Tag Archives: Gunsight Lake

March 11, 2019 A backpacker on Clouds Rest in Yosemite National Park.

5 Perfect National Park Backpacking Trips for Beginners

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By Michael Lanza

So you’re a novice backpacker, or you’re backpacking in a big, Western national park for the first time, or you have kids you want to take on a relatively easy backpacking trip—and you want to sample the best scenery, trails, and backcountry campsites that experienced backpackers get to enjoy in our flagship national parks. No worries. These five trips in Grand Teton, Yosemite (photo above), Zion, Grand Canyon, and Rocky Mountain are ideal for beginners and families, with easy to moderately difficult days and simple logistics, while delivering the spectacular vistas that each of these parks is famous for. 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 →

August 16, 2016 Hiking the Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park.

Video: Backpacking Glacier’s Gunsight Pass Trail

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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. Continue reading →

May 10, 2015 Hiking the Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana.

One Photo, One Story: Dayhiking the Gunsight Pass Trail in Glacier National Park

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By Michael Lanza

High above Gunsight Lake on Glacier National Park’s Gunsight Pass Trail, beneath a bluebird sky, I got this photo of my wife, Penny, standing on a ledge along a stretch where the trail makes a long traverse of a cliff face. A little while later, we passed a mountain goat grazing trailside. Popular with backpackers for its scenery, easy access, and relatively low commitment for distance, the 20-mile traverse of the Gunsight Pass Trail can be done in a day by fit hikers, because of its moderate grades and good footing. And what a spectacular day it is—an unforgettable way to sample Glacier National Park if you have the legs for it. Continue reading →

July 8, 2014 Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: How to Grab a Hard-to-Get Permit For Backpacking Glacier’s Gunsight Pass Trail

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Michael,

Hope you are well. I was inspired by your Gunsight Lake trip with the family in Glacier National Park and was planning on backpacking there in August with a friend. While I have confirmed air travel, hotel, two-night Sperry Chalet and workshop reservations, I just found out that my advance mail-in reservation for Gunsight Lake and Lake Ellen Wilson campgrounds have been denied.

I arrive on Day 1 to Kalispell at 2 p.m. local time, so have a bit of time to see if I can snag one of the potentially open walk-in spots. But having never done this before, I am not sure if that is a realistic option. Any advice to offer? Continue reading →

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