By Michael Lanza

The three bighorn sheep lifted their heavily horned heads to gaze at us, but never budged from their beds of grass amid boulders on a mountainside above the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park. The mountain goats we saw on various occasions gave us little more attention than that. And fortunately, the grizzly bear sow with two cubs in tow that passed within about 30 feet of us—an encounter of less than 10 seconds that is etched into my memory forever—gave us no more than a passing glance.

While I have backpacked over much of this amazing park, that trek gave us the definitive grand tour of Glacier, including must-see spots like the Highline Trail and the Ptarmigan Tunnel, the Many Glacier area, the Garden Wall, and Gunsight Pass. Besides an array of wildlife, two friends and I frequently saw an ocean of mountains spreading out before us, long escarpments of Glacier’s signature soaring cliffs, and some of the prettiest of the park’s 760 lakes.

We even enjoyed an unexpectedly high degree of solitude for long stretches of a multi-day hike—something I have learned, over three decades of backpacking all over the country—including more than 10 years running this blog and for many years previously as a field editor for Backpacker magazine—is a rare treat in popular national parks like Glacier.


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.

Bighorn sheep along the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park.
” data-image-caption=”Bighorn sheep along the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park. Click photo for my e-guide to this trip.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gla4-107-Bighorn-sheep-Highline-Trail-Glacier-NP.jpg?fit=300%2C142&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gla4-107-Bighorn-sheep-Highline-Trail-Glacier-NP.jpg?fit=800%2C378&ssl=1″ width=”800″ height=”378″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gla4-107-Bighorn-sheep-Highline-Trail-Glacier-NP.jpg?resize=800%2C378&ssl=1″ alt=”Bighorn sheep along the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park.” class=”wp-image-6297″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gla4-107-Bighorn-sheep-Highline-Trail-Glacier-NP.jpg?w=800&ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gla4-107-Bighorn-sheep-Highline-Trail-Glacier-NP.jpg?resize=300%2C142&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gla4-107-Bighorn-sheep-Highline-Trail-Glacier-NP.jpg?resize=768%2C363&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gla4-107-Bighorn-sheep-Highline-Trail-Glacier-NP.jpg?resize=200%2C94&ssl=1 200w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gla4-107-Bighorn-sheep-Highline-Trail-Glacier-NP.jpg?resize=670%2C316&ssl=1 670w” sizes=”(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Bighorn sheep along the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park. Click photo for my e-guide to this trip.

Our 90-mile hike also took advantage of the park’s free shuttle bus system, easing trip logistics and enabling us to split the trip up into 65-mile and 25-mile segments—and there are excellent variations for
Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.mansbrand.com/a-third-planet-found-orbiting-nearby-proxima-centauri/

Comments

0 comments