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4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

Dublin, Ohio
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4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

I'm planning my first trip to GNP with a group of 4 in early August 2014. This is what I have so far.

Day 1: Arrive at airport at 1:30, rental car, take a short day hike in the evening, stay in hotel

Day 2: Highline trail - Logan Pass to Granite Park campsite

Day 3: Granite Park to Fifty Mountain campsite

Day 4: Fifty to Flattop

Day 5: Flattop to Logan, short day hike to a lake, stay in hotel

Day 6: Fly home

We have one person in the group that wants to average 5-7 miles a day. We have one leg that'll be 11.9 miles.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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1. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

Hi Archer, Welcome to the GNP Forum. Your route sounds great. It is one that many will be hoping for so when you apply for your permit make sure your request includes alternate routes, the route in reverse and and alternate dates. The more open you are, the more likely you are to be granted a route. Also be prepared to play the waiting game. The back country office uses archaic methods and it takes them a looong time to go through all the applications and notify applicants. the season is so short and there are a huge number of hikers vying for the same routes.

Keep in mind that Fifty Mountain is one of the higher sights and if this season so far is any indication as to snow fall it will probably not be accessible till early to mid August. the Ahern drift is part of the problem. Trail crews need to blast it out for the trail to be passable.

The only problem I see with your adventure is the person who only wants to average 5 to 7 miles a day. The hike to 50 Mountain is a slog and can seem endless with heavy packs on backs. It will take all day. Not sure I would care to have a novice back packer with me that day. That could ruin it for the rest of you.

Also, not to scare you but Fifty is PRIME grizzly habitat. Make sure you all carry bear spray on the front of your packs and know how to retrieve it quickly and always know the wind direction. I would like to recommend a good book on the topic, Hiking With Grizzlies, Lessons Learned by Tim Rubbert. One of the chapters recounts how his friend was mauled by a grizz, how Tim saved his life by spraying the bear and how they hiked out nearly twenty miles....from Fifty Mountain.

I would loveto hear back from you if and when you get your permit. Good luck and may the Back Country Gods grant you your wish. :-D

Edited: 9:54 am, December 11, 2013
Dublin, Ohio
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2. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

Thanks for the quick reply gnp4me! Is there another bucket or semi-bucket hiking loop you'd recommend as a alternative? I didn't think about using the backward loop...great idea.

The grizzly bear comment is great info. I'll have my 17 yr old son with me, and I don't want to get into trouble. Maybe an alternative trail might be better.

Thanks!

Spokane, Washington
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3. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

Challenging route, 1. one of the most popular routes so permits very tough to come by. 2. your short distance hiker will see the distance doubled on day two. That routes is very sun exposed, so with the extra distance, sun exposure and weight of the gear, they may not be real happy. Trail should be open and fine, except for crossing the snow drift, which should be blasted and have a trail over the top already, however still be very careful as you will be on snow with a p[ainful slideout should you fall.

As mentioned above, if you don't have flexible dates, then have alternative routes/let the office have the flexibility to assign you to another route if you are truly set on backpacking in the park

Dublin, Ohio
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4. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

Trying to avoid the bears at FIF. How do you feel about this trip in early August? Our short hiker has agreed to do a little more mileage.

1. Highline trail - Logan Pass to Granite Park (7.6 miles)

2. Cont. Divide trail - Granite Park to Many Glacier campsite (5-7 miles)

3. Iceberg trail - day hike back to MG campsite (9.5 miles)

4. Grinnel trail to Grinnel lake; then take Piegan/Cont. Divide to Going to Sun Road (13.7 miles)

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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5. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

I have set up camp at Many and done the Logan Pass to Granite Park stayed at the chalet, then back down to Many Glacier. That is an awesome hike but you have logistic problems. You can not reserve Granite Park campground for one night without continuing on your original route. Also we left a car at St Mary. When we got back to Many, another person in our party gave me a ride back to St Mary to retrieve the car. THe Piegan Trail is great but if I were you I'd do it in reverse. Again transportation issues. We do it by taking the early am hikers shuttle from Swift Current to St Mary. Hop on the free shuttle to the trail head. Then hike the 14 miles back.

Have you considered this route? It's a great three night route but you have to go to Waterton and take the boat to Goat Haunt. Francis Lake, Hole in the Wall, Hawksbill. Another would be Gunsight Lake, Lake Ellen Wilson, Sperry. You still have transport issues with this one as you start on east side, end up on west side.

Dublin, Ohio
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6. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

How about this option for seeing the trails and not so much "backcountry camping"?

Day 1: Arrive at airport at 1:45pm. Drive around or take the Red Bus (hotel)

Day 2: Park our car at Logan Pass. Highline to Loop ( bus to REY)

Day 3: Piegan Pass to Many Glaciers (MAN)

Day 4: Many Glaciers to Granite to Loop (REY again or hotel?)

Day 5: Day hike - Get our car from Logan Pass and drive to Many Glaciers. Hike Iceberg trail (hotel)

Day 6: Fly home in the morning.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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7. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

Sorry Archer, but that is not going to work either. You can not reserve Reynolds as a first night site for hikes that start on GTTSR or the last night for hikes that end on GTTSR. it also has a one night limit. What you need to do is study the back country guide on the plan your visit site at nps.gov/glacier.

Dublin, Ohio
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8. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

Back to the drawing board. Thanks

Dublin, Ohio
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9. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

How difficult is the hike from Many Glaciers to Logan Pass?

Also, I noticed on Google Maps that there is a Many Glaciers trail campsite 2 miles from the Many Glacier "camper city" site. Is that an actual site?

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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10. Re: 4 day, 3 night hiking recommendations for Aug 2014.

THe hike is relatively flat for the first four miles then gains 2700 feet of elevation till you get to Swift Current Pass. Then the hike flattens out from the chalet to Haystack switchbacks where you loose about 700 feet then flat to Logan Pass. It is best done in the opposite direction. Look into the two suggestions I mentioned previously. The Gunsight pass trail is one of my favorites along (with everyone) but you would be thrilled if you could score that hike