Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park boasts over 700 miles of trails. A hiker’s paradise to be sure. No matter the trail, magnificent scenery can be seen in every direction.
Five nature trails are very popular:
- Forest and Fire Nature Trail
- Hidden Lake
- Running Eagle Falls
- Trail of the Cedars
- Swiftcurrent Nature Trail
Trails often mentioned by hiking pros:
- Iceberg Lake
- Grinnell Glacier
- Highline Trail
- Cracker Lake
Easy to hike trails:
- Avalanche Lake
- Upper McDonald Creek
- Bullhead Lake
- Baring Falls
- St. Mary Falls
The National Park Service wants hikers to have a fun time and an enjoyable experience when hiking in the park.
Some good advice is offered by the National Park Service and hiking professionals:
- Always take along bear spray
- Let someone know where you are going (including route), description of what clothing you’re wearing, when you plan to return, and a description of your car (including where parked and license plate number)
- Don’t count on cell phone service in the park
- Be prepared to help yourself as help from others may be a long time coming
- Get familiar with the hazards associated with hiking
- Learn about the trail(s) you will be hiking on before you go
- If available carry a map of the trail(s)
- Always check the weather before heading out on a trail
- Stay close together with your hiking group
- Above all always hike with a group for safety
Some good advice to prepare yourself for hiking:
- Wear suitable hiking shoes
- Take along first-aid supplies
- Carry plenty of water
- Pack some food and ready-to-eat snacks
- Physically condition yourself for walking in rough, often steep, terrain
- Tackle only trails that match your abilities and condition
- Be prepared for changes in weather conditions
- A light rain jacket and suitable clothing (think layers) are essential
- Take along sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and insect repellent
- Carry a sturdy water-proof backpack
There are many challenges in hiking Glacier as there would be in any mountainous area. It’s unlike a stroll in a city park. But the rewards that come with hiking Glacier are well worth the effort. If you plan to hike on other than easy and nature trails, it is a good idea to watch a YouTube video of the trail you want to hike so that you know what to expect.
The publishing world has many guides for happy and successful hiking. Read one.
- Day Hikes of Glacier National Park Map-Guide by Jake Bramante
- Top Trails: Glacier National Park by Jean Arthur
- Day Hiking: Glacier National park & Western Montana, by Aaron Theisen
Excellent trail maps by the National Park Service are online.
A Web site ALLTRAILS.com is very useful too.
If you’d like a guide to take you out on the trail contact Glacier Guides. They have experienced guides and much knowledge of Glacier trails.
Another trail map: Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks (National Geographic Trails).
Absaroka Mountain, Mont.
© 2021 John Sandy