Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's our Anniversary

That's right, the Glacier Institute has been around for 25 years. Here's a bit of trivia for you, the Glacier Institute was founded in December of 1983 (hence the anniversary) but we didn't offer courses until the spring of 1984.

To honor this auspicious occasion we are having a gala celebration!!

Please join us for a night of fun, live entertainment, great food, great wine and a silent and live auction featuring incredible items such as an original oil painting by Marshall Noice, vacations, experiences and much more.

Tickets for this gala event are $75.00/person and will benefit the Glacier Institute's mission of providing excellent outdoor educational adventures to students of all ages.

For more information call the Glacier Institute office at 406-755-1211.

We look forward to seeing you there!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Glacier Park visits up 14.3 percent

Associated Press/Daily Inter Lake

Visitor numbers at Glacier National Park were up 14.3 percent from January through June compared with last year.

According to the National Park Service Statistics Office, 484,458 visitors entered Glacier during the first six months this year, compared to 423,883 in 2008.

Park Service numbers show that 327,572 people visited Glacier last month, up from 287,000 in June 2008. May also was a busy month, with visitation up 20 percent from a year earlier.

"The Glacier Park numbers are our indicators," said Dori Muehlhof, executive director of the Flathead Convention and Visitor Bureau. She said lodging businesses are reporting solid bookings for July.

July and August are the busiest months for Glacier visitors.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Join us for Glaciers & Glacial Geology...

This Wednesday, July 22nd as we learn the fundamentals of glaciers: why they form and how they move. View the features of glacial erosion and deposition with a deeper understanding as we make our way up to Logan Pass for a hike in the alpine ecosystem.

For more information on the Glaciers and Glacial Geology course view our website at

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Join us for lunch!

Join the Glacier Institute at the 1st Ave. East Cafe for food and fun on July 14th. Lunch will be served from 11:00 to 2:00 and will include soup, salad, bread, dessert, coffee or iced tea for $9.00. The 1st Ave. East Cafe is generously donating all proceeds to the Glacier Institute's Big Creek programs.

The Glacier Institute staff and board members will be on hand to assist in the food, laughter, door prizes and fun!

Join us on the 14th and support field-based learning experiences. It's Learning Gone Wild!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ms. Joyce Baltz, Executive Director
The Glacier Institute
Kalispell, MT. 59903

Dear Joyce:
I am writing to thank you and your staff for the marvelous week my Girl Scout troop had at the Glacier Institute’s outdoor education center at Big Creek on June 7- 11 this year. The Big Creek staff, the facilities, the programming, and of course your great outdoors made the trip a tremendous success for each of our girls, and for me and the other troop leaders who joined them.

Beau Servo’s firm, good-natured leadership set the tone for our group for the entire week. He expected teamwork, attention, participation, and just plain work from the girls, and he got it. My scouts happily did all that was asked of them, and learned a tremendous amount about cooperation, as well as freshwater streams, wildlife, fire ecology, orienteering and wilderness skills. They also got to explore Glacier Park, hike up to the panorama of Avalanche Lake, and even learned to fly fish!

Beau’s attention to detail provided a safe environment, and his well-balanced staff (five young, well-prepared men and women) offered great role models for our 13 and 14-year-olds.

Big Creek’s operation offered its own lessons. It gave our suburban children an understanding of what it means to live life “off the grid.” Conserving, composting, and having electricity only a handful of hours each day was a useful experience for the girls. They were so happy to be outdoors all the time at the base of Huckleberry Mountainthat not one missed their iPod or cell phone!

Joyce, when I first contacted your office about this trip, I wasn’t sure what sort of experience we’d have in Montana. What we received from the Glacier Institute was instruction, accommodation, and life skills of the highest quality. Every family in my troop thanks you for providing this wonderful experience for their child.

I’d also like to thank Rachel Zeigler in your office for ably fielding my telephone calls, and being in charge of the arrangements for this trip. She gave us confidence to board the Amtrak train and travel 1,700 miles to Big Creek, and we’re glad that we did.

Thank you again for all that you and the Glacier Institute do.

Girl Scout Troop 274

Thursday, June 18, 2009

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park officials announce plans to extend vehicle access on the west side of Going-to-the Sun Road (Sun Road) from Avalanche to Big Bend by mid morning Friday, June 19, conditions permitting. Crews continue to clear snow and ready the alpine section of the Sun Road near Logan Pass, and the entire 50 miles of the historic Sun Road will soon open to vehicle traffic across Logan Pass as soon as road conditions and weather permit. Contractors will also pave the storm damaged section of road near the east tunnel concurrent with final road preparations.

As of Friday, June 19 the west side Sun Road will be open 29 miles between West Glacier and Big Bend. Vehicle access is open to Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east side of Sun Road, a distance of 14 miles. The Inside North Fork Road is currently closed at Logging Creek Ranger Station and Fish Creek Campground due to road repairs. Hiker/biker access is not allowed during the construction on this section of road. All other roads in Glacier National Park are open.

In addition to plowing and widening of snow banks for two-way vehicle access, preparation work on the alpine portion of the Sun Road also includes the assembly and installation of removable guardrail, installation of signs, clearing debris from culverts and along the road as well as road sweeping. Photos of spring snow removal are available at:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

River Otter Family Camp

Enjoy a weekend with your family and spend time exploring Big Creek!

This camp features hiking, wilderness skills, outdoor activities, and fun evening programs. Together families will have the opportunity to learn about the natural diversity of the area, look for wildlife and make exciting discoveries along the trail. The camp is a great introduction for families to connect with the outdoors in a safe, fun and educational environment.

Come to the North Fork Valley and experience summer camp as an entire family!

June 27-29, 2009 - Saturday-Monday

For parents (grandparents, aunts, and uncles too!) and kids. Ages 8-12 are welcome with an adult.

$200 for parent and child, $85 for each additional family member

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

National parks to offer fee-free weekends

On three weekends this summer, the National Park Service will offer fee-free weekends to encourage cash-strapped families to visit the parks.

All 147
National Park Service sites that charge entry fees will waive them for June 20 and 21, July 18 and 19, and August 15 and 16. Those fees range from $3 to $25.

This is the perfect opportunity to join the Glacier Institute for one of our exciting outdoor adventures including:

June 20
Orchids: Glacier's Precious Beauties

June 20-21
Wolves of the North Fork Valley

July 18
Glacier's and Glacial Geology

July 18
Glacier Close Up: Focused Photographs

July 19
Nature Journaling

August 15
Glacier's Grizzlies and Black Bears


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spring Wildflowers along the Rocky Mountain Front

June is the ideal month to view the bold blooms of Glacier’s prairies and foothills.

Walking around Marias Pass area, one of the most beautiful and least visited areas of Glacier, we’ll see the details of shining penstemon, prairie smoke, and blue camas among others. Perfect for beginner to experienced wildflower enthusiasts.

Join us for this amazing course taught by
our expert instructor Ellen Horowitz. She has conducted field courses and natural history tours for more than twenty-five years. Her work as a teacher, guide, writer and consultant focuses on the plants and animals of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. She has published articles in Montana Magazine and Montana Outdoors.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thanks to our AMAZING volunteers

Our recent Work Weekend was a tremendous success with volunteers, staff and Board members showing up from all over the States and Canada. Thanks to all of you for making the trek and working so hard to help prepare our field sites for the upcoming summer.

Trails around the field sites were rebuilt, bathrooms were cleaned, grounds cleanup was done and our Big Creek Outdoor Education Center and Glacier Park Field Camp look all spiffed up and ready for student use.

Again, great big thanks to you for all the help! Our volunteers and donors make all the difference and your help is greatly appreciated!

Join us again for a course this summer and more LEARNING GONE WILD!

Friday, May 15, 2009

We had a great Biking for Bears course last weekend. Great people, great scenery and lots of great information.

One of our students sent in a photo of Glacier National Park taken during the course that I thought to share. Even on rainy, overcast days, the Park is absolutely beautiful.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for this exciting course. We hope you had as much fun as our staff did spending the day with you.

Don't forget that our summer season is just around the corner and we have many other educational adventures planned.

Join us in Glacier National Park for more Learning Gone Wild!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Glacier National Park 2009 Campgrounds Dates Announced for Glacier National Park

The 2009 operating dates and nightly fee schedule for Glacier National Park’s 13 front country campgrounds are now available. Dates listed represent the first day and the last night of camping for each category.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Send a kid, get a “kid”

We seek your help in assisting families who have experienced a recent employment hardship by providing a scholarship to a child!
  • One hundred percent of your donation goes toward sponsoring a child to camp!
  • You will receive our soft ‘camp kid’ as your gift with sponsorship.
  • The Glacier Institute is a 501(c) 3 and your gift is tax deductible.
Campership levels range from $115 - $375 - Please Send A Kid to Camp Today! Contact us for more information on the Campership Program at 406-755-1211 or

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Owls of the Mission Valley

Come join the Glacier Institute for the Owls of the Mission Valley course.

Montana boasts the largest number of breeding owl species of any state, from the massive great horned owl to the miniature pygmy owl. Join Denver Holt, a celebrated owl expert, to learn about the habitats, adaptations for silent flight, hunting, breeding, and the life histories of these impressive creatures.

Our field excursions will involve short hikes through level, but brushy, terrain into owl habitat to investigate snags and look for nests. Bring a sack lunch for the first day.

We recommend staying at the Ninepipes Lodge six miles south of Ronan, MT. Please call (406) 644-2588 to make a reservation.

For more information on this, or any Glacier Institute course, contact the office at 406-755-1211 or


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stories in the Snow

The wildlife course titled "Stories in the Snow" is offered by The Glacier Institute on Saturday, March 7th, 2009. This course focuses on forest carnivores that remain active in winter, such as the lynx, fisher, pine marten, mountain lion and wolverine. Students will learn to interpret the tracks, signs and stories these species and their prey leave behind. This snowshoe expedition will head into Glacier National Park's wildlife-rich Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The three to four mile roundtrip scouting hike reveals a variety of footprints, offering glimpses of wildlife activity that normally go unseen.

The course will be led by Brian Baxter, a wildlife researcher and project coordinator for Silver Cloud Associates, a natural resource information company based in Libby. He has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Western Carolina University and is a member of the Western Forest Carnivore Committee. Baxter has been involved in forest carnivore research in North America for fifteen years.

The Glacier Institute serves adults and children as an educational leader in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem with Glacier National Park at its center. Emphasizing outreach and field based learning experiences; the non-profit Institute provides an objective and science-based understanding of the area's ecology and its interaction with people. Marking its 26th year of educational programs, The Glacier Institute is a long-time partner with Glacier National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Flathead Valley Community College and the Flathead National Forest. The Institute offers family programs, youth science adventure camps, Discovery School at the Big Creek Outdoor Education Center and adult educational programs.

Register for the "Stories in the Snow" course or request a complete catalog by calling (406)755-1211 or online at Courses are rated for skill level; the "Stories in the Snow" course is rated at "moderate" and is suitable for ages 12 and up. The $65 fee includes the use of snowshoes. Teachers may apply for OPI credit upon completing this course.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Since 1983, the Glacier Institute, a private nonprofit, has been providing hands-on, field-based educational adventures to people from all over the world in nature’s wildest places, Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest, located within the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. The Institute is an equal opportunity provider of education.

The Crown of the Continent was a phrase coined by Glacier National Park advocate, George Bird Grinnell nearly 100 years ago to describe the magnificence of Glacier’s peaks and valleys. Today, the phrase is used to describe the larger ecosystem that boasts millions of acres and spans the U.S.-Canadian border. Besides Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park, the ecosystem includes the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, the North Fork Valley, the Blackfeet Reservation and thousands of additional acres of public, private and tribal lands spanning from Banff National Park to the Scapegoat Wilderness.

Are you a former student of the Glacier Institute or our Big Creek Summer Camps? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a message and let us know.

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