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Topic: Glacier NP Late Sept 2014, 5 Days Backpacking/Fishing< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 05 2014, 2:05 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello everyone!

Five of us are looking at a 5 day trip in Glacier National Park in late September and need some help/ideas in planning.  Don't know much about the park other than what I have read on the NPS website and picked up from two other post that are also currently in the planning stage on this Forum.  We would like to do as much in 5 days as possible ie... camp near a lake, alpine camp and try and actually see a glacier.  We will be carrying minimal fly fishing gear in hopes to fish a stream or two near camp.  Also we are open to changing camp every night or making a base camp for a night or two and day hiking.  Applications for permits will be turned in soon.  So any suggestions are certainly most appreciated!

Thanks!
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dorfinator Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 05 2014, 11:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For a late September trip I would save my money and not bother with the advance permit.  You'd pretty much have the park to yourselves at that late date and could get whatever hike you wanted.  Your best bet is to go out there and speak to a BC ranger and get some input from them.  There's a very real possibility of snow being on the ground at some of the higher elevation camps.  

Your next best bet is to go a couple of weeks earlier if possible.

As an aside, be advised that most of the concessionaire's will shut down for the season by the time you get there.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 06 2014, 12:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good advice from dorf.  Late September is real iffy in the northern Rockies, esp Glacier. Bring your winter gear.

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"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2014, 1:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(dorfinator @ Mar. 05 2014, 11:29 pm)
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For a late September trip I would save my money and not bother with the advance permit.  You'd pretty much have the park to yourselves at that late date and could get whatever hike you wanted.  Your best bet is to go out there and speak to a BC ranger and get some input from them.  There's a very real possibility of snow being on the ground at some of the higher elevation camps.  

Your next best bet is to go a couple of weeks earlier if possible.

As an aside, be advised that most of the concessionaire's will shut down for the season by the time you get there.

This poster nailed it.  After Labor Day, the park slows down considerably.  There will still be backpackers, but not as hectic as July/August.  Talk to the rangers, and they will set you up with your "trip of your lifetime"

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The vast majority of every species that has ever lived on Earth is now extinct. To think that humans can avoid the fate of every other creature is arrogant. Like all life on Earth, our time is limited.
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WNDSRFROSS Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2014, 6:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So, we Are Looking at A Big Loop At Many Glacier: ManyGlacier To Glenn's lake foot, Stoney Indian PAss (Camp), Fifty Mountain, Granite park, Back To MG.  in The Smoky Mountain National Park Where We Hike We Keep mileage Below 10 Miles A Day Due To Steep Relentless Climbs (2500-3000 Ft In 6 Miles). I Have Read That 15-20 Miles A Day Are Common In GNP And Are Not Too Bad.  What Is The General Consensus?
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2014, 9:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Haven't been in the Smokies, so not familiar with whether those trails feature "Peruvian switchbacks", i.e. none, are straight up. Numbers wise tho, I tend to think of 1,000'/mile as getting in the "relentless" rating.

Mileage? Really depends on what your druthers are. And bear in mind that your mentioned time frame is 3 months after the Solstice, daylight will be shortening.

The area around Stoney Indian has several fine side trip possibilities -- my suggestion would be to consider taking an afternoon to do one of those. Sue Lake bench is outstanding.

Also, if you have off-trail skills, some fundamental mountaineering background, consider the mountaineering shortcut north of Cathedral Peak west to 50 mt. camp. It is relatively moderate, if dry ( assuming no new snow).

You've got considerable time to sort thru all this.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2014, 11:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

15-20 miles may be pushing it with a full pack. I'm sure you can do it, but why the rush through such gorgeous country. With that kind of mileage each day, you're not going to have much time for fishing.  We all hike at different rates but I'd say 10 miles a day is a nice pace depending on terrain.   But that's just my opinion.  To a certain degree, your mileage will also be determined by the location of your campsites.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2014, 12:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WNDSRFROSS @ Apr. 08 2014, 5:08 pm)
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in The Smoky Mountain National Park Where We Hike We Keep mileage Below 10 Miles A Day Due To Steep Relentless Climbs (2500-3000 Ft In 6 Miles). I Have Read That 15-20 Miles A Day Are Common In GNP And Are Not Too Bad.  What Is The General Consensus?

If your usual days in the Smokies are ten miles or less, then you'll definitely want to plan for no more than that per day at Glacier.

I've BPed extensively in the Rockies and Cascades--I sometimes do longer days on solo trips (when there's less to do in camp so less hurry to get there), but on a group trip, I find 10 mile days to be pretty ideal. Glacier, while not as high elevation as Colorado or the Sierras, is also a good bit higher elevation than the Smokies: that will slow you down some, too.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2014, 10:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WNDSRFROSS @ Apr. 08 2014, 6:08 pm)
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So, we Are Looking at A Big Loop At Many Glacier: ManyGlacier To Glenn's lake foot, Stoney Indian PAss (Camp), Fifty Mountain, Granite park, Back To MG.  in The Smoky Mountain National Park Where We Hike We Keep mileage Below 10 Miles A Day Due To Steep Relentless Climbs (2500-3000 Ft In 6 Miles). I Have Read That 15-20 Miles A Day Are Common In GNP And Are Not Too Bad.  What Is The General Consensus?

Not so sure about 15-20 miles being common for backpackers but it is for some dayhikers.  Those 2500-3000' climbs in 6 miles? You'll get those on your route...but in half the distance or less.  Once you leave the Waterton Valley you won't be doing any fishing until you're almost out
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 7:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Last year a group of four of us hiked this exact trail the last week of September, with almost the same planned campsites as you called out you were planning on.

We had rain/snow from the first afternoon through our camp at Fifty Mountain.  When we got up in the morning at our Fifty Mountain campsite there was about six inches of snow down and it looked like more higher.  We had seen one other person the day before on the plateau coming into the campsite and he reported deep snow (he said knee deep) in the passes already from several days of accumulation.

We put our heads together and decided instead of completing the loop back to Many Glacier, that it would be prudent to get out of the high country.  We went down and came out at Packers Roost.

At that time the road on the east side of Logan Pass was closed for construction.  I think Logan Pass would have been closed because of the snow.  

In any event we all hitched rides into West Glacier where we got a hotel room for the night.  The next day we rented a car and had a long, expensive shuttle around the south of the park to retrieve our car in Many Glacier

You just need to be aware that snow can change your plans.

I think that your plan of doing more or less 10 miles per day is good.  The trails are graded better in Glacier, but not so that you can double your mileage.

Also, carry bear spray.  We saw 11 bear on our two 5 day trips.  (we had hiked Two Medicine to Lake McDonald the week before this trip and had planned to summit Triple Divide Peak, but snow stopped that thought as well)   We had one 20 mile day on this hike and it was unpleasant as we had a number of fords as the bridges had been rolled up.

But all in all, this is a great trip with great scenary.

Enjoy.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2014, 10:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Certainly words for the wise.

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"Too often I have met men who boast only of how many miles they've traveled and not of what they've seen."  -  Louis L'Amour
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