8 Spectacular Glacier National Park Hikes

Glacier National Park Hikes

Glacier National Park Hikes bring you closer to the wilderness. The ancient forests in deep valleys create a perfect hiking experience. The park opens year-round with amazing activities like cycling, fishing, ski touring, picnicking, and hiking to do.

Glacier National Park is located between Revelstoke and Golden, British Columbia. The Trans-Canada Highway leads to the park where a portion of the Selkirk Mountains stands. Rogers Park National Historic Site lies in the middle of this territory, one of the major attractions of this park.

It is one of the seven national parks in British Columbia, Canada. It was established in 1886 and is stretched to an area of 1349 square kilometers. The park has one of the largest cave systems with high peaks, active glaciers, and alpine meadows. It also has a rich flora and fauna carrying diverse plants and mammal species.

The establishment of Glacier National Park had a close connection with Canadian Pacific Railways work in 1885. Since the transportation routes were well-established, people could reach here with comfort. Within a year, the park became a tourist favorite with alpine hotels and aesthetic sites. Let’s explore the 8 Adorable Glacier National Park Hikes in this article.

Glacier National Park Hikes

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8 Amazing Glacier National Park Hikes Not To Miss

1. Abbott Ridge Trail

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 1209 m

The trail is named after a railwayman, Henry Abbott. It is one of the most loved Glacier National Park Hikes primarily used for hiking and running. Located near Columbia-Shuswap A, British Columbia, it is around 15.9 kilometers. This is an out and back trail featuring an aesthetic lake and some astounding wildflowers.

It takes around 4 hours for uphill hiking. Hiking starts at Illecillewaet Campground (you can also start from the highway). Hiking is recommended for experienced adventurers. It is one of the challenging Glacier National Park hikes.

Abbott Ridge trail leads you to the alpine tundra, where a narrow ridge waits at the end. It covers several peaks with glimpses of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The terrain is rugged and offers a stimulating mountain-top experience.

You can accompany your dog on a leash. It’s muddy and rocky, suited for experienced hikers to enjoy a complete mountain hiking experience. The stunning views are the proper reward. Don’t miss your camera to click the amazing wildlife and alpine beauties.

June to October is the best time to visit the Abbott Ridge hike. It is a marked trail and suitable for a day hike. You must follow the navigation to skip a steep snow slope. You can also avail yourself of the trail map for proper hiking.

2. Avalanche Crest Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation: 795 m

Glacier National Park Hikes are popular for their variation and scenic views. They are easy, moderate, and difficult in nature. Avalanche Crest trail is a steep trail that leads to the alpine basin. It is 8.2 kilometers long, and the back trail takes 5 hours.

This trail is extensively used for snowshoeing, running, and hiking. Though it offers year-round activities, the avalanches during November to May each year slightly disturb the trans-Canada highway. Nevertheless, it presents the jaw-dropping views of the Rogers Pass and the historical railway corridor.

Avalanche Crest trail starts at the Illecillewaet Campground and ends between Avalanche Crest and Eagle peak. This all-day hike features a river and offers panoramic views of the country. You can also accompany your dog on a leash.

Birdwatching is an exciting activity you can relish. You can see woodpeckers and hosts of other bird species. The wildlife is even more fascinating. Clark’s nutcrackers, porcupines, pikas, and hoary marmots are some inhabitants of the woods.

Weather conditions, especially avalanches, play a prominent role in hiking. Summer is the best season to explore the trail. It is one of the best Glacier National Park hikes to explore the aesthetic wilderness.

3. Bear Creek Falls Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation: 62 m

Let’s talk about one of the shortest Glacier National Park hikes to take a stroll to the creek falls. Starting eastward from the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, the Beer Creek Falls trail is good for all skill levels. It is a nice option for nature trips along with hiking.

The Connaught Creek, Beaver River, Columbia River, and few other water sources ornate this fascinating trail. The gorgeous Bear Creek Fall is the center of attraction. You can easily stroll on this trail to see the beautiful attractions.

It is a kid-friendly trail that offers delightful scenery. The Columbia Mountains around the Selkirk Ranges keep amazing ecological diversity. The wildlife is wonderful with alpine trees. You can also accompany your dog but on a leash.

June to October is the ideal time to visit this trail. It takes just an hour to complete the hike. For a warm-up hiking experience, you can try this trail.

Bear Creek Falls Trail

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4. Balu Pass Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation: 788 m

Named after the Indian word Baloo, meaning bear, Balu Pass Trail is one of the diverse Glacier National Park hikes. Known for the protected caves and grizzly bears, this out and back trail is popular for running, nature trips, and hiking.

It is 11.4 kilometers long and lightly trafficked. Dogs are not allowed due to bears. The trail begins from the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre and ends at the Balu Pass summit. After that point, the area of bears starts.

Though the trail is safe, hikers are advised to keep bear sprays for safety. The trail begins near the forest area, and the terrain passes through the dense woods. The Connaught Creek accompanies you during your journey. The crystal clear water and greenery create a soothing experience. You can also get a chance to see dark little birds: dippers.

As you progress further, the terrain leads to the valley end. The scenic wildflowers, glaciers, and mountain peaks are the soul of this memorable hike. Bears stay at the alpine meadows after the Balu Pass Summit. Only authorized visitors with guides can explore further.

June to October is the best time to explore this trail. In August, the blooming wildflowers appear like a floral carpet. You can ask for the trail maps and guided tour.

Also, read Best 10 Whistler Hikes.

5. Bostock Creek Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation: 740 m

Hiking through the subalpine and interior rainforests, you find some unique rock features. Limestone and shales lie like a rocky bed. Welcome to the Bostock Creek trail, where sedimentary and metamorphic rocks have kept surprises for you.

It is one of the popular Glacier National Park hikes that preserve the reminiscence of mountain caribou. Though they are not present in a large number, you can glimpse some of them during winter. It is a 15.6 kilometers day hike that begins near the eastward of the western park boundary.

Mount Fidelity and Corbin Peak accompany the hiking journey with natural rock settings. Bostock creek looks amazing with blossomed wildflowers. It takes nearly seven hours to complete the out and back trail.

Two broad attractions make adventurers explore this trail. First is the alpine forests, and the other is the surprising ancient feeling. You can ask for a trail map for proper navigation.

6. Marion Lake Lookout via Abbott Ridge Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation: 425 m

Marion Lake Lookout crosses through Abbott Ridge trail near Columbia-Shuswap A, British Columbia, Canada. It is among the short Glacier National Park hikes appropriate for bird watching, snowshoeing, nature trips, and hiking. Suitable for a short hike, this trail lengths around 4.4 kilometers.

Marion lake is the center of attraction and the starting point of the hike. The lake was named after Reverend William Spotswood Green’s daughter, who came here for fishing in 1888.  Alpine trees and some wild creatures surround this lake.

A short walk from the lake takes you to a viewpoint above the Trans-Canada highway. From this viewpoint, you can see the trains crossing the Connaught tunnel. The tunnel was constructed to protect the railway from heavy avalanches.

You are allowed to accompany your dog on a leash. June to November is the best time to visit this one of the best Glacier National Park hikes. It is also kid-friendly, and you can use it as a warm-up hike.

Glacier National Park Hikes

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7. Great Glacier Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation: 321 m

Illecillewaet area is a well-known tourist attraction, famous for the Illecillewaet glacier. It is among the most visited places of Glacier National Park hikes. You can see the scenic Vaux Glacier during the hike.

It is one of the shortest Glacier National Park hikes, lengths around 7.9 kilometers. This out and back trail has a lovely waterfall. Dogs are allowed on leash.

Running, nature trips, and hiking are popular activities here. May to October is the best time to enjoy hiking. Unfortunately, during the winter season, the area receives heavy avalanches that cover the terrain.

Mount Sir Donald and the historic Glacier House are the two worth-seeing attractions. This area preserves Canada Railway’s legacy.

8. Rock Garden Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation: 428 m

The final inclusion in the Adorable Glacier National Park hikes list is a botanical gift. It offers you a chance to recreate the Ice Age environment. It passes through the bears’ habitat with moss and lichen-covered boulders.

Rock Garden trail offers a short hike surrounded by different rock varieties. It has a rustic feeling with rock staircases, steep sections, and stepping stones. It is an ideal family adventure to know about rocks. This is one of the aesthetic Glacier National Park hikes.

It is a lightly trafficked loop trail, suitable for all skill levels. Summer is the best season to explore this trail. Dogs are also permitted on a leash.

Rock Garden Hike at Glacier National Park

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Summary

Glacier National Park Hikes have a variety of surprises to offer. They allow you to explore some historical sites and amazing mountains. In addition, forests and wildlife have their own contribution to this versatile trail system. Visit its website to avail detailed information about bookings and amenities.

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