The Glacial Lake Missoula chapter maintains an exhibit in Missoula in cooperation with the Montana Natural History Center, where you can watch videos about the great floods, view artifacts from the life of J.T. Pardee, pick up maps of driving routes for this area and for the National Geologic Trail, and find other related books and brochures. This is also the location for National Park Service stamps and Junior Ranger materials
An interactive relief map of Glacial Lake Missoula is located on the auto circle tour route at Paradise Center, formerly a school in Paradise, MT. The Ravalli County Museum in Hamilton, MT, features a large erratic found in the area and several outdoor interpretive signs.
For programs and field trips, visit us on Facebook or the Glacial Lake Missoula chapter page of the Ice Age Floods Institute website or contact the Montana Natural History Center.
Lake Missoula Circle Route
Some of the features found in this area are thought to be the result of normal geologic processes of lakes, such as wave action on a beach or seasonal deposition of sediments. Others were created by the force of water as it raced downstream but was still largely constrained by the resistance of mountains of very hard metamorphic rock that lined the river valleys and the comparative lack of soil.
A driving tour brochure and map of seven major features was compiled in 2018 and can be printed or downloaded. These features include erratics, strand lines, rhythmites, giant ripple marks, high eddy gulch fill, kolks, and a lake. The tour can be done in about half a day (without stops) and is 225 miles. A version that can be accessed on your phone even where there is no cell phone coverage can be obtained by downloading the free app Avenza Maps, then following the instructions on the map website here.
Echoes on the Land by Inspired Classroom
Lake Missoula by Nick Zentner and Tom Foster
Camas Prairie Ripples by Bruce Bjornstad
Follow the Flood Path
Many of the most dramatic features created by the ice age floods were created by the sudden outburst of walls of water released when the ice dam failed. These features have been combined with those found in the Glacial Lake Missoula area to create an officially recognized National Geologic Trail managed by the National Park Service, in collaboration with other public and private entities. Some of the areas of interest are Dry Falls, Palouse Falls, the Drumheller Channels, and Grand Coulee. A brochure with a map of the Trail is available at many of these locations. More detailed information can be found at the official National Park Service website.
Other chapters of the Ice Age Floods Institute have developed brochures with more detailed tours of their local regions. Links to all of these can be found on the Ice Age Floods Institute brochure pages.
The most comprehensive interpretive site downstream is located on Hwy 17 south of US2 at the Dry Falls Visitor Center, which also has a stunning overlook.