Glacier National Park is located in the U.S. state of Montana, bordering the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km2) and includes parts of two mountain ranges (sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains), over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants and hundreds of species of animals. This vast pristine ecosystem is the centerpiece of what has been referred to as the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem", a region of protected land encompassing 16,000 square miles.
Glacier National Park has almost all its original endemic plant and animal species. Mammals such as the grizzly and mountain goat as well as less common ones such as the wolverine and lynx are known to inhabit the park. Hundreds of species of birds, more than a dozen fish species and even a few reptile and amphibian species have been documented. The park has numerous ecosystems ranging from prairie to tundra and the easternmost forests of red cedar and hemlock normally found in large numbers closer to the Pacific Ocean. Though larger forest fires are uncommon in the park, in 2003 over 10% of the park was impacted by fires.
Glacier National Park borders Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada - the two parks are known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, and were designated as the World's first International Peace Park in 1932. Both parks were designated by the United Nations as Biosphere Reserves in 1976, and in 1995 as World Heritage sites.Glacier National Park is managed by the National Park Service; park headquarters is in West Glacier, Montana. Visitation to Glacier National Park averages slightly less than 2 million visitors annually, however a relative few venture far from main roadways and hotels.
Two hundred waterfalls are scattered throughout the park, however, during drier times of the year, many of these are reduced to a trickle. The largest falls include those in the Two Medicine region, McDonald Falls in the McDonald Valley and Swiftcurrent Falls in the Many Glacier area, which is easily observable and close to the Many Glacier Hotel. One of the tallest waterfalls is Bird Woman Falls, which drops 492 feet (150 m) from a hanging valley beneath the north slope of Mount Oberlin.