Best American Adventures: Backpack Glacier National Park
We've just updated our popular America's
Best Adventures feature with 50 new trips, bringing our grand total to 100 iconic escapes (see the map, state-by-state list, and photo gallery, too). So no matter what your pleasure—hiking,
heli-skiing, surfing, climbing, biking, or paddling—we've got the perfect adventure
for you. Check in each day for a new, out-the-backdoor adventure highlighted here on our blog.
By Doug Schnitzspahn; Photograph by Jaesu Jung, My Shot
With its sheer peaks, wildflowers, alpine lakes
filled with trout, grizzly bears, and, of course, glaciers, Glacier
National Park is the ideal place to lose yourself for days. The park
typifies the Rocky Mountain experience and yet has cathedrals of
loose-rock mountains and yearlong snowfields that make it unlike
anywhere else on the planet. This means backpacking options abound.
Simple trips, like an overnighter to Akokala Lake, deliver a real
wilderness experience, while a ten-day traverse of the Continental
Divide across the backbone of the park is a once-in-a-lifetime
Then there are the grizzlies. Glacier is home to an
estimated 300 of the big beasts, and chances are good that you will at
least get a glimpse of them if you spend time in the backcountry.
That’s why you’ll hear so many hikers wearing tinkling bear bells.
Grizzlies are not the only wildlife you may bump into here: Wolves,
moose, mountain lions, black bears, mountain goats, and over 260
species of birds call Glacier home. Go soon, however. Researchers at
the U.S. Geological Survey believe the park's glaciers will be gone by
Need to Know: Hire Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Company (www.glacierguides.com) for a ten-day trip on the Continental Divide, starting at $1,350. For more information on Glacier National Park, visit www.nps.gov/glac.
- Nat Geo Expeditions