Tag Archives: hiking Glacier National Park

February 11, 2019 A backpacker on the Pitamakan Pass-Dawson Pass traverse in Glacier National Park.

America’s Top 10 Best Backpacking Trips

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By Michael Lanza

What makes a great backpacking trip? I’ve thought about that more than a mentally stable person probably should, having done many of America’s (and the world’s) most beautiful and beloved multi-day hikes over the years. Certainly top-shelf scenery is mandatory. An element of adventurousness enhances a hike, in my eyes. As I assembled this top 10 list, longer trips seemed to dominate it—there’s something special about a big walk in the wilderness—but two- and three-day hikes also made my list. Another factor that truly matters is a wilderness experience: All 10 are in national parks or wilderness areas.

In the final analysis, though, the only criterion that matters is simple: that it’s a great trip. And that character shows itself over and over in my picks for the 10 best backpacking trips in the country, selected from the many I’ve taken over more than a quarter-century (and counting) of carrying a backpack, both as a longtime field editor for Backpacker magazine and creator of this blog. Continue reading →

April 25, 2018 Highline Trail, Glacier National Park.

Ask Me: Where to Backpack For Solitude in Glacier National Park

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Dear Michael,

Thank you for such a comprehensive site. It is a joy to read and inspires so many travel dreams! I was pouring over all your stories on Glacier but I have a question. A friend and I just decided to go to Glacier in mid-September and would like to do a backpacking trip for two or three nights. We would appreciate something beautiful, somewhat challenging, but most of all, solitude. It seems we are late to get a reservation on top trails, and it seems like a good opportunity to take less-traveled trails. Do you have any suggestions? Continue reading →

September 4, 2012

Descending the Food Chain: Backpacking Glacier National Park’s Northern Loop

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By Michael Lanza

Never mind that it was the seventh straight bluebird morning of backpacking in mountains that constantly look surreal, like a painted mural backdrop in a movie. It didn’t matter that the trip had been a parade of wildlife. We even forgot about the heaviness in our legs from 15-mile days.

The menacing snarl piercing the silence seized our full attention. Continue reading →

September 27, 2011

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

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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 in the Northern Rockies—the sun shining warmly, a gently cooling breeze rippling the air, not a white speck of moisture in the sky. We are heading out on a three-day family backpacking trip to Gunsight Pass in Montana’s Glacier National Park. Continue reading →