backpacking Glacier National Park

A backpacker hiking the Dawson Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

America’s Top 10 Best Backpacking Trips

By Michael Lanza

What makes for a great backpacking trip? Certainly top-shelf scenery is mandatory. An element of adventurousness enhances a hike, in my eyes. While there’s definitely something inspirational about a big walk in the wild, some of the finest trips in the country can be done in a few days and half of the hikes on this list are under 50 miles. Another factor that truly matters is a wilderness experience: All 10 are in national parks or wilderness areas.

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Backpackers on the Piegan Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

5 Reasons You Must Backpack in Glacier National Park

By Michael Lanza

Create a list of the attributes that constitute a great backpacking trip and the chances are very high that you will describe Glacier National Park. There’s the incomparable landscape, where rivers of ice pour off craggy mountains, vertiginous cliffs tower above deeply green valleys carved in the classic U shape by ancient glaciers, and hundreds of mountain lakes reflect it all. And regular encounters with wildlife like bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, moose, and, yes, grizzly and black bears: Few places in the continental United States harbor such a breadth of megafauna.

Sprawling over a million acres in Montana’s Northern Rockies, most of it wilderness, Glacier exudes a sense of wildness and beauty not replicated in most of the country.

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A backpacker on the Continental Divide Trail in Glacier National Park.

Backpacking Glacier National Park—a Photo Gallery

By Michael Lanza

If you have ever backpacked in Glacier National Park, you know you want to return. If you haven’t yet, then isn’t it time? One of America’s flagship national parks, it’s a must-see destination for backpackers because of the eye-popping scenery, remoteness, and an extremely rare variety of megafauna—including mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, and black and grizzly bears—as the photo gallery below from my numerous trips in Glacier shows.

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A backpacker on the northern Highline Trail in Glacier National Park.

5 Backpacking Trips for Solitude in Glacier National Park

By Michael Lanza

Is it possible to find some degree of solitude backpacking in a national park as popular as Glacier? The answer is an unequivocal yes—even in Glacier’s relatively short peak season of mid-July through mid-September. And the strategies for doing so are remarkably simple and will not compromise the quality of your experience in other ways—in fact, encountering fewer people only increases the chances of encountering wildlife. This article describes five backpacking trips where you are virtually guaranteed to enjoy serious solitude in Glacier National Park.

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A campsite at Overland Lake on the Ruby Crest Trail, Ruby Mountains, Nevada.

Tent Flap With A View: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

By Michael Lanza

An unforgettable campsite can define a backcountry trip. Sometimes that perfect spot where you spend a night forges the memory that remains the most vivid long after you’ve gone home. A photo of that camp can send recollections of the entire adventure rushing back to you—it does for me. I’ve been very fortunate to have pitched a tent in many great backcountry campsites over more than three decades of backpacking all over the U.S. and the world. I’ve boiled the list of my favorite spots down to these 25.

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