Tag Archives: Ptarmigan Tunnel

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 →

March 13, 2018 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 during that seven-day backpacking trip 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 large, charismatic wildlife on that 90-mile 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 →

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 →

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 →