Glacier National Park is located in northwest Montana abutting the Canadian border. It encompasses over 1,000,000 acres and includes parts of two mountain ranges, which are sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains. The park also has over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants and hundreds of species of animals. The park has numerous ecosystems ranging from prairie to tundra and the easternmost forests of red cedar and hemlock normally found in large numbers much closer to the Pacific Ocean. The park was established on May 11, 1910. However, the mountains of Glacier National Park began forming 170 million years ago when ancient rocks were forced eastward up and over much younger rock strata. Known as the Lewis Overthrust, these sedimentary rocks contain some of the finest fossilized examples of extremely early life found anywhere on Earth. The current shapes of the Lewis and Livingston mountain ranges and positioning and size of the lakes show the evidence of massive glacial action, which carved U-shaped valleys and left behind moraines which impounded water creating lakes. Of the estimated 150 glaciers which existed in the park in the mid-19th century, only 25 active glaciers remained in 2010. It is estimated that all the glaciers may disappear by 2020 if the current climate patterns persist.
Posted by: danielfee | July 16, 2013