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Montana Backpacking Trails

Yellowstone National Park: Beaver Ponds Loop

Hike past expansive beaver ponds and prime elk habitat on this loop through Yellowstone’s scenic northwest corner.

Spokane, WA: Fairview Ski Loop

Ski through a peaceful pine forest on this 3.1-mile loop east of Spokane, Washington.

Glacier National Park: Siyeh Bend to Sunrift Gorge

Windswept ridges, jigsaw peaks, and a bulldozing glacier are just few of the highlights on this 9.8-mile half-circle route near Going-to-the-Sun and Matahpi Peaks.

Glacier National Park: Iceberg Lake

Can’t afford a full week in Glacier? Try this daylong sampler, a 5.2-mile hike that passes waterfalls and jagged peaks, climbing to an alpine lake pinched in by 3,000-foot walls.

Glacier National Park: The Garden Wall via Highline Trail

Pass through some of the wildest land in the Lower 48 on this stout 11.3-mile route that offers a wildlife showcase of grizzlies, mountain lions, moose, and wolverines.

Bozeman: Potosi Peak Loop

A stout, 15.4-mile off-trail loop to a handful of peaks in the Tobacco Roots finishes off at steamy hot springs perfect for relaxing sore muscles.

Bozeman: Blue Lake Trail

Camp near an alpine lake beneath the fabled crags of the Crazy Mountains and watch frothing streams tumble over multiple falls on this 9.6-mile overnight.

Bozeman: Emerald Lake

Pass a handful of big canyon waterfalls on your way up to an alpine lake with jaw-dropping views on this 9.4-mile out-and-back in Gallatin National Forest.

Glacier National Park: Five Pass-Red Eagle Loop

This strenuous 54.8-mile, 6-day loop follows a historic abandoned trail across the true crown of the continent.

Glacier National Park: Redgap Pass Trail

Lakeside campsites, abundant wildlife, waterfalls, and magnificent mountain views are among the many highlights on this 25.1-mile, 3-day trek in the east section of Glacier.

Glacier National Park: Swiftcurrent Mountain via Granite Park Trail

This 12.3-mile, out-and-back trek to Swiftcurrent Mountain is loaded with heavenly views of the Continental Divide, plus the McDonald and Many Glacier valleys.

Glacier National Park: Appistoki Peak and Mount Henry

Hike up two mountain peaks with eye-popping vistas on this challenging 7.4-mile off-trail route on the park’s lesser-traveled east side.

Bozeman: The Sentinel via Windy Pass Trail

Climb the rocky guardian of the northern Gallatin Range on this 10-mile out-and-back to a skyline full of lofty pinnacles.

Glacier National Park: Pitamakan Pass to Dawson Pass

Hike over three mountain passes into glacier-carved basins with crystalline lakes and bird’s-eye views on this 17.6-mile loop. Don’t forget your camera.

Glacier National Park: Ptarmigan Tunnel

This 11-mile out-and-back weaves among pines, crosses over a waterfall, then passes through a rock tunnel above two alpine lakes.

Bozeman, MT: Sacagawea Peak

On this 4.4-mile dayhike, the five-star views go on and on as you climb through blooming meadows and up a scree slope to the Bridger Range’s high point.

Glacier National Park: Gunsight Pass Trail

Ride Amtrak to Glacier’s back door, then hike this 19.7-miler past glacial lakes and cascades and over two gorgeous passes.

Glacier National Park: Swiftcurrent Mountain via Swiftcurrent Pass Trail

This 16.1-mile dayhike links a string of alpine lakes, then hits a summit high above glacier-sculpted landscapes in the Many Glacier region.

Bozeman, MT: Mount Blackmore

This ambitious 5.6-miler climbs more than 3,000 feet through mountain meadows, past a quiet lake, to a summit with far-away views over the Gallatin Range.

Glacier National Park: Akokala Lake

Link wooded ridges and a glacier-scraped valley on this 11-miler in Glacier National Park that visits a quiet lake rimmed by rugged peaks.

Glacier National Park: Huckleberry Mountain

Climb 5.8 miles through lodgepole pines to a fire lookout perched above the Apgar Mountains with views that extend across Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park: Kintla Lake to Goat Haunt

Five mountain lakes, two mountain passes, and countless glacier-carved peaks highlight this epic, 29.6-mile shuttle hike in Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park: Chief Mountain Customs to Goat Haunt

This 28.8-mile shuttle hike travels to the southern tip of Waterton Lake, touring remote landscapes peppered with pristine lakes and glacier-covered peaks.

Glacier National Park: Logging Lake to Grace Lake

Travel to two quiet backcountry lakes rimmed by the rugged Livingston Range on this 24.8-mile hike in Glacier National Park.

Great Falls, MT: Windy Mountain Loop

This 7.1-mile dayhike in Lewis and Clark National Forest loops through the Highwood Mountains, skirting several creeks and the broad summit of Windy Mountain.

Glacier National Park: Lake Isabel

You’ll find rugged landscapes and plenty of solitude on this 33.6-mile backpacking trip that visits a secluded lake at the foot of three rugged peaks.

Glacier National Park: Rainbow Falls

Ride the boat from Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park to reach this remote 1.9-mile out-and-back that visits a set of cascades in the northern reaches of Glacier National Park.

Great Falls, MT: Renshaw Lake Loop

This 13.9-mile backcountry getaway features a secluded mountain lake, countless stream crossings, and views across untouched wilderness.

Yellowstone National Park: Specimen Creek Loop

Trace Specimen Creek to two backcountry lakes and tour remote mountain landscapes on this solitary, 22.5-mile trek in Yellowstone National Park.

Glacier National Park: Loneman Mountain

Climb to a lonely lookout on Loneman Mountain on this 15.6-mile out-and-back that reveals quiet views across Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park: Bowman Lake to Kintla Lake

Epic, glacial-era geology and rugged mountain views from the Continental Divide are the highlights of this 4- or 5-day point-to-point in Glacier National Park’s northwest corner.

Glacier National Park: Swiftcurrent Pass

A classic trek in Glacier National Park, this 14.7-miler crosses the Continental Divide, skirts turquoise pools, and skims wildflower fields.

Glacier National Park: Scenic Point

Worth the 2,200-foot climb out of Two Medicine, this 7.3-mile out-and-back rewards with wildlife viewing on the slopes of Mount Henry and a panoramic vista of Glacier National Park.

Red Lodge, MT: Wood Lake

Cross the Stillwater Plateau to trout-rich ponds at the foot of Montana’s second highest peak.

Glacier National Park: Lincoln Lake via Lincoln Lake Trail

Trek to the shores of Lincoln Lake, a picturesque pool surrounded by ragged peaks, on this 16.7-mile hike in Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park: Belly River

With low altitude yet big relief, this route in Glacier National Park’s little-visited northeast corner is perfect in early season. Hike this 22.9-mile lollipop loop in the Belly River Valley and cut through beargrass-filled meadows past misty waterfalls to a campsite overlooking Elizabeth Lake.

Glacier National Park: Avalanche Lake

Hike through old-growth forests and climb 600 feet alongside a glacier-fed stream on this 4.7-mile out-and-back that ends on the shores of Avalanche Lake.

Glacier National Park: Grinnell Lake

Back-to-back boat rides jump-start this dayhike to a glacier-fed lake in Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park: Vision Quest Site

This 10-mile out-and-back heads off-trail and lands at the crumbling ruins of a Native American spiritual site on the slopes of Mount Henry.

Best Hikes in the Rocky Mountains

BACKPACKER magazine’s shortlist of the biggest, toughest, most awesome adventures in America’s baddest range.

Yellowstone National Park: Gallatin Skyline

Go high for the see-it-all hike in this iconic park.

Missoula, MT: Clearwater Crossing

This 29.5-mile backcountry circuit in Lolo National Forest traces the Bitterroot Divide, visits several lakes, and reveals far-reaching views.

Glacier National Park: Siyeh Bend to Lake McDonald

Score wildlife sightings daily and choice views hourly on this weeklong circuit in Glacier National Park.

Bozeman, MT: Hyalite Creek Trail

11 waterfalls in 11 round-trip miles make this one of Bozeman’s premier hikes.

Glacier National Park: Many Glacier Loop

This magnificent, 55.5-mile northern loop accesses the moose-filled Waterton Valley backcountry, and finishes with a grand finale along the Highline Trail, a topo line below the Continental Divide.

Glacier National Park: St. Mary Lake to Two Medicine Lake

Pack maximum Glacier highlights—densely stacked peaks, jewel-like turquoise pools, and blinding-white waterfalls—into three days with this 35.6-mile point-to-point from St. Mary to Two Medicine.

Glacier National Park: Chief Mountain to Logging Lake via Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail

This 83-mile, week-long transect of Glacier National Park on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail features turquoise pools, ragged peaks, and vibrant wildflowers.

Cooke City, MT: Grasshopper Glacier

Visit a glacier with millions of extinct grasshoppers entombed in its ice.

Glacier National Park, British Columbia: Asulkan Valley

Hit four technical summits in the birthplace of North American mountaineering.

Glacier National Park: Many Glacier to Logan Pass

This C-shaped, point-to-point from Many Glacier to Logan Pass cuts through the heart of Glacier’s rugged high country and finishes with a grand finale along the Highline Trail.

Red Lodge, MT: Timberline Lakes Trail

Climb 3,000 feet in 4.3 miles to a trout-filled tarn nestled in a granite cirque.

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Featured Videos
3D Flyover: Glacier National Park

This 62-mile route in the southern part of Glacier traces ridgetops the Blackfoot Indians revered as “the backbone of the world.”

  • 3D Flyover: Glacier National Park