Glacier is a backpacking paradise. The park consistently ranks as one of the most popular backpacking parks in the NPS. Famous for its towering mountains, pristine alpine lakes, abundant wildlife, and its 700+ miles of trails, this amazing place is growing in popularity each year.
Many resources are available online for backcountry users to plan their trips. The most important is the Backcountry Guide that is available as a PDF file. Around mid to late-May, we begin updating other resources that are helpful in trip planning (links are listed in step 2 below). Follow the steps below to start planning your summer adventure. For a winter backcountry permit, please visit our Winter page.
Step 1 - Read the Backcountry Camping Guide
Glacier National Park's current Backcountry Camping Guide is now available online as a PDF document. Please read through the entire Guide. Changes may effect your planned route. Incorrectly completed applications will be returned unprocessed, decreasing your chances of obtaining your trip planned.
All advanced reservation requests received from January 1 through April 15, 2015 are eligible for the advanced reservation request lottery. The lottery processing begins on April 16, 2015. Each reservation application will be designated a randomly generated number and will be processed in that order. It can take up to a month to process all the advance reservation requests received in the lottery. Advanced reservation requests that are received after April 15 will be processed in the order of receipt and after the initial advanced reservation requests are processed.
Step 2 - Use our Trip Planning Aids
Trail Status Reports and Walk-in Availability are only updated mid-May through early fall
Step 3 - Watch our Backcountry Camping Videos
Summer Backcountry Camping
Winter Backcountry Camping Video
Leave No Trace
Step 4 - Apply for a backcountry permit
Hiking Guide Service
Glacier Guides offers guided day hikes and backpacking trips into Glacier's backcountry. Backcountry Sherpa/porter service is also available, carrying visitor's gear into backcountry campgrounds or chalets. Camping equipment is available for rent at their West Glacier office.
Drop Camp Service
Day Trip Plan
Please understand that completion of this form does not mean a search will be initiated for you if you do not return. However, if you are reported overdue from a hike, this document would help search personnel concentrate search efforts along your intended route saving critical time and possibly reducing risks to those that go looking for you.
If you are staying inside the park, you are welcome to leave a copy of this form with your hotel's front desk. All forms will be destroyed 30 days after the date completed. Again, this form is not intended to imply that our hotel concessioner or the National Park Service will be monitoring your return and does not mean a search will be initiated. If a search is initiated because others reported you overdue, the National Park Service will check with the hotels to see if a Day Trip Plan was filed and use it to help focus their search efforts. Plan well and enjoy your hike!