Extreme Glacier Park Day Hike

Hey Perry,

My wife and I are heading up to GNP for our 1 year anniversary. We don’t want to end up bear food so we’re sticking to Glacier Park lodges and extremely long day hikes.

Flying into Kalispell, staying for 7 days, plus 2 days for air travel. I’m thinking we take Going To The Sun Road across the park to the east side and work our way back towards Kalispell, MT. Does that sound like a good plan?

We’re pretty restless, so getting up early and seeing everything GNP has is our plan.

1) Do you have any must do day hikes in Glacier?

2) What is the maximum distance we should plan on hiking in a day? (We’re in enough shape to run road races but unsure of how the altitude will affect our Florida lungs).

3) Is there anywhere we should consider above the Going to the Sun region?



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Jan 10, 2011



Swift Current Pass

by: Anonymous

I’d say that one of my favorite hikes ever is Logan pass out the Garden Wall to the Granite Park Chalet and then up over Swift Current pass down into Many Glacier. It is 17 miles but if you are in decent condition it’s very doable. It is the first 10+ mile Day hike I had ever done and now my teenagers and I can’t get enough. The farther the better. This is a beautiful hike but take your pepper spray the Grizzly pooh is deep on the trail and where there be pooh there be bears! I did it when I weighed in at 252 pounds and I was so inspired that I’ve lost 62 pounds and taken up exercising so I can hike farther. (Don’t judge a man by his spelling:)

May 23, 2009



Glacier National Park Advice

by: Perry

Hey Ryan,

I think seeing Glacier National Park from east to west is a great plan, and your trip itinerary will be written with that in mind.

In answer to your questions:

1. Siyeh Pass is my number one recommended Glacier National Park day hike. It begins along Going to the Sun Road, east of Logan Pass.

Another two great day hikes are Iceberg Lake near Many Glacier Lodge and Avalanche Lake near Lake McDonald Lodge

2. I don’t think you can measure how much you can hike in a day simply by length. You need to consider trail length, elevation gain, and gradient.

A trail that gains 500-1000 feet over 10 miles is certainly possible. However, a trail like Mount Brown Lookout, which gains over 4,000 feet in 5 miles, is out of the question.

My recommendation would be sticking to trails that gain no more than 2,000 feet and are no longer than 10 miles.

Also, drink PLENTY of water to avoid altitude sickness, which could ruin your trip.

3. Not 100% sure what you mean as above the Going to the Sun region. Many Glacier is technically above Going to the Sun, but within 20 miles. This is a must see region.

Otherwise, there is Polebridge Montana and Waterton Lakes National Park. Both are breathtaking areas, but involve significant travel.

I’d definitely visit the Many Glacier area, cut out Waterton, and consider Polebridge.

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