Glacier National Park

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Avalanche Creek is a deep and narrow gorge that cuts through red mudstone filled with potholes. A trail travels to Avalanche Basin and Lake which has many waterfalls. George Bird Grinnell came to the region in the late 1880s and was so inspired by the scenery that he spent the next two decades working to establish a national park. In 1901, Grinnell wrote a description of the region, in which he referred to it as the "Crown of the Continent", and his efforts to protect the land make him the premier contributor to this cause. A few years after Grinnell first visited, Henry L. Stimson and two companions, including a Blackfeet Indian, climbed the steep east face of Chief Mountain in 1892.

In 1891, the Great Northern Railway crossed the Continental Divide at Marias Pass (5,213 ft, which is along the southern boundary of the park. In an effort to stimulate use of the railroad, the Great Northern soon advertised the splendors of the region to the public. The company lobbied the United States Congress, and in 1900, the park was designated as a forest preserve. Under the forest designation mining was still allowed, but was not commercially successful. Meanwhile, proponents of protecting the region kept up their efforts, and in 1910, under the influence of George Bird Grinnell, Henry L. Stimson and the railroad, a bill was introduced into the U.S. Congress which re-designated the region from a forest reserve to a national park. This bill was signed into law by President William Howard Taft on May 11, 1910. From May until August, the forest reserve supervisor, Fremont Nathan Haines, managed the Park's resources as the first acting superintendent. In August 1910, William Logan was appointed the Park's first superintendent.

 

 

 

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Glacier National Park
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