completed in 1932, allowed visitors to travel by car to parts of the park that had only been accessible by horseback. About two million people use the Sun Road to experience the park each year.
Waterton Lakes National Park is across the border in Canada. In 1932, the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was established. Both parks are now Biosphere Reserves, which means their unique biology will be preserved.