Glacier County is located in the north-western region of Montana bordered by Canada, between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. The geographical features of the region are diverse and include parts of protected areas such as Glacier National Park along the western edge and the Lewis and Clark National Forest.
The county is also largely composed of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and is rich both culturally and historically. It is dotted with sites related to the Lewis and Clark expedition and various other historic and prehistoric sites. The county is adjacent to Flathead County, Pondera County, and Toole County.
There are two incorporated towns within Glacier County by way of Cut Bank and Browning. Cut Bank is on the eastern side and is also the county seat. It has approximately 3,500 residents, roughly a quarter of the county’s total population.
At the edge of the Great Plains, Cut Bank was established around the railroad in relation to both local agriculture and a large oil boom that occurred in the early part of the century. Browning is the community largely representative of the Blackfeet Tribe who have been around the area for 5,000 years,
There are other small communities by way of Babb and St. Mary. Babb is a small unincorporated farming and ranching community within the Indian reservation, and it also serves as the gateway to the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park.
St. Mary is an unincorporated community on the western border of the Indian Reservation adjacent to the national park and is the eastern gateway of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, accessible via the U.S. Route 89 that runs through the village.
Visit the Glacier County Government website.
Special Events in Glacier County
- July – Cut Bank Lewis & Clark Festival
- July — Browning Annual Native American Celebration
- December – Cut Bank Festival of Lights
Main Attractions in Glacier County
Glacier National Park
Glacier County was established as a National Park in 1910, and is renowned for its vast and expansive mountain ranges and peaks that were formed from the flow of icy rivers back in the prehistoric age.
The landscape of this national park is vast, rugged, and diverse, and includes lush forests, alpine meadows, and a variety of water features by way of hundreds of pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls, and more than 25 glistening glaciers.
There are some truly impressive vistas like the ones that can be experienced from Going-to-the-Sun-Road, one of the few roads in the park. With over 1,600 square miles of scenic, primitive, and unspoiled landscape, the park offers a multitude of outdoor pursuits and is one of the main reasons why visitors travel to this part of Montana.
The Glacier Museum
The Glacier County Museum in Cut Bank has been established for more than 40 years and is home to a collection of artifacts, historic buildings, and memorabilia related to the region of Glacier County.
The museum’s purpose is to preserve and exhibit the history of Glacier County in various ways, some of which lean towards the interactive and the educational.
The museum holds a carefully curated and comprehensive archive of the area’s early history in terms of its various key figures and characters, as well as a plethora of information related to the Blackfeet Native Indians and their history.
Self-guided and private interactive tours are available, and the exhibits include items and buildings related to the homesteaders and various expeditions from the past.
Native American Museum and Heritage Center, Browning
The Blackfeet Heritage Center contains an Art Gallery and is the place to come if you want to experience authentic Blackfeet and Native American culture. The center is located in Browning and is open daily in the summer, and weekdays in winter, with free admission.
The gallery exhibits the works of artists of Native American descent and features all kinds of authentic art, craft, and other handiwork such as bead, rawhide, horsehair, and quillwork, as well as jewelry, sculptures, pottery, rugs, moccasins, drums, and dolls.
There are original watercolors, acrylics, oils, and prints, and alongside all of that, there are historical records and information, including commemorative coins. There are even a few fossils in the museum including a baby Tyrannosaur skeleton that is the most complete skeleton of a juvenile specimen, found on the Blackfeet reservation.