Tag Archives: Elizabeth Lake

March 13, 2019 A backpacker above the Belly River Valley in Glacier National Park.

The Best Backpacking Trip in Glacier National Park

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By Michael Lanza

The three bighorn sheep lifted their heavily horned heads to gaze at us, but never budged from their beds of grass amid boulders on a mountainside above the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park. The mountain goats we saw on various occasions gave us little more attention than that. And fortunately, the grizzly bear sow with two cubs in tow that passed within about 30 feet of us—an encounter of less than 10 seconds that is etched into my memory forever—gave us no more than a passing glance.

Besides an array of wildlife on that weeklong hike through Glacier, two friends and I also saw an ocean of mountains spreading out before us, long escarpments of Glacier’s signature soaring cliffs, and some of the prettiest of the park’s 760 lakes. We even enjoyed an unexpectedly high degree of solitude for long stretches of a multi-day hike that hit many of the park’s highlights. Continue reading →

March 4, 2019 Backpackers on the Continental Divide Trail/Piegan Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

Wildness All Around You: Backpacking the CDT Through Glacier

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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. Continue reading →

September 24, 2018 Backpackers on the Piegan Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

Photo Gallery: Backpacking the CDT Through Glacier National Park

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By Michael Lanza

After almost three decades of wilderness backpacking all over the U.S. and around the world, rarely does a new trip immediately leap into my all-time top 10. But that’s exactly what happened when three friends and I recently backpacked a north-south traverse of 94 miles through Glacier National Park, mostly following the Continental Divide Trail. Continue reading →

July 22, 2018

5 Perfect (Big) Dayhikes in Glacier National Park

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By Michael Lanza

The morning sun wouldn’t make the climb over Mount Grinnell and find its way into the valley of Swiftcurrent Creek for a couple of hours yet, so we hiked quickly without breaking a sweat in the chilly air. No one else was on the popular Swiftcurrent Pass Trail when we set out shortly after dawn, and this trail was new to us; so it felt like we were the first people to walk into this small but spectacular little crease in the mountains of Glacier National Park. Continue reading →

July 17, 2013 Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail, Glacier National Park.

Photo Gallery: Dayhiking Glacier National Park

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By Michael Lanza

With waterfalls, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, mountain views that don’t seem real, and the occasional grizzly or black bear (preferably seen at a safe distance)—you owe it to yourself to hike in Montana’s Glacier National Park. While it’s a backpacker’s paradise, there are countless great dayhikes there, too, as you’ll see in this photo gallery below. Continue reading →