2017 Crop of Beargrass at its Peak

Jun 15, 2017
Find out where to see the iconic Glacier bloom at its best and before it's gone

It’s been a banner year for beargrass in the Glacier National Park area. Some would call this a ‘landmark year’ for the iconic Glacier Park bloom.  
A member of the lily family (and not actually a grass), beargrass blooms at different times and in different places every year. It’s native to Montana, but can also been seen in subalpine meadows of the Pacific Northwest, and from Alberta to California.
Some years, beargrass is nearly impossible to find. Other years, like this one, it seems to be everywhere.
Here’s a video from this week, mountain biking in Glacier Country.

Some say each beargrass plant blooms once every eight years – that each plant is on a different eight-year schedule, the story goes, so there’s almost always some blooms. Glacier National Park scientists, however, say the beargrass can bloom whenever climatic conditions are ideal, not necessarily every eight years.

Either way, 2017 is proving to be a massive year for beargrass.
Some quick facts about beargrass:
  • Each beargrass will only bloom once. And once it blooms, it will stay that way for only a few days!
  • Sheep, deer, elk and goats are all known to eat beargrass
  • The plant was first called ‘beargrass’ by the 19th Century Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • It’s also known as squaw grass, soap grass, quip-quip, and Indian basket grass.
  • Beargrass is a favorite of the bears in the area who use it to line their dens.
  • Remember that picking flowers in Glacier National Park is prohibited.
Favorite places to see Beargrass: 
  • Iceberg Lake Trail
  • Grinnell Glacier Trail
  • Logan Pass Area Highline Trail
  • Hidden Lake Trail
  • Two Medicine Area
  • Whitefish Mountain Resort 
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