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Backpacker Magazine – January 2011

Our Backyard: Glacier National Park

Trek through grizzly terrain in Glacier National Park.

by: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

1. Best Paddling trip
From the Bowman Lake campground, kayak across seven-mile-long, Evian-clear Bowman Lake and camp at the backcountry site at the lake’s northeast end. Stow boats on day two and follow the Bowman Lake Trail six miles past three waterfalls to camp under 6,255-foot Brown Pass.

2. Sunset View
Hike 8.7 miles one-way to 8,436-foot Swiftcurrent Mountain via the Highline Trail for a life-list sunset, advises Jared Frasier (below). Grab a perch as the Lewis Range glows orange and snowmelt on Heaven’s Peak glitters. Overnight at the Granite Park Chalet campground (three miles south, back the way you came).

3. Weekend Solitude
Head to the Two Medicine area, says Jennifer Grigg (below). It’s well away from the crowds along Going-to-the-Sun Road. Top trip: the 16-mile loop connecting Pitamakan and Dawson Passes. Camp at Oldman and No Name Lakes for the ideal long weekend.

4. Best Grizzly-Spotting
Fearless locals head for the 4.8-mile Iceberg Lake Trail: Former Missoula resident Jill Schroeder saw five bruins in a single hike to this lake, where ice chunks float beneath vertical cliffs well into summer. No griz? Chances of spotting bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and marmots are still high.

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