Frozen Rivers of Ice

Cradled among the rocky peaks of many northern national parks lie patches of white. Not just snow—not any more. These glaciers began their lives as snowflakes before being compressed into ice. As gravity pulls these masses of ice, rock, and sediment downhill, they shape our landscape. Glaciers store more than half of the world’s freshwater and give us clues about our changing climate. National parks contain some of the best examples of glaciers in the United States. Get face-to-face with a glacier and explore what we do to protect these ever-changing natural features.

Map of the United States showing all units of the National Park System

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