By Michael Lanza

Create a list of the attributes that constitute a great backpacking trip and the chances are very high that you will describe Glacier National Park. There’s the incomparable landscape, where rivers of ice pour off craggy mountains, vertiginous cliffs tower above deeply green valleys carved in the classic U shape by ancient glaciers, and hundreds of mountain lakes reflecting it all. And regular encounters with wildlife like bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, moose, and, yes, grizzly and black bears: Few places in the continental United States harbor such a breadth of megafauna.

Sprawling over a million acres in Montana’s Northern Rockies, most of it wilderness, Glacier exudes a sense of wildness and beauty not replicated in most of the country.

Little wonder that this park remains so enduringly popular with backpackers. During the 10 years I spent as the Northwest Editor of Backpacker magazine, its reader polls repeatedly ranked Glacier as the number one park for backpackers. After more than three decades of backpacking all over the United States and more than a decade running this blog, having taken many of the best multi-day hikes out there—some of them, like Glacier, multiple times—I have to agree that Glacier is, in many respects, the best. (See my lists of “America’s Top 10 Best Backpacking Trips” and “The 10 Best National Park Backpacking Trips”—and yes, of course, Glacier graces both lists.)


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

A backpacker on the Continental Divide Trail above Medicine Grizzly Lake in Glacier National Park.
” data-image-caption=”Todd Arndt backpacking the Continental Divide Trail above Medicine Grizzly Lake in Glacier National Park.
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Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.mansbrand.com/an-incredible-view-into-the-heart-of-the-small-magellanic-cloud/

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