The Best National Park Campsites: Cracker Lake

Glacier National Park, Montana

Cracker Lake
Hurry: Siyeh Glacier, the backdrop of this alpine campsite, has lost three quarters of its size in the last 50 years. Photo by: Jack Brauer

It’s hard to say what you’ll notice first when you reach Glacier’s Cracker Lake—the aqua-blue water or the imposing, gray cliffs that angle thousands of feet upward to the point of 10,003-foot Mt. Siyeh. Three tent sites sit on a grassy slope above the lake’s southeastern shore, offering uninterrupted views of the entire cirque. To reach them, follow the Cracker Lake Trail for 6.3 miles to its namesake, traveling through grizzly habitat, Cracker Flats meadow, and into the deep canyon that drains the lake. The campsites have no tree cover; expect wind. Trailhead Cracker Lake Permit Reserve ahead ($40) or walk-up (iffy); $7/person per night. Season Summer