Mind the gap from Avalanche Creek in West Glacier.
You don’t want us to sell you on this particular park’s glacier-gouged peaks, kaleidoscopic wildflower displays, along with A-list megafauna. But trails that are key and hints? We got those.
Season Mid-July to late September, although significant passes may not open until mid-August depending on snowpack. License needed for overnights ($40 application fee + $7/night per person); book online. Walk-in allows available day .
Bramante swears by the 17.9-mile Pitamakan-Dawson Loop–a far quieter alternative to the favorite Highline Trail. “It’s the nearest thing to peakbagging which you may possess on-trail at Glacier,” he states. “You get epic opinions the whole hike.” Bramante prefers to do it counterclockwise to delight in the 2-mile boat journey around Two Medicine Lake at the back end of the trip (or skip the tour boat completely by walking 3.1 miles across the shore). From the Two Medicine Campground, choose the Oldman Lake Trail throughout the pines, then climb to the scree-filled saddle below 8,781-foot Mt. Morgan at mile 7.6. Adhere to the shale 3.2 miles along the ridgeline high over grey slopes, green drainages, along with blue alpine lakes. Tackle a steep descent into Bighorn Basin, where the place’s namesake sheep loiter using their lambs (summit cuteness in late July). Camp at a mountain goat preferred, No Name Lake, at the shadow of Pumpelly Pillar’s twisted mudstone column. Close the loop with skirting meadows of purple harebell, blue gentian, along with white mountain deathcamas. (Take the.9-mile spur to the boat docks; buy a $14 ticket on-board or on line .)
For the ideal sweat-to-scenery ratio in the park, undertake the 12.5-mile out-and-back to Cracker Lake. From the historical Many Glacier Hotel, follow a creek all the way to the glacial cirque (just 1,500 feet of gain), passing summer flora such as purple sky pilots, white dryas, pink wild forests, and red-spotted saxifrages. If high wind doesn’t turn you camp under the 3,000-foot cliffs that tower over the half-mile-wide tarn.
Stray far from the beaten path if you head into the Two Medicine area in Glacier’s southeast corner. There, soak in the alpine solitude on a calm, 10.2-mile out-and-back to Firebrand Pass, where berries burst from the underbrush in August. Along the way, huckleberries are ripe for choosing (park rules permit you to collect as much as a quart).
The Sun Point Nature Trail is a looker.
SUP under the Upper Grinnell Glacier (rent a board at Glacier Outfitters in Apgar). Berry Solitary
After Jake Bramante chose his life had a reboot in 2009, he quit his job, sold his home, and headed by Glacier National Park. He became the very first man to hike all 734 miles of Glacier’s trails in one year, then compiled his stories, videos, and maps onto a website–hike734.com–to assist you, in case you wish to live the fantasy, too.
To sample the finest of the Many Glacier area with no crowds, stop just before you get to its center. On Most Glacier Road, pull on 1.5 miles full of the ranger station in the Apikuni Falls trailhead to tick off a 27-mile, three-day loop. Pick up the road to Poia Lake and trek 6.5 miles via aspens, keeping a look out for elk because you abide by a 5,600-foot ridge. Have a dip in Poia’s clean water (Bramante says it is one of Glacier’s”warmest” lakes), lounge on the rocky shore, and set up camp for a night beneath towering limestone. On the next two, log in a 10-mile push by climbing to Redgap Pass, which overlooks two river drainages and the teardrop of Kennedy Lake. Drop down the scree slope and continue to Elizabeth Lake at mile 17, where Bramante, a self-described”bird nerd,” once failed a loon poll. He urges overnighting at the lake’s outlet to catch the loons’ spooky calls and early reflections of the surrounding 9,000-foot peaks. Next day, backtrack into the junction under Redgap Pass and keep south to walk through the 250-foot Ptarmigan Tunnel, carved into pink stone. In the major Many Glacier area, you might encounter some hikers, but the historical tunnel is worth the provider. In the road, walk 1.5 miles east to your car.
The 6-mile out-and-back into Preston Park has it all–like an choice to extend. In the Siyeh Bend trailhead, climb through a fir forest to the alpine meadow, Bramante’s beloved nap locale. Make lots of noise as you approach this grizzly hangout (let bear spray in Glacier Outfitters at Apgar). You’ll spy the bears searching moths and marmots . Settle in for supper one of the lavender showy fleabanes, purple gentians, yellow twin arnicas, along with snowy dryas (peak bloom at the end of July). At 10,014 ft, Mt. Siyeh’s absolute face of striated limestone lords into the northwest, while Piegan Glacier, one of the park 26 remaining glaciers, nestles at a cirque in the conclusion of the shore. Turn around for simple logistics, or continue over Siyeh Pass and beneath the enormous Sexton Glacier to close a 10-mile point-to-point in the Sunrift Gorge trailhead (grab a free shuttle back to your car prior to the previous journey at 4:43 p.m.). Postcard View