backpacking Glacier National Park

Morning Eagle Falls and backpackers on the Piegan Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

Wildness All Around You: Backpacking the CDT Through Glacier

By Michael Lanza

The air temperature feels not much above freezing, pinching our faces as we hit the trail just after 8 a.m. on our second day of backpacking in Glacier National Park. The still, glassy water of Elizabeth Lake captures a razor-sharp, upside-down reflection of the jagged mountains flanking it; only the upper slopes of the peaks above Elizabeth’s western shore catch the early sunlight on this September morning. We pause occasionally on the strip of sandy beach along the lakeshore just to gawk at our surroundings.

Then we hear it.

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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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Hiking the Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park.

Video: Backpacking Glacier’s Gunsight Pass Trail

By Michael Lanza

On a cool August morning under clear Rocky Mountains skies, we hiked steadily uphill toward Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park. Cliffs rose steeply up to a small glacier on our left, and dropped off precipitously on our right a thousand feet down to the clear, emerald waters of Gunsight Lake. Shortly before reaching the 6,900-foot pass, we ran into the sort of wild obstruction that occurs with some regularity in this park: a mountain goat in the trail.

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Young kids hiking the Gunsight Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

Jagged Peaks and Wild Goats: Backpacking Glacier’s Gunsight Pass Trail

By Michael Lanza We’re just seconds beyond the sign at the start of the Gunsight Pass Trail that reads “Entering Grizzly Country” when Nate, who’s a month shy of his tenth birthday, begins aggressively making the case for why he should be armed. “Why can’t I carry a pepper spray?” he asks me—again and again. It’s an idyllic, late-summer afternoon …

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