History

While Glacier National Park is more than 100 years old, this area has been used for thousands of years by wildlife, native tribes, fur trappers and early settlers. Historians have found evidence of human use in the Glacier National Park region that dates back more than 10,000 years, with many American Indian tribes making their homes here at various times.

First utilized by Montana's First Nations, the 1800s brought European explorers and fur trappers to the region, followed by miners and settlers looking to explore the Wild West. Upon completion of the Great Northern Railway in 1891, more travelers began to cross the Great Plains determined to make their homes in this territory's wide-open spaces. In the early 1900s, the Great Northern Railway began to market the Glacier National Park area with their "See America First" campaign which brought many visitors to the West.

In 1910, and after much encouragement from conservationists like George Bird Grinnell, Glacier National Park was established as American's 10th national park. Today, many visitors who come to the park can stay in the same historic lodges in and around the park that welcomed visitors more than 100 years ago.

Called the "Backbone of the World" by the Blackfeet Indians, Glacier National Park is a sacred place to many American Indian tribes. Each summer, the park hosts a "Native America Speaks" program that includes tribal members from the Blackfeet, Salish, Kootenai and Pend d'Oreille tribes as they share their history and culture with visitors to the park.

For more information about the history of Glacier National Park, visit nps.gov/glac.