Hike Pages by geographical area in Glacier Park
Cover shot of my Wildflower Guide for Glacier National Park.
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Available on iBooks
A slow hiker's guide™ Glacier National Park Wildflowers
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Within each day hike guide area link above there is a brief description of the trails elevation gain, distance and degree of difficulty.
For the trails that I have hiked there is a more detailed web page with further information regarding the hike, together with photographs taken along the trail.
Otherwise if you know the trail name you can select it from the left side bar.
The earliest that the GTSR will be open to through traffic in 2014 is June 20
Logan Pass opened to through traffic June 21, 2013
Logan Pass Opened June 19, 2012
Logan Pass Opened July 13, 2011.
Shuttle Service starts July 1, 2013.
Stops September 3, 2013
First Shuttle up is at 7:00 AM
Last Shuttle down from Logan Pass
is at 7:00 pm
Once the pass opens
On the west side there are two Express shuttles labeled Glacier Express the first one leaves at 7:00 am (frequently full), non stop to Logan Pass.
Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain-passes.
They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy,
set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
Be sure to stop at one of the visitor centers in the park, St Mary Visitor Center is open till 8 pm West Glacier Visitor Center closes at 5 pm. Ask for the 'Day Hikes in Glacier' and the "Ranger-Led Activity Schedule'. 'Day Hikes in Glacier' contains trail maps and info regarding 68 hikes in the park. Ranger-Led Activity Schedule gives the times and locations for some 20 Ranger-Led hikes in the park plus other ranger-guided activity. YOU have to ask for these guides by name, usually they are available at the entrance stations. (starting in 2010 most entrance stations have the guide)
The hiking season for Glacier National Park is fairly short. At this point 2013 hiking season is looking positive, except for budget cuts resulting from our Congress dereliction of duty. At this point budget cuts are going to have a greater impact on the hiking season in Glacier Park then the weather.
The hiking season for 2012 was about standard for Glacier National Park.
2011 was one of the shortest high altitude hiking seasons.
2010 joined 2008 as a short season high altitude hiking season.
2009 was about standard for Glacier National Park.
2005 set a record as the longest hiking season since WWII with Logan Pass opening on May 23, 2005.
Many popular trails didn't open until late July in 2011. Some of those still had significant snow cover. The actual length of the hiking season varies from year to year based on snow accumulation from winter. Lower elevation trails start become accessible to hiking sometime in late April early May. The trails will usually be very wet in early spring and frequently will have dead falls across the trail from winter storm activity. The benefits of starting early are early wildflowers plus trails that can be enjoyed in solitude. If you combine biking with hiking then your options are even greater for spring in Glacier National Park. The park starts plowing Going to the Sun Road April 1st and restricts traffic on the newly plowed sections of the road to bicycles and pedestrians. On the west side of Glacier National Park the road is plowed and open all year to Lake McDonald Lodge. The parking area for Lake McDonald Lodge is next to the trailhead for several west sides hikes. On the east side of Glacier National Park the road is open to St Mary campground, which is open year round. On the east side the Going to the Sun Road was open to Jackson Glacier Overlook as of June 24, 2011. A new avalanche path has opened up just below Jackson Glacier Overlook on the opposite side of the road to the toilet building parking lot. As of June 7, 2011 there were plenty of trees sticking out of the bank of snow from the avalanche.
The hiking season for Glacier National Park for higher elevation trails is much shorter. Trails that start or go above 6,000 feet usually have snow until early July to late July. It can snow any time during the summer but these trails tend to be open from early July till late September. Some years I'm able to hike at the upper elevations until mid October. Many of the day hikes in Glacier National Park are very crowded. Most of the crowds don't get on the trails until midday. For the longer hikes an early start is essential but it can be of equal benefit on the shorter trails if you are looking for tranquility.