So, what are good 50-60 miles hikes in Glacier NP? It's someplace I've always wanted to go but about which I know relatively little. (Just ordered the Falcon Guide.) Since I'm not likely to get back there soon I'd like to make the hike as perfect as possible, so I'm starting my 2-year planning...
What I'm looking for:
1. Crowds as small as possible- I don't do this for the opportunities to socialize.
2. The classic Glacier views- mountains, U-shaped valleys, lakes, wildlife, etc.
3. So, some high and some down in the valleys would be ideal, but given a choice I favor high.
4. Not necessarily interested in bagging peaks, but not opposed either, should the route happen to hit one.
5. As mentioned, 50-60 miles or so. We have to fit this in around my hiking partner's spouse-imposed schedule, and that means 5 or 6 days on the trail.
6. I don't mind vague trails but would like to avoid overt bushwhacking (slow).
7. Likewise, a scramble is OK, but no mountaineering (i.e. ropes) please.
8. Loops are always nice, but not required. I could probably do a car shuttle, too. (Bus?)
9. Avoid the need for snowshoes. Microspikes would be OK. (See below)
NOTE- advice about dealing with bears is not solicited- the subject has been beaten to death. However, advice about trailheads, where to leave a car, etc., is always welcome.
Timing is vague- this far ahead I can plan the dates of the trip to suit the hike, but I'm definitely thinking 3-season, not winter. I could especially do something in the shoulder seasons if that is well-advised and avoids crowds, but would prefer not to need snowshoes or such. And I'm willing to take reasonable risks with the weather- I'm not delicate.