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Photo Gallery: Backpacking Glacier National Park

Posted On March 13, 2017 at 3:30 am by / Comments Off on Photo Gallery: Backpacking Glacier National Park

By Michael Lanza

If you have ever backpacked in Glacier National Park, you know you want to return. If you haven’t yet, then isn’t it time? One of America’s flagship national parks, it’s a must-see destination for backpackers because of the eye-popping scenery, remoteness, and rare variety of wildlife—as my photo gallery below from a 90-mile, hike of a lifetime in northern Glacier shows. And the time to apply for a backcountry permit for a trip this summer is now.

There are very good reasons it’s one of “My Top 10 Favorite Backpacking Trips.” On this 90-mile hike, we saw an ocean of mountains spreading out before us, soaring cliffs, some of the park’s 760 lakes, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and bears—yes, including grizzlies—and enjoyed a surprising degree of solitude even while hitting many of the park’s highlights.

Scroll down to the photo gallery below, and start planning immediately if you want to camp anywhere in Glacier’s backcountry this summer: Backcountry campsites can be reserved in advance starting March 15 for groups of one to eight people and March 1 for groups of nine to 12. Find more details about backcountry camping and a link below the photo gallery.


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Backpackers, Piegan Pass Trail, Glacier National Park.
Backpacker, Morning Eagle Falls, Piegan Trail Pass, Glacier National Park.
Backpacker, Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail, Glacier National Park.
Backpacker, Ptarmigan Tunnel, Glacier National Park.
Backpacker above the Belly River Valley, Glacier National Park.
Backpacker at Dawn Mist Falls, Glacier National Park.
Glenns Lake, Glacier National Park.
Stoney Indian Pass Trail, Glacier National Park.
Backpacker, Highline Trail, Glacier National Park.
Hiker at Sue Lake Overlook, Glacier National Park.
Bighorn sheep, Highline Trail, Glacier National Park.
Backpacker, Highline Trail, Glacier National Park.
Backpacker, Highline Trail, Glacier National Park.
Backpacker, Lake Ellen Wilson, Glacier National Park.
Mountain goats, Gunsight Pass Trail, Glacier.

About half of backcountry campsites in Glacier are set aside to be issued on a first-come basis no more than a day before a trip’s start date—but that’s no guarantee that half of all sites will be available at any given time, because backpackers on a multi-day hike may claim some of those walk-in sites well in advance. See

Read my story about that 90-mile hike, including more photos and tips for planning it, and my story about a shorter and easier, family backpacking trip on the Gunsight Pass Trail, as well as my “10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit.”

You might also be interested in my Ask Me posts suggesting which dayhikes to do if you have just three days or one day in Glacier, and my story describing some favorite, long dayhikes in Glacier.

And see all of my stories about national park adventures and backpacking at The Big Outside.

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by USA Today and others. I invite you to get email updates about new stories and gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box in the left sidebar, at the bottom of this post, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

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