Guidelines for Safety
- Check for area and trail closures and current avalanche conditions, especially if you plan to go downhill backcountry skiing.
- Skiing on frozen lakes is dangerous and not recommended.
- Most ski routes are not marked.
- Cross park trips contain extreme avalanche and terrain hazards and should be attempted only by experienced and well-equipped parties.
- A permit is required for backcountry camping.
- Avoid hypothermia: Drink liquids, stay dry, carry survival gear, wear layers of clothing, and snack frequently. Be alert to symptoms of drowsiness and confusion.
- Wildlife safety: Survival during the long winter is difficult for wildlife. Human contact only adds unnecessary stress. Avoid approaching or startling any animals or birds. Exercise extreme caution in bear and mountain lion country.
- Pets are not allowed on trails, unplowed roads, in the backcountry, or off leash.
- Snowmobiles are not permitted anywhere in Glacier National Park.
- Ice is common on roads and on heavily skied trails.
Avalanches are a major danger and potential killer.
- Never stop in or beneath an avalanche path.
- Stay on low angle ridges, or stands of trees so thick they are difficult to travel through.
- Watch for signs of slope instability thatinclude recent avalanche activity, shooting cracks in the snowpack, and "whumpfing" sounds. Stay off cornices and steep to moderately steep, open slopes. Stay out of gullies.
- If you must travel on a steep slope, minimize your time on the slope. Cross one at a time, loosen pack straps, remove ski pole straps, fasten all layers of clothing, and put on a hat and gloves.
- Avalanche activity increases with a foot or more of new snow, snowfall of one inch or more per hour, sustained winds over 15 miles per hour, changing temperatures, and during spring warming. Learn to recognize dangerous weather conditions.
- If caught in an avalanche, make swimming motions and fight to stay toward the surface.
Download the Skiing and Snowshoeing brochure (575 KB pdf) packed with information including trail descriptions and trail maps by district.