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Need backpacking route suggestion for Glacier July 1-3
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David Smith
Need backpacking route suggestion for Glacier July 1-3 on 06/22/2011 11:53:36 MDT Print View

My wife and I will be in Glacier July 1-3 and would like to do 3 days, 2 nights backpacking. Problem is, the massive snow seems to have made route planning a bit challenging. Without any in depth knowledge of the park, I'm not confident in picking a good route. Lots of trails are snow covered, bridges apparently aren't all put up yet, and the river fords I am guessing are likely extremely dangerous with all the snow melt. We have no experience with high alpine backpacking in these snowy conditions so we would prefer something in the lower elevations. We do have crampons for icy, snowy trail conditions but no ice axes. We would love to do a loop or an in and out of no more than 5-10 miles per day total. With so many trails covered in snow, I am wondering if we should just do two separate one nighters from different trail heads since its looking like it may be challenging to put together a loop that is within our experience level. And then of course there is the issue of backcountry campsite reservations...seems alot of sites are taken this late in the game.

We would be very happy just to be able to camp in a beautiful spot two nights...even if that means having to go back to the car and head to a different trail head the second night.

If anyone has any thoughts or recommendations, it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Need backpacking route suggestion for Glacier July 1-3 on 06/22/2011 12:05:56 MDT Print View

I was just there for June 15-16, and everything was wet. I had all sorts of intentions on where I wanted to hike and which passes I wanted to cover. The problem was that they have not opened up the Logan Pass highway, and that may not happen at all. Road construction has bottled up Avalanche to the Loop. So, you can't even get to many of the starting points for a backpack trip unless you stay out into the lower elevation west side areas.

I was hiking just at the snow line in the Many Glacier area, and a cow moose with calf came trotting down the trail right at me. I was so startled and busy getting out of the way that I didn't fire the camera until they were past me. Also, there were lots and lots of mountain goats out.

I'm afraid that the wildflower season will be very late this year.

I assume that you have read the Trail Status reports on the NPS-Glacier web site.


Kimberly Wersal
(kwersal) - MLife

Locale: Western Colorado
Re: Re: Need backpacking route suggestion for Glacier July 1-3 on 06/22/2011 21:43:27 MDT Print View

You might want to look at the Belly River Country--some gorgeous scenery, but a little lower in elevation valleys that tend to be clear of snow earlier than other areas of the park. An in/out hike to one of the many lakes (depending on how far you want to hike) could be very nice.