The Best Backpacking Trip in Glacier National Park

With vertiginous cliffs and peaks, numerous waterfalls and cascades, crack-riddled glaciers plastering mountainsides, and raw wilderness where a range of wildlife long gone from most of the continent thrives, Glacier National Park embodies the highest aspirations of backpackers. And if you’re looking for the ultimate backpacking trip in Glacier, this 65-mile, six-day loop has it all. It hits much of Glacier’s best scenery, including the entire Highline Trail, the Many Glacier area, Piegan Pass and Stoney Indian Pass, the Ptarmigan Tunnel, and some of the park’s finest lakes and most-remote wilderness.

Sightings of mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, and even black and grizzly bears are common along this route and long stretches of this hike also deliver amazing solitude. Logistics are easier than other trips in Glacier and the entire route follows good trails and stays at moderate elevations. This e-guide covers everything you need to know to plan and take this trip, including expert advice on the ideal time of year, how to obtain a popular backcountry permit and deal with bears, travel logistics, gear, and safety, and it lays out a day-to-day itinerary, alternate days on the main itinerary, plus two more alternate itineraries.

Read my blog story about this trip, “Descending the Food Chain: Backpacking Glacier National Park’s Northern Loop” (which requires a paid subscription to read in full), in which I share the story and many photos from the multi-day hike described in much greater detail in this e-guide; or see my story “The Best Backpacking Trip in Glacier National Park” (which is free for anyone to read).

This e-guide has now been updated with the new-for-2023 details on applying for a wilderness permit reservation at Glacier National Park.

Purchase this e-guide NOW to begin planning your backpacking trip on the amazing Northern Loop in Glacier National Park!

Back to E-Guides

Add These Expert E-Guides to Your Order!

The Teton Crest Trail, Wonderland Trail, and Best Backpacking Trip in Glacier National Park


This e-guide bundle gives you a more than 20% discount on three popular e-guides to classic national park backpacking trips—a combined $57.85 value: “The Complete Guide to Backpacking the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park” describes the best itinerary and several variations, ranging from 35 to 39 miles, for incomparable views of the Teton Range (photo above), gorgeous …

Read on

The Best Backpacking Trip in Yosemite


Looking for the complete Yosemite backpacking trip? This 74-mile hike south of Tuolumne Meadows hits iconic, must-see features in Yosemite’s backcountry as well as some of its most remote and lonely wilderness.

Backpacking the Continental Divide Trail Through Glacier National Park


Continental Divide Trail thru-hikers widely agree: The CDT through Glacier National Park is one of the trail’s very best sections. This guide to backpacking a 94-mile traverse through Glacier lays out a customized route.