There is evidence of humans being in this area dating back to over 10,000 years ago. By the time the first European explorers came into this region, there were several different tribes that inhabited the area. The Blackfeet Indians controlled the vast prairies east of the mountains, while the Salish and Kootenai Indians lived in the western valleys, traveling over the mountains in search of game and to hunt the great herds of buffalo on the eastern plains.
The majority of early European explorers came to this area in search of beaver and other pelts. They were soon followed by miners and, eventually, settlers looking for land. By 1891, the completion of the Great Northern Railway sealed the area’s fate, allowing a greater number of people to enter into the heart of northwest Montana. Homesteaders settled in the valleys west of Marias Pass and soon after that small towns slowly started to develop.
Around the turn of the century, people started to look at the land differently. For some - The Glacier National area held more than minerals to mine or land to farm…they began to recognize that the area had a very unique scenic beauty all to its own.
By the late 1800s, influential leaders like George Bird Grinnell, pushed for the creation of a national park. In 1910, Grinnell and others saw their efforts rewarded when President Taft signed the bill establishing Glacier as the country's 10th national park.