Save up your money for a helicopter ride over the park. Glacier Heli-Tours (406/387-4141 or 800/879-9310, $90 and up), located across the highway from the Vista Motel, is a reliable operator.
Head about 35 miles southeast on Highway 2 to visit the goat lick, a mineral-laden cliff that provides goats with salt. A parking area near milepost 182 vents onto a short trail to the overlook. Spring is the big mineral-licking season; evenings in early June are certain to keep visitors entranced with billy, nanny, and kid goats. Binoculars help.
The relatively gentle Marias Pass marks the Continental Divide on Highway 2, between Essex and East Glacier . Salish tribes living west of the Continental Divide traditionally traveled over this pass on yearly trips to hunt buffalo. After the Blackfeet Indians moved to prairies east of the park in the late 1700s, they consolidated their hold over the entire area; Marias Pass became the scene of bloody battles when Salish hunting parties encountered Blackfeet warriors.
When James J. Hill was planning the route of the Great Northern Railway, he heard rumors of a lost pass over the Continental Divide. In the winter of 1889, railroad surveyor John J. Stevens found Marias Pass and deemed it navigable by rail.