Many National Parks are named for their defining feature. One has a Grand Canyon, another has Great Smoky Mountains, and yet another has Glaciers. The canyon and the mountains won’t disappear but the glaciers are melting so I’m at Glacier National Park this week to see them.
Glacier National Park was the brainchild of George Bird Grinnell who fell in love with the place on his first visit in 1885. Over the next 25 years he returned several times and advocated for the land to become a national park. His dream was realized on May 11, 1910.
The scenery here is breathtaking — a 1,583 square mile wilderness of majestic mountains, U-shaped valleys, gorgeous lakes and (for me) many Life Birds.
In the early 1900’s there were more glaciers than there are today. According to Wikipedia: “Of the estimated 150 glaciers which existed in the park in the mid-19th century, only 25 active glaciers remained by 2010. Scientists studying the glaciers in the park have estimated that all may disappear by 2030 if the current climate patterns persist.”
The glacier named for Grinnell himself is melting, too. In 1850 it filled the entire valley. By 2009 most of the valley contained an iceberg lake. And now …
See it before it melts.
(photos of Glacier National Park from Wikimedia Commons. Click on the images to see the originals)
p.s. Click here for more about the disappearing glaciers.