International Hiking

June 30, 2015 Posted by: Permit Writer
Welcome to the first International Peace Park in the world! Glacier National Park in the United States and Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada combined in 1932 to become the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. This designation allows backpackers to hike continuously from one country into the other through an area known as "Goat Haunt."

You won't find any goats haunting Goat Haunt (it's named for the prominent nearby Goat Haunt Mountain –which goats likely do inhabit). However, you will find the start of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail for backpackers heading southbound and the end for continental divide backpackers heading northbound.

When traveling to Goat Haunt and continuing on into Canada from the U.S. or vice versa (into the U.S. from Canada) you are still crossing an international border despite the Peace Park designation. This means you are required to check in with border customs. When traveling into the United States you must possess a U.S. Passport, Enhanced Driver's License, U.S. Passport Card, or NEXUS Card and check in with a customs agent at Goat Haunt between11:15am and 5:00 pm daily. When entering Canada from the U.S. you must call Canadian Customs at (403) 653-3535 for acceptance/rejection by Canadian authorities as soon as you arrive in Waterton Townsite. Read all the details under "Entry and Exit Information for Goat Haunt" on our trail status page!

Okay, so remember your passport and put it in your pack. Now you're good to go…or not! Remember to check your trail status! Traveling the Continental Divide Trail this time of the year, you may encounter winter conditions at the "Ahern Drift" and even a sketchy snowbridge at Cattle Queen Creek. If you choose to travel west from Goat Haunt, you may find Boulder Pass still under the grasp of winter as well. Even east, Stoney Indian Pass may be hidden by steep snow. If you check out the trail status and find it wintery, make sure you're prepared and equipped to travel with the conditions posted. 

And to end today's blog, words of wisdom from our Goat Haunt Backcountry Ranger Kelsey... 

When crossing the international border and entering the United States at Goat Haunt, all hikers must check in with US Customs staff before continuing their hike. In light of the increasing number of hikers who arrive before or after the hours of the Port of Entry, the locals suggest the following options for whiling away time at Goat Haunt:

Top 10 Things to Do While Waiting for the Customs Agents at Goat Haunt:
  1. Eat all of your gorp before even starting your trip.
  2. Think about how far down the trail you'd be if you had planned better.
  3. Watch red squirrels run back and forth on the lawn caching pine cones. For hours.
  4. See if you can hit that one floating log with rocks from the beach.
  5. See how long it takes your hiking buddies to start hitting you with rocks from the beach because you didn't research the hours of the Port of Entry.
  6. Stay the night! If you didn't make it down in time to catch the Customs agents, you may not continue hiking until they return the next day. The rangers will gladly put you up at the luxurious cement-slabbed Goat Haunt Shelters.
  7. Guess how many mosquito bites you'll have before you finally start hiking.
  8. Find out how long you can stand on you head.
  9. Write the next great American novel. You're stranded in America, after all.
  10. Read the parameters on your Goat Haunt Memo. Which you should have done before you got to Goat Haunt. Because then you wouldn't be stuck there!

Make this list irrelevant by planning you trip through Goat Haunt carefully. Goat Haunt Port of Entry is open from 1115 to 1700 hours each day. These are the only hours during which hikers will be allowed to access Glacier's backcountry trails and campgrounds. Happy trails!

Last updated: June 30, 2015

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