Baby goat

Far north in central Montana, Glacier National Park is one of America's true natural treasures. Studded with glaciers,  granite mountains, lush green forests, plentiful waterfalls and abundant wildlife, the park is testament to the grandeur and beauty of America.

But climate change is having a drastic effect here. As CNET News reporter Daniel Terdiman discovered when he visited Glacier National Park on Road Trip 2009, global warming is dramatically altering the landscape here. While the glaciers have been retreating for decades, "the rate and magnitude of the change we are witnessing today has not occurred since human civilization began," according to the National Park Service.

One eventual victim could be mountain goats, which are seeing their habitat shrink as trees "move into high alpine meadows." This baby mountain goat may well get a chance to live out its normal life as its parents and their parents and many past generations did, but that might not be true of its offspring. Or theirs.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Fog swirling

The thick fog of a wet July day swirls around the hidden top of a tall granite mountain at Glacier National Park.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Lush green mountain in fog

A lush green mountain, its vegetation fed by heavy rains, appears mysterious in the fog.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

River and the lush valley

McDonald Creek winds its way through a valley at Glacier National Park in northern Montana. The park combines with the contiguous Canadian Waterton Lakes National Park to form the International Peace Park.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Huge roots

Plentiful water near the surface means that cedar trees in Glacier National Park grow shallow, huge root systems. However, when heavy winds blow, some of the trees can be easily knocked over. This one demonstrates the root system.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Avalance gorge

The Avalanche Creek pounds its way through Avalanche Gorge in Glacier National Park.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Beautiful moss

The rain forest-like conditions inside Glacier National Park lead to incredibly green hillsides of moss like this one.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Waterfall mountainside

An entire mountainside is covered with waterfalls, pouring down from above, at Glacier National Park.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Waterfall and line of cars

In some places inside the park, it's hard to tell how large the waterfalls are. This fall, which passes under a road where a group of cars has stopped for construction, provides some visual perspective.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Fire trees

A hillside and most of a valley inside Glacier National Park are filled with dead trees, the still-standing victims of a 1967 fire caused by a lightning strike.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Mom and baby

A baby mountain goat and its mother show off their good looks.

Click here for the entire Road Trio 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Beargrass

A beautiful flower, known as beargrass, graces a mountainside.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Car driving through Weeping Wall

A car gets soaked as it drives through one of the many waterfalls that make up the Weeping Wall.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Three arches in the fog

This tunnel, which features three open windows to the world outside, is known as the Three Arches. Here, it is visible in spite of the heavy, mysterious fog that was shrouding Glacier National Park on this day of Road Trip 2009.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Waterfall to snowbridge

The tiny specks just below this snow bridge and waterfall are people and vehicles, providing visual perspective on how large they are.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Continental Divide

At Logan's Pass, about midway through the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, which cuts southwest-to-northeast through Glacier National Park, the Continental Divide slices across, northwest-to-southeast.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

View from Logan Pass

On the west side of Logan Pass, the mountains and valleys were deep in fog, while on the east side, the sun was dominating and these mountains appeared in all their glory.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Barefoot and Jackson Glaciers

A look at Blackfoot and Jackson Glaciers, peering out from under the fog. Glacier National Park once featured 150 glaciers. Today, there are just 26.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Climate change and glaciers

This National Park Service graphic demonstrates the effect of climate change on its signature glaciers.

It is estimated that, at current pace, there will be no more glaciers in the park after 2030. That's because of the effects of global warming, which is steadily eroding the ancient ice rivers. According to the National Park Service, "the six hottest years on record since the 1890s, in rank order, are 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2004."

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

St. Mary Lake

Saint Mary Lake, at the eastern end of Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Deer and the cop car

In the parking lot at Logan's Pass, in Glacier National Park, a deer investigates a park ranger vehicle, much to the delight of nearby visitors.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:

Entering Grizzly Country

Visitors to Glacier National Park are warned that they are entering dangerous bear territory, and that they are responsible for their own safety.

Click here for the entire Road Trip 2009 package.

Updated:
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide

Tablets that put your TV to shame

Binge-watch your favorite episodes on these portable screens.

Hot Products