An early addition to the National Park Service (park #10), Glacier National Park in Montana turned 100 on May 11, 2010. The park is immense, with 1 million acres (4,047 km2), 300 lakes and a reach of 1,584 square miles (4,103 km2). The park is considered the centerpiece of a vast region of protected land that includes some 16,000 square miles (41,440 km2). The park features some 700 miles of hiking trails and supports all manner of outdoor activities, such as biking, boating, fishing, and horseback riding. There are 13 campgrounds that allow for roughly 1000 campsites. Other accommodation options include hotels, inns, lodges and motels. Part of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, this park has over 50 remaining glaciers and 130 named lakes under the tall Rocky Mountain peaks. There are historic hotels and a landmark road in this region of rapidly receding glaciers. These mountains, formed by an overthrust, have the world's best sedimentary fossils from the Proterozoic era.
Beyond spectacular! Completed this epic journey from Sept. 29 - Oct. 1 and caught near-perfect weather. Plenty of water along the entire trail, so I recommend traveling with little water as long as you have a good purification system. The most challenging portion of the hike is the ascent above Gunsight Lake to the pass. Mountain goats followed me from just above Gunsight Lake all the way to Sperry campground, posing for pictures along the way while begging for food. Someone seems to have been careless because the goats were extremely friendly and had no problem walking within inches from me. Saw 7 bears between Gunsight Pass and Lincoln Pass, mostly on eastern side of Lake Ellen Wilson. Juvenile black bear charged me on the very narrow trail/ledge near the waterfall on the eastern side of Lake Ellen Wilson below the pass. He decided to turn around after coming as close as 35 feet, standing on his hind legs and growling at me. Don't dally on this portion of the trail as there's absolutely no room to maneuver on little more than a 2-foot wide trail with a steep drop off to certain death. I carry a small air horn that worked well in keeping the bears at a distance. Spray should be a last resort. I highly recommend this trail late in the season as there were no ice fields and the colors made the view all the more surreal. You'll need to wade through 2 creeks because the footbridges had been taken down by then. Definitely the best hike I've had in Glacier or anywhere else on the planet.
This is considered the most popular trail in Glacier and I certainly understand why. You are walking through a temperate rainforest while walking past Avalanche Gorge, Avalanche acreek and finally, to the end of Avalanche Lake. Be sure to make the effort to go to the far end of the lake, it has a more attractive view.
Be sure to take some water and a lunch to enjoy at the lake.
Rebekah C. on Fish Lake Trail
Not a super great payout for the elevation gain plus there were mosquitos when we went to sit down by the lake. I'd go with another hike
Well maintained to the first half where you can view the lake. My mom and I continued on even though people told us it would be very hard! We enjoyed the trip down and loved how scenic and beautiful it was. Even venturing over and viewing the waterfall. There's a small trail that follows it on the north side. The hike back was strenuous but not too hard! A mountain goat was on the top part of the trail so we had to venture off and climb straight up to avoid running in to him! Took us 3 hours from start to finish
This is an awesome hike. If you take the boat to the Swift-current pass can reduce the total round trip to 7.5m-8miles. All through the hike the scenery is beautiful ! You also get to see the ice burgs floating in the water at the glacier. Worth all the hard work.
This is our 2nd time on this road, 1st time was in '09. I didn't get any video footage the 1st time, so I had to come back, it was just as busy as it was the 1st time. But we still enjoyed the experience. Being a Stephen King fan, and driving the road to the opening scene on "The Shining", I felt like a King.
After taking a southbound boat from the town of Waterton towards the Goat Haunt shoreline of Montana, we show our passports and start our hike, towards the Kootenai Lakes. An eight Kilometer return hike with minimal elevation gain, A nice hike for a sunny day, as we are in the shade for most of the trail, until we get to the Lakes. On the way back we climbed to a lookout called "Goat Haunt Overlook", it was a very steep ascend.
This one's been on my list for a long time and served as the centerpiece for my pilgrimage to Glacier. It was a beautiful fall day for my first ever steps on the CDT (I did the loop counter clockwise).
Huckleberries were abundant with plenty of brush and wooded areas along the north and south sides - prime bear habitat. None spotted, perhaps due to relentless yodeling. I kept the spray in reach and the songs in heavy rotation. I was lucky enough to bump into some nice folks on the Dawson side who I allowed to pass ahead and function as my unwitting "bear plow" to rest my weary pipes!
Since it was my first trek on the CDT ( and the Northern Rockies ), I can only describe the experience from a novice perspective, knowing nothing of all the other wonders that abound in this part of the country. Nevertheless, reaching the summit and traveling around the passes was like walking on top of the world. Never have I been more awed at my surroundings, nor felt so alien on my own planet. Indescribably beautiful and hauntingly so - it's understandable Kubrick used this location for the opening scenes of The Shining.
Boy, it's windy up there too! Trekking poles came in might handy for maneuvering around the passes. There was also just enough snow around to make for some slippery conditions across some fairly steep slopes toward the Dawson Pass.
Otherwise, a very well maintained loop, easily done in a long day.......and a dream fulfilled!
Lets do it again!