Best hikes in Glacier National Park

Every time we visit, we are amazed by how unique Glacier National Park is.  Glacier National Park truly is the closest you can get to the Alps in America.  With ancient glaciers, huge, towering mountains, waterfalls, meadows, lakes, forests, and wildlife, Glacier National Park really does have everything you could want from an outdoor vacation.  Hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts will be starstruck by Glacier National Park. But the real question is, if you only have a few days, what’s the best hike to do in Glacier National Park?

We’ve done many of Glacier National Park’s amazing hikes in varying difficulty.  It really pays to take the strenuous routes.  The views just don’t get much better.  If you’re not as experienced in hiking, Glacier is one of the best places for you because there are a lot of rewarding short hikes.

Tips for Hiking in Glacier National Park

#1: Get to the trailheads early

Most popular parking lots fill up by 9 a.m.. Because of this we highly recommend all visitors to utilize the amazing free shuttle systems that can take you to almost any trailhead in the park from both the Saint Mary’s side and the Apgar side.  Take a quick look at this map below to get your bearings for where each trail is located.

Tips for visiting Glacier National Park

#2: Carry bear spray on all moderate to strenuous hikes

Because so many people forget bear spray on their trip to Glacier, bear spray is really expensive to buy once you’re in the park.  Save money and buy some ahead of time at REI or Amazon.

#3: Wear layers

If you’re not used to hiking in the mountains, you won’t realize how much the weather can change in a day.  If you’re starting your hikes early in the morning (like you should be), it will be very cold in the morning but by noon you’ll be baking and will need lightweight clothes but also some sun protection.

#4: Pack a lot of water

Like I said in my last point, it gets hot really fast in the summer.  When you start your hike in the morning you may think you won’t need that much water but when you’re hiking a steep trail in the heat by midday, you are going to want a sufficient supply of water.  

We carry water bottles with water filters inside them from HydroBlu that way we can fill more water at tiny streams, lakes, or waterfalls and never have to worry about running out.

#5: Have a comfortable day hiking pack

Before you head out on your epic hike in Glacier National Park, check out our absolute favorite day hiking backpack, REI’s Flash 22. This backpack has seen over 3,000 miles and it’s our go-to pack for all our hiking adventures.