This 94.3-mile trip travels through Glacier National Park’s remote backcountry and best wildlife habitat. Don’t have time for the whole thing? We’ve planned the route so it can be downsized to weeklong or weekend chunks. Doing it all? By utilizing the park’s free shuttle, you can reduce pack weight by resupplying after 69.3 miles (and grab a cheeseburger mid-trip).
The first leg: a 69.3-mile circuit north of Going-to-the-Sun Road, from Siyeh Bend to Logan Pass via Ptarmigan Tunnel, Stoney Indian Pass, and Fifty Mountain. Tip: On day one, hike 13 miles to the campground at Many Glacier (six sites are reserved for backcountry-permit holders), and grab dinner and brews at the restaurant across the street (further decreasing pack weight).
At Logan Pass, resupply and hop on the shuttle to start a 25-mile route from Jackson Glacier Overlook to Lake McDonald Lodge via Gunsight Pass. Camp at Lake Ellen Wilson, set in a bowl of thousand-foot cliffs ribboned with waterfalls, and make the seven-mile detour to Sperry Glacier, traversing a moonscape flecked with tiny tarns. Cross Lincoln Pass to finish.
MAGIC MOMENT: You emerge onto the tundra of the remote Fifty Mountain area, on day four, to boulder-hop through alpine daisies.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: Hit the Highline Trail between Granite Park and Logan Pass before 8 a.m.—it’s a popular trail for dayhikers.
PERMIT: Overnight camping in Glacier National Park requires a backcountry permit. Check out the latest fees and more details at nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm.
PARK INFO: Glacier National Park, (406) 888-7800; nps.gov/glac/.
-Mapped by Mike Lanza