Glacier National Park (Canada)
Glacier National Park is part of a system of 43 parks and park reserves across Canada, and one of seven national parks in British Columbia. Established in 1886, the park encompasses 1,349 km2 (521 sq mi), and includes a portion of the Selkirk Mountains which are part of the larger grouping of mountains, the Columbia Mountains. It also contains the Rogers Pass National Historic Site.
The park's history is closely tied to two primary Canadian transportation routes, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), completed in 1885, and the Trans-Canada Highway, completed in 1963. Rogers Pass in the centre of the park eluded explorers until 1881. The railway brought with it tourism, the establishment of Glacier National Park and the construction of a popular alpine hotel. The heavy winter snows and steep, avalanche-prone valleys of the park have been a major obstacle to transportation, necessitating much railway engineering and avalanche control measures.
The park contains high peaks, large, active glaciers, and one of Canada's largest cave systems. Its dense forests support populations of large mammals, birds, and alpine species. The region is noted for its heavy snowfall. The park has an extensive network of trails, three campgrounds, and four backcountry huts and cabins. Due to the major transportation routes that bisect it, Glacier National Park sees large numbers of visitors.