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Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

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Geologic Formation
Grinnell Glacier is in the heart of Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. The glacier is named for George Bird Grinnell, an early American conservationist and explorer, who was also a strong advocate of ensuring the creation of Glacier National Park. The glacier is in the Lewis Range and rests on the north flank of Mount Gould at an altitude averaging 7000ft, in the Many Glacier region of the park.The glacier has been one of the most photographed glaciers in the park and many of these photographs date back to the mid 19th century. When compared with images taken over subsequent years, the glacier has obviously retreated substantially. In 1850, at the end of what has been referred to as the Little Ice Age, Grinnell Glacier measured 710acre, including the area of The Salamander Glacier, an ice apron or shelf glacier that used to be attached to Grinnell, but is now separate. By 1993, Grinnell Glacier measured 220acre and The Salamander measured 57acre.Between 1966 and 2005, Grinnell Glacier lost almost 40 percent of its acreage. Glaciologists have predicted that if carbon dioxide levels increase at a worst-case scenario, all the glaciers in the park, including Grinnell, will disappear by the year 2030. However, under a modest increase in overall carbon dioxide levels, some glaciers will remain until the year 2277.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We want on a ranger-led hike -- saw a bear on the way, incredible views, sad that the glacier is melting. Great way to spend the day.  more »
  • Grinnell Glacier is a beautiful area. You will see the Glacier and the stunning blue Tarn (Glacially formed Lake) below it if you hike up after the snow melts or take the two-lake boat tour up and bac...  more »
  • This is a beautiful hike to...heaven, I'm pretty sure. Emerald green lakes, big horn sheep, marmots, and one of the last glaciers. It is a haul, but I managed it seven months pregnant, so I think this...  more »