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  • The Cordilleran ice sheet was a major ice sheet that periodically covered large parts of North America during glacial periods over the last ~2.6 million years. This included the following areas: Western Montana The Idaho Panhandle Northern Washington state down to about Olympia and Spokane, Washington All of British Columbia The southwestern third or so of Yukon Territory All of the Alaska Panhandle South Central Alaska The Alaska Peninsula Almost all of the continental shelf north of the Strait of Juan de Fuca The ice sheet covered up to two and a half million square kilometres at the Last Glacial Maximum and probably more than that in some previous periods, when it may have extended into the northeast extremity of Oregon and the Salmon River Mountains in Idaho. It is probable, though, that its northern margin also migrated south due to the influence of starvation caused by very low levels of precipitation. At its eastern end the Cordilleran ice sheet merged with the Laurentide ice sheet at the Continental Divide, forming an area of ice that contained one and a half times as much water as the Antarctic ice sheet does today.

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