Glacier National Park
Cut Bank is fortunate to have a national park literally out its back door. In just about an hour, you can find yourself enjoying the spectacular scenery of Glacier National Park up close and personal.
Since its official designation as a national park in 1910, Glacier National Park has received a steady stream of visitors. With over a million acres of forests, mountain peaks, alpine meadows, valleys and lakes, it is obvious what keeps them coming. Whether you’re a hiker interested in exploring some of the 700 miles of maintained trails or you just want to take a gorgeous drive up the Going-To-The-Sun road, Glacier National Park is for you.
The park is home to over 1,000 kinds of plants, 25 major classes of trees, 70 species of mammals, 260 species of birds, 17 different kinds of fish and 27 named glaciers. Glacier National Park has an elevation change of over 7,000 feet from the lowest point, which is in a fork on the Flathead River to the highest, which is the summit of Mount Cleveland.
While Glacier National Park is open year-round, many of the visitor services are only available from late May through September.
How you choose to experience Glacier National Park is entirely up to you. Driving, hiking, horseback riding, biking, boating, water skiing, cross country skiing, or snowshoeing are just a few of the ways visitors can "motor" through the park.
Many tourists are "jammin" when touring Glacier National Park. In other words, they are taking a ride back in time on the Red Bus Tour. These vintage motor coaches have been traveling the park since 1936. They drive up and over the Going-To-The-Sun road and link up with all of the hotels and inns within the park. The historic buses have roll-back canvas tops allowing visitors fantastic viewing opportunities.
If you are an avid fisherman, Glacier National Park offers a large number of lakes, filled to the "gills" with a wide variety of fish. There are park regulations fisherman will need to take note of before dropping their lines, so be sure and read up on those before beginning your quest.
For those interested in some serious R&R, Glacier National Park can give you as much of that as you need. Accommodations in the park are numerous and range from designated campgrounds, hike-in chalets, semi-primitive and back country camping to a number of comfortable and cozy hotels.
Developed campgrounds are first-come, first-serve and usually fill by late morning. Hotels also fill early with many visitors making reservations before the season begins and some even planning a year in advance.
Glacier National Park is a breathtaking piece of paradise on earth. Whether you spend a day or a week, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and relaxed. No doubt you’ll be planning your next visit before you leave the park’s boundary. Come see and experience for yourself the grandeur of Glacier National Park.
If hunting is one of your passions, you could take a shot, so to speak, at the areas in and around Cut Bank. The rolling plains, Rocky Mountains, Sweetgrass Hills, rivers, lakes and streams provide a seemingly endless supply of hunting opportunities. With the proper permits and licensing, big game and bird hunting can be found throughout the region.
Deer, elk, antelope and big-horned sheep are some of the big game hunters may find in their sights. If hunting the feathered ones is more to your liking, pheasant, sharptail grouse, ducks and geese are some of the upland birds hunters could find themselves aiming for.
Hunters will be well advised to obtain a copy of Fish and Game regulations and familiarize themselves with the area to avoid hunting on private property or hunting in areas where it is not allowed. Special permits are required for hunting on the reservation. Absolutely no hunting is allowed in Glacier National Park.
Game tags and licenses are sold at Norman's Outdoor Sports located in the Northern Village Mall.
Complying with laws, regulations and requests of land owners will ensure hunting privileges in those areas for years to come.
Want to drop a line? We’re not talking about writing a letter. We’re talking about dropping your fishing line into some of the clearest lakes, rivers and streams ever imagined. And you can do that right here in Glacier County. Some fishing can even be done just a few miles out of Cut Bank.
Whether you fly fish, ice fish or spin cast, there’s a body of water just for you. The opportunities are plentiful as are the fish. Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat, Grayling, Northern and Walleye Pike are a few of the fish found throughout the area.
For the enthusiastic fisherman, there is no better way to spend a few hours than to stand knee-deep in crystal clear water hoping for the catch of the day. The gurgle of the stream or river, coupled with the sound of your line as it taps the surface of the water, are truly music to the ears of every fisherman.
Perhaps slow trolling in a boat on a lake is your preference. You’re in luck again. Seven lakes are in close proximity to Cut Bank and all offer a pleasurable fishing adventure.
Along with the lakes in the area, there are a number of rivers and streams allowing fishing access, too. If those aren’t enough choices for you, Glacier National Park can also tempt you to drop a line in any one of its numerous lakes.
Anglers should obtain a copy of the Montana State Fishing regulations as well as their state license. Licenses can be purchased at Norman's Outdoor Sports located in the Northern Village Mall and at Albertsons located next to the mall. Fishing on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation requires a reservation permit, which can also be obtained at Ben Franklin or Albertsons.
Fishing in Glacier National Park does not require a license or a permit, however, there are park fishing regulations that need to be followed. A copy of those regulations is available at the entrance gates, park headquarters in West Glacier or on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/glac/activities/fishing.htm.
Whatever your fishing pleasure, be it in lakes or rivers, with a fly or on the ice, you can find it here, in Cut Bank.
Cut Bank Area Lewis and Clark Historical Sites:
This is the northernmost camp established by the expedition. On July 17, 1806, Lewis and three members of the expedition (George Drewyer (Drouillard), Joseph Fields and Reuben Fields) split from the main group at the Great Falls to look for a water passage to the Pacific. They started out following the Missouri River for about one day and camped just above the Great Falls. On July 18, the four men continued on horseback. They crossed the Teton River and followed the Marias River to the point where the Two Medicine River and the Cut Bank Creek come together to form the Marias River.
Lewis followed the Cut Bank Creek for two days and finally reached a point on the bluff where he could see the river headed west toward the mountains. He wrote, "I thought it unnecessary to proceed further and therefore encamped resolving to rest ourselves and horses a couple of days at this place and take the necessary observations."
The party spent four days camped in a large clump of cottonwood trees under cold and rainy conditions. These conditions prevented Lewis from obtaining any astronomical observations to determine the longitude of the site. On July 25, 1806, Lewis, still not able to get the reading he wanted, broke camp with his men and set out, determined to return to the Missouri River.
Camp Cut Bank-
Captain Meriwether Lewis followed the north branch of the Marias River, now known as the Cut Bank Creek and camped south and east of Cut Bank on Monday, July 21, 1806.
There wasn’t any timber to be found to build a fire so buffalo chips were used. The company was nearly out of provisions. They wounded a buffalo, but were unable to retrieve it. The following day, the group proceeded on to Camp Disappointment.
Meriwether Lewis Fight Site-
On July 26, 1806, Captain Meriwether Lewis with George Drewyer (Drouillard), Joseph Fields and Reuben Fields camped with a party of eight young Blackfeet Indians. At first the meeting was cordial, but the encounter turned hostile when Lewis disclosed to the Blackfeet that the United States government had plans to supply all the Plains Indians with firearms for hunting. This was not good news for the Blackfeet, who until that point had controlled firearms through trade relations with the Hudson Bay Company.
The Blackfeet decided to make off with the party’s guns and horses leaving them on foot. At this point, this was the only armed encounter with Indians during the entire expedition. Two of the young Blackfeet were killed in this fight over horses and guns.
This actual site wasn’t discovered until 1964 by two Cut Bank Boy Scout leaders (Ben Epstein and Robert H. Anderson), who used the directions and descriptions contained in Lewis’ journal. The "three solitary trees" described by Lewis in his journal still stood in the place Lewis depicted. The site has been marked and fenced by the local Boy Scouts.
Historical information provided by the Cut Bank Pioneer Press archives.
For more information on the Lewis and Clark Trail, visit:
Glacier County Historical Museum
107 Old Kevin Hwy,
Cut Bank, MT 59427
Phone: (406) 873-4904
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation