Highline Trail

Highline Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana.

Ask Me: If I Have One Day in Glacier National Park, What Hike Should I Take?

Hi, Michael,

I found your blog through your “5 Perfect (Big) Days in Glacier National Park” post–fantastic-sounding hikes. If you have some time, I was looking for advice for an upcoming trip. I am traveling to Great Falls, Montana, soon for work, and I’ll have one day to explore Glacier National Park. Of course one day is not enough, but these are my circumstances. Anyway, my main question: What would you recommend for an eager hiker with one day to spend in paradise? Are there trails with a high wow-factor you can recommend that are likely to be open, even if the high country is snowed in?

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Highline Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: How Hard Are the Trails in Glacier National Park?

Dear Michael,

I am heading to Glacier National Park for the first time this August, planning dayhikes based out of the Many Glacier campsite. I’m confident in my abilities to easily handle all of these hikes but one: Logan Pass to Many Glacier in a day. There are two reasons for my doubt. The first is that I am from Columbus, Ohio. We are at an average elevation of about 270 meters. Obviously, the thinner air at elevation in Glacier is going to take its toll; that will be the highest I have ever been. The second reason is that I’ve only done one comparable hike (I think it compares), which was to the summit of Mount LeConte via the Alum Cave Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. That was about 11 miles round trip, and about 2,800 feet gained on the way up. It was a challenge, sure, but less than I expected and I actually had quite a lot in reserve by the time we returned to the trailhead.

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Ask Me: Tips On Backpacking Glacier National Park and the John Muir Trail

[Note: I recently received these similar questions from two different readers]

Michael,

I wrote you last year about the Teton Crest Trail and my buddies and I completed it back in July. It was amazing. We are starting to plan our next backcountry trip and were thinking about Glacier National Park. What do you recommend for a 5- to 6-day, 35- to 50-mile trip in GNP? What about on the John Muir Trail? We are considering both. Thanks for the info, always helpful.

Justin

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Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier National Park.

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

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?

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Photo Gallery: Dayhiking Glacier National Park

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.

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