Glacier National Park - West Side

West Glacier, Montana

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The west side of Glacier is typically forested, gradually sloping terrain with an elevation gain of 7,032 feet from the lowest point (at 3,110 feet) to the highest point (10,142-foot Mount Stimson). Since the base elevation is considerably lower on the west side, and is situated in a mountain valley where temperature inversions do occur, birds have been known to arrive at lower elevations two to three weeks earlier in the spring than on the east side. The west side is also slightly warmer, with mild winds, and has a moist, humid climate reminiscent of Pacific Coast rainforests. Characteristic vegetation here includes lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, western white pine, western larch, western red cedar, grand fir, black cottonwood, western hemlock, pacific yew, Douglas fir, subalpine fir, whitebark pine and an incredible variety of deciduous shrubs. Only half as many active glaciers are found on the west side of the Continental Divide. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful general information.
Birding Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Montana

by Terry McEneaney (Falcon Guides)

The west side of Glacier is typically forested, gradually sloping terrain with an elevation gain of 7,032 feet from the lowest point (at 3,110 feet) to the highest point (10,142-foot Mount Stimson). Since the base elevation is considerably lower on the west side, and is situated in a mountain valley where temperature inversions do occur, birds have been known to arrive at lower elevations two to three weeks earlier in the spring than on the east side. The west side is also slightly warmer, with mild winds, and has a moist, humid climate reminiscent of Pacific Coast rainforests.

Characteristic vegetation here includes lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, western white pine, western larch, western red cedar, grand fir, black cottonwood, western hemlock, pacific yew, Douglas fir, subalpine fir, whitebark pine and an incredible variety of deciduous shrubs. Only half as many active glaciers are found on the west side of the Continental Divide. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful general information.

©  Terry McEneaney/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: West Glacier
Trail Type: Several options
Duration: 1 to 2 days
Best Times: Best late spring-summer; June and July
Local Contacts: Glacier National Park
Local Maps: Montana Highway Map
Driving Directions: Directions to Glacier National Park - West Side

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