Glacier National Park

Backpackers on Trail 154 to Cramer Divide in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains.

How to Decide Where to Go Backpacking

By Michael Lanza

You can find abundant information online offering advice on how to plan a backpacking trip (including my 12 expert tips)—some of it good and some, frankly, not very thorough. But there’s little advice out there on how to choose where to go backpacking—and many backpackers fail to consider key aspects of trips that greatly affect their experience: They follow an essentially backward decision-making process.

While this may sound esoteric and irrelevant to you, I’ve learned that how you decide where to go greatly affects how well your trip goes—it really matters. The tips below explain the thought process I follow that make my trips much more enjoyable and will do the same for you.

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A backpacker above Oldman Lake along the Dawson Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

10 Backpacking Trips for Solitude in Glacier National Park

By Michael Lanza

Is it possible to find 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 backpacker on the Continental Divide Trail above Medicine Grizzly Lake in Glacier National Park.

How to Get a Permit to Backpack in Glacier National Park

By Michael Lanza

There are two immutable truths about backpacking in Glacier National Park. First, from its stirring landscape, where glaciers hang off muscular mountains and sheer cliffs soar above deeply green valleys dappled with lakes and waterfalls, to almost certain sightings of wildlife like mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, elk, and grizzly and black bears, there’s really no place in the continental United States quite like Glacier.

Second, it’s one of the hardest backcountry permits to get in the National Park System. But Glacier adopted a new wilderness permit reservation system in 2023 that improved on what preceded it and made changes again to the system for 2024 that greatly improve it, bringing equity to the process and eliminating the frantic scramble for a permit that the 2023 changes had spawned

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A young girl hiking Angels Landing in Zion National Park.

The 25 Best National Park Dayhikes

By Michael Lanza

America’s most stunning landscapes are protected within our 63 national parks, and some of the very finest scenery within our national heritage can be reached on dayhikes. Some of these hikes you may not have done yet or heard of. Others are famous, but there’s a reason for that: They are mind-blowingly gorgeous, so they stand out even in parks with multiple, five-star footpaths. You take these hikes for a one-of-a-kind experience.

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A backpacker at Park Creek Pass, North Cascades National Park.

10 Outdoor Adventures to Put on Your Bucket List Now

By Michael Lanza

Are you looking for great trip ideas for your bucket list? Well, you’ve clicked to the right place. This freshly updated story spotlights seven of the best wildlands in the U.S., including Glacier, Yosemite, North Cascades (photo above), and Sequoia national parks and three wilderness areas, plus three international adventures that may not be on your radar—all of them worthy of your bucket list.

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