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Backpacking, hiking, camping in early July - GNP and Banff

St Paul
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2 reviews
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Backpacking, hiking, camping in early July - GNP and Banff

Hi -

We are traveling to GNP and then Banff from July 1st thru the 10th. We'd like to do a 3-4 day backpacking trip, probably in GNP during that time. We're looking for any suggested trails and camping sites that are likely to be open.

Any other suggestions of things not to miss, also welcomed.


Charlotte, North...
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1. Re: Backpacking, hiking, camping in early July - GNP and Banff

A backpacking trip sounds wonderful to me right now...I want to go! If you'll be there in early July the higher elevation trails are going to be questionable, as snow typically lingers up there for awhile. Therefore, I'll make some different recommendations than I would normally give. I have not had any experience camping in the backcountry of Glacier but have researched & read much about it.

I think an excellent idea for a backpacking route would be traveling into the Belly River area in Glacier's northeast corner. You could spend a night at Glenns Lake, a night at Mokowanis Lake, and a night at Elizabeth Lake if you have 4 days or perhaps two nights at Glenns Lake if you only have 3 days. This allows for some low elevation traverse, so you should be clear of snow. The area is very beautiful, though, especially in its isolation. It is one of the last great truly untouched areas of the Lower 48. Side hikes to Bear Mountain Overlook and Helen Lake as well as a fairly nasty bushwhack to Margaret Lake from Mokowanis are all possible too. k2kelly has plans for a Belly River backpacking trip this summer, so I'm sure he could help if you choose to go to this area of the park.


Calgary, Canada
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for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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2. Re: Backpacking, hiking, camping in early July - GNP and Banff

The Tamarack Trail in Waterton (GNP's Canadian sister park) is fabulous and is a 2 day hike.

Similarly, if you are an avid hiker in good shape, the Crypt Lake Trail in Waterton that is a full day hike and is not to be missed, IMO. It has received the rating of #1 hike in Canada in years past. I have some photos of the Crypt Lake Trail on my webpage:


Spokane, Washington
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for Glacier National Park, Spokane
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3. Re: Backpacking, hiking, camping in early July - GNP and Banff

Belly River area is a good start, enetering from Chief Mntn. Gleens lake, then Mokowanis lake, Eliz and out would be a nice routing. All flat land hiking, in stunning valleys.

Another option might be the ptamahkin pass/dawson pass loop out ot 2-medicine. Check with the backcountry offices to see what is open as you can only apply for a permit 24-hours in advance of the first night out.

Other options could be quartz lake out of Polebrige area, though that is an out-back.

Gunsight lake for 2-3nights, with some great day hiking is another option. Easy 6 mile in and camp on the lake. Day trip to the base of Blackfoot and Jackson Glaciers.

4. Re: Backpacking, hiking, camping in early July - GNP and Banff

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