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A scenic view of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana
A scenic view of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana

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Glacier National Park, Montana
In 1910, Congress established Glacier National Park in Montana. Conservationist George Bird Grinnell played a key role in the creation of this park in order to preserve the land's natural beauty. Indians have always revered this region. The Blackfeet, Salish, and Kootenai Indians, who have lived in the area for hundreds of years, consider it a sacred place.

Glacier National Park is named for the glaciers that produced its landscape. A glacier is a moving mass of snow and ice. It forms when more snow falls each winter than melts in the summer. The snow accumulates and presses the layers below it into ice. The bottom layer of ice becomes flexible and therefore allows the glacier to move. As it moves, a glacier picks up rock and gravel. With this mixture of debris, it scours and sculptures the land it moves across. This is how, over thousands of years, Glacier National Park got all its valleys, sharp mountain peaks, and lakes. There are more than 50 glaciers in the park today, though they are smaller than the huge ones that existed 20,000 years ago.

In addition to its glaciers, mountains, and valleys, Glacier National Park covers approximately 1.4 million acres and includes 200 lakes and streams. The park is also home to many different types of wildlife, including black and grizzly bear, moose, golden and bald eagle, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and whitetail and mule deer.

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