The east side of the park features less forested, more abrupt terrain, with an elevation gain of 5,925 feet from the lowest point (4,541 ft) to the highest point (10,466-foot Mount Cleveland). Here the jagged mountains come in close contact with the rolling prairie. Fingers of the prairie actually reach the park in major river drainages bordering the Blackfeet Reservation.
Since the base elevation is considerably higher on the east side and somewhat cooler, birds have been known to arrive here in the spring two to three weeks later than on the west side. The east side is typically cooler with extremely strong winds and a semiarid climate. Characteristic vegetation found here includes subalpine fir, whitebark pine, Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, limber pine, Engelmann spruce, aspen, and black cottonwood. Twice as many active glaciers are found on this side of the park. 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.
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