trail advice in Glacier Ntl. Park

4:41 p.m. on July 26, 2003 (EDT)

a.k.a. Kate, Kate F

I stumbled across this forum, and since you seem to be a knowledgeable bunch of folks, I have a couple questions.

A friend and I are planning a backpacking trip (her first trip, although she is a well-seasoned day hiker, I have quite a bit of experience in the backcountry). I/we are thinking of the Dawson Pass-Pitikamin (sp?) Pass in the Two Medicine region of Glacier. The goal of the trip is to introduce her to backpacking. We want a nice and relaxed trip, lots of time to spend by the lake etc.

Is this trail a high-quality trail? From the trail books it seems ideal, challenging enough for both of us, but lots of opportunitites to kick back and relax; and we are planning on 3 days, 2 nights, so we can meander off if we see something interesting.

Any opinions on this trip? Or are there are other spectacular hikes in Glacier (east-side) we should consider? Coming from S. Alberta so we don't want to travel too far for a 3 day trip.

Thanks in advance!

8:25 p.m. on July 28, 2003 (EDT)
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6,006 forum posts

Been a while since I have hiked in Glacier, but it is certainly a beautiful place to hike. Even though your friend is an experienced day hiker, I would suggest keeping the daily mileage pretty short, with lots of photo-ops, laying around by the lakes and streams, and generally taking it easy. Since you are experienced, keep it non-challenging for you, which for a first backpack may be challenging for her. You have the right idea about the sidetrips in case she thinks it is too laid back. Remember that the weather there can add a bit too much challenge sometimes for a first-timer.

Second thing to watch out for is that the griz occasionally come up with a bad one in the bunch. So take precautions with your food. I forget what the tree situation is for Two Medicine (been too long), but you may be able to bearbag, keeping all smellables in the bag at least 100 feet from your sleeping area, and the cooking area also 100 feet away in a different direction (roughly triangle layout, since you don't want the tent on a path between the two. Don't have any food or other smellables in or near the tent. Most of the griz and blacks are not human-accustomed these days and will stay away, but the rangers can tell you if there are any renegades. Obviously, you know not to camp next to the berry bushes or areas where you see the griz have been digging up the ground. And you know that if you do any fishing, you either catch and release or if you are eating the fish, you dispose of the cleanings properly. But since you have been backpacking in the Alberta area, you know all that. Just be sure to brief your friend, since as a first-time backpacker, she might not be fully aware.

I expect you know to take a long telephoto for your camera to get photos of the 4-legged beasties with the curly and sharp horns. Although I have some photos of one who came right up to our tentsite.

May 21, 2018
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