January 22, 2018

Why Are The Rocks In Glacier National Park So Colorful?

I recently had a picnic at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana, where I looked down at my feet, and really started analyzing the rocks.

Normally, I don’t pay much attention to rocks, except to make sure that my little one does not put any in her mouth.

The rocks at Lake McDonald are beautiful shades of reds and greens.  Every rock in the lakes in Glacier are beautiful, making you want to pick them all up!

I began to wonder why they were all of these brilliant colors!  Here’s what I found out….

These rocks are made up of primarily clay, a sedimentary rock referred to as “Argillite.”  According to the Glacier National Park Facebook page, as posted on July 27, 2013:

“As rock-loving Ranger Teagan will tell you, their striking color comes from the small amount of iron in their composition! Red means oxygen was present when the rock formed, green means the atmosphere was lacking oxygen.”

So take a look at your feet the next time you visit the lakes of Glacier National Park, and don’t forget the other surroundings, too. 🙂

Alex Neill on the shore of Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog

Warm Wishes from Big Sky Country,

Alex Neill

Montana Vacation Blog


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