Hiking the Trails

A group of hikers follow a ranger through the forest.

With over 700 miles of trails in Glacier providing outstanding opportunities for both short hikes and extended backpacking trips, there’s something for everyone.

Hikers need to assume individual responsibility for planning their trips, staying safe, and reducing their impact on the park. Plan ahead and check out our Leave No Trace page to learn more.
 

The links below provide individual area maps that include lists of recommended day hikes, including distances and elevation gain. There is no cell phone coverage outside of Apgar and St. Mary, so take screen shots and plan ahead. 

Trails, wilderness campgrounds, and other areas of the park that have closures, or are posted for safety reasons, are listed on our Trail and Area Closure page. The reports are updated each morning. 

Trail conditions and statuses change frequently. Please check the Trail Status page to see which trails are open. 

Early in the summer, lower elevation trails and trails near the boundary of the park are usually snow free. Trails in the higher elevations – over mountain passes and on the Continental Divide – are typically snow free by late July.

In the wilderness, little mistakes can quickly become big emergencies. Follow our advice to stay safe and be prepared: 

  • Hike as a group to reduce the likelihood of negative wildlife encounters. 

  • Stay together. Separated parties make up more than 75% of our search and rescue incidents. 

  • Expect not to have cell phone coverage. 

  • Help may be hours or days away. Prepare to care for yourself. 

  • Tell someone precisely where you're going, when you'll be back, what route you're taking, where your car is parked, what the license plate number is, and what you'll be wearing. This information reduces response time exponentially in the event of an emergency. 

  • Stop at a visitor center or ranger station or check the website for trail and weather conditions. 

  • Familiarize yourself with hazards so you will stay safe and have fun. 

  • Consider completing the voluntary Day Trip Plan (pdf)  and leaving it with the front desk of your hotel or a traveling companion who is not hiking. This optional form can help you plan your trip and could be a valuable tool for search and rescue efforts if needed.

  • Sturdy footwear is a must. 

  • Bring plenty of water, as surface water in the park may be unsafe to drink. 

  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it. 

  • Insect repellent is advisable. 

  • Sunscreen and a hat help prevent sunburn. A day of hiking can expose you to much more sun than usual. 

  • Pack rain gear and layers for warmth, as weather can change quickly. 

  • Bring snacks or a lunch to eat on the trail. Remember, if you pack it in, pack it out. 

  • Check out the NPS Ten Essentials page to learn more. 

Some self-guided walks interpret trailside features with signs. The Trail of the Cedars, Forest and Fire, Hidden Lake, Running Eagle Falls, and Swiftcurrent Nature Trails encourage hikers to experience the park at their own pace. 
 
The Trail of the Cedars and Running Eagle Falls trails are wheelchair accessible

Hiking alone is not recommended and there are opportunities to join groups if you would like. 

  • Check the Ranger-led Activities page for information on joining a hike with a park ranger. 

  • Glacier Guides offers guided half-day, full-day, overnight, and chalet hikes. Equipment rentals and porter services to deliver your gear to wilderness campsites are available. See the Guided Hiking page for contact information. 

  • Some boat tours in Many Glacier and Two Medicine offer optional guided hikes conducted by either park rangers or Glacier Park Boat Co. employees. 

Hikers planning to camp in Glacier's backcountry must stop at the Apgar Wilderness Permit Center, St. Mary Visitor Center, or other ranger stations to obtain a wilderness camping permit. Visit our Wilderness Camping page for in-depth information. 
Flickr photo albums offer previews of some popular hikes. 
 
Visitor center bookstores carry a complete line of trail guides, topographic maps, and field guides. Publications are also available by mail. Visit the Glacier National Park Conservancy online store for available maps and guides 
 
Person on trail holds up reusable water bottle.

Ten Essentials

Heading out to a national park? Make sure you pack the 10 Essentials!

A squirrel is eating a discarded apple core.

Leave No Trace

This is not a black and white list of rules or regulations. Rather, it is a way of thinking, an attitude, and an ethic.

A person stands on a trail with a big backpack surrounded by grass.

Wilderness Camping

Glacier's backcountry camping program is designed to minimize resource impacts while providing positive visitor experiences.

A park ranger points to solar panels.

Sustainability

Glacier's goal is to be a leader in understanding, communicating, and responding to the consequences of climate change.

A person points at a glacier.

Overview of the Park's Glaciers

Here are the most frequently asked questions about how the park's glaciers are responding to climate change.

A park ranger stands in front of a lake and a smokey fire.

Climate Change

Glacier National Park is warming at nearly two times the global average and the impacts are already being felt by park visitors.

 
 

Last updated: March 18, 2022

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PO Box 128
West Glacier , MT 59936

Phone:

406-888-7800

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