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gem icon Glacier Cedar Forest [Suggest Edits]

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When most visitors imagine Glacier, it is images of towering mountains, large ice flows, or thundering rivers that come to mind. However, Glacier is unique in that it straddles many different ecosystems, and nowhere is that more noticeable than the Cedar Forest.

When visitors are either driving or running their way through the park, it is common to find high alpine flora and fauna. Marmot and pika are common sights, and many trails begin above or climb above treeline, leaving only low growing alpine flora. The western portion of Glacier National Park certainly has high alpine environs, but it is also is home to the eastern edge of the Pacific Northwest type ecosystem. Moisture-rich clouds and air moving west gets trapped by the high mountains of the Continental Divide, and most of their moisture falls on the western side of the divide. In contrast, the eastern portion of the park sees significantly less annual precipitation.

The temperate climate of Glacier's western portion is on display near the Trail of the Cedars. The route itself is mild, but it passes through an old-growth cedar forest. The trees that line the Trail of the Cedars tower over the path, offering shade and providing an interesting perspective. The conditions in the valley where the trail is situated are ideal for cedar and western hemlock growth. The humidity allows the trees to grow to incredible heights of 100 feet, swell to 4-7 feet in circumference, and live for more than 500 years. This grove of ancient trees is awe inspiring and will leave most visitors with a lasting memory.

Short Walk: Run along the well-maintained Trail of Cedars for stunning views of the giant trees that call the area home.

Gem Type: Other

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

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Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Jun 16, 2016. All Page Views: 950. Last Month: 12.