8 Classic National Park Hikes Every Backpacker Should Do
It's hard to find an ugly spot in the national parks. But these eight hikes take it to the next level, with gorgeous scenery and wildlife. Go for a walk.
Glacier National Park ranks among North America’s most epic backpacking destinations. The park stretches across 1,000,000 acres of Montana's northernmost reaches, right up to the Canadian border. Together with Alberta's Waterton Lakes National Park, Glacier makes up the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
Hikers in Glacier National Park will follow long and winding routes through numerous ecosystems, from prairie to alpine tundra. Naturalists, too, value the park for its rare red cedar and hemlock forests.
Living alongside Glacier's magnificent flora are hundreds of animal species, including moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and coyotes. The Canadian Lynx and grizzly bear, both endangered, also call Glacier home.
For the determined outdoor enthusiast, backpacking Glacier National Park is an absolute must. Some choose to explore Glacier by way of the Continental Divide Trail, which at 110 miles runs the length of the park. The Pacific Northwest Trail, another notable long trail, crosses the park east to west. But you don't need to be a thru-hiker to get a taste of Glacier; with over 700 miles of trails, the park has more than enough variety for hikers of all types. Even so, hiking Glacier National Park is best done in the late summer months, once the park's heavy snowpack has melted away.