We present an exhaustive spatial analysis using the geographic, geometric, and hypsometric characteristics of 742 North Cascades glaciers to evaluate changes in their areal extents over a half-century period. Our results indicate that, contrary to our initial expectations, glacier change throughout the study region cannot be explained readily by correlations in glacier location, size, or shape. Because of the large error attributable to annual variations in glacier area due to snowpack, no statistically reliable change could be detected for 444 glaciers in our study (a slight majority). Of the North Cascades glaciers that do exhibit detectable change, a majority decreased in area, but nevertheless, some were detectably growing. These findings suggest that the integration of weather patterns over time does not neatly translate into correlations with natural variations in the geometry of glaciers. Our statistical analyses of the changes observed indicate that geometric data from a large number of glaciers, as well as a surprisingly large amount of spatial change, are required for a credible statistical detection of glacier-length and area changes over a short (multidecadal) period of time.