A Tour of U.S. National Parks
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Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park stretches 1,013,572 acres across northwestern Montana and into Canada, where it's designated Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. There are about 26 glaciers, more than 200 glacier-fed lakes (Lake McDonald and St. Mary Lake are the largest), high peaks, over 750 miles of hiking trails, sheer precipices, large forests, waterfalls, and a great variety of wildlife and wildflowers. Glacier is home to more than 70 species of mammals and over 260 species of birds.
Temperature fluctuations have caused glacier growth and depletion. Ten thousand years ago, the area of Glacier National Park was covered by ice up to one mile below sea level. The latest warm period has caused the number of glaciers to decrease from 150 in 1850 to 26 today. If current global warming trends continue, there will be no glaciers left in Glacier National Park by 2030.
Fun Fact: Named by the Blackfeet tribe, Glacier National Park's ecosystem is called the "backbone of the World."
Photo source: Carol M. Highsmith