5 Day Glacier Challenge Trip Details
Join us on the best Glacier National Park hikes, including a trip to Iceberg Lake! Photo by Guide Jeff Compton.
We know the best Glacier National Park hikes, and we know they’re on your list. Are you ready for the Highline, Piegan Pass, Iceberg, and Dawson-Pitamakin all in one week? Does the idea of sleeping under the star-studded Montana skies without carrying a heavy pack appeal to you? Read on!
Difficulty: Moderate, Advanced
Trip Duration: 5 days
Price Adult: $1,530.00
Price Child: $1,530.00
Minimum Age: 13
Other Price: $20 park entrance fee and gratuity for guide not included. Add $50 for single supplement.
All camping gear is included. (Tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad.)
The Glacier Challenge Adventure
This trip is for strong hikers wanting to experience the very best Glacier National Park hikes. We call this trip “Glacier’s Greatest Hits.” All of these hikes are challenging and meant for advanced hikers. The mileage for each hike ranges from 12 to 19 miles, with shorter options of about 7 to 10 miles available. This trip is geared toward full days of hiking, traveling over stunning mountain passes, and along the Continental Divide. Any gear not needed while hiking can be kept in our gear trailer. Each night we come back to hot showers, camp-style cooking, and our comfy tents! Don’t forget your passport for our delightful rest day in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada.
Best Glacier National Park Hikes: The Itinerary
Day 1 – Logan Pass to St. Mary Valley, via the iconic Highline Trail
Meet at our office just outside of West Glacier at 8:00 AM. You’ll meet your guide and go over your gear. Then, enjoy driving Glacier’s historic Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass. Surrounded by glacially carved peaks, hike the Highline Trail — one of the very best Glacier National Park hikes — to Granite Park Chalet and then down to the Loop. The full Highline Trail experience is 11.9 miles.
If you prefer a shorter day hike, you can choose to hike the Highline Trail to Haystack Butte and back. This option is about 7 miles round trip. Whether you opt for the long option or the short, we’ll be hiking along the Garden Wall through meadows of wildflowers. Your guides will help you look for bighorn sheep, marmots, and mountain goats along the way. After our hike, we will drive the Going-to-the-Sun-Road to St. Mary. We’ll make camp in St. Mary, MT. Hot showers are available. Your guides will prepare dinner after your arrival.
On the subject of meals, you will be amazed by what our guides will cook for you on this trip. We like to eat, and it shows. Our in house kitchen staff, who assists our guides in trip preparations, believes in sourcing locally, purchasing organic when possible, and fueling your body with the best available, homemade food. You won’t find commercially freeze dried one bag meals on this trip! We can also accommodate nearly any dietary restriction or preference – just ask.
Day 2 – St. Mary Valley and Many Glacier Valley, via Piegan Pass
After a cup of steaming, organic coffee or tea, and a hearty breakfast, we’ll drive a short distance back along the Going to the Sun Road to the Siyeh Bend trailhead. From there, we’ll hike to Piegan Pass and then down to the Many Glacier Hotel. This fabulous hike is about 14.3 miles long. If you prefer a shorter distance today, you may choose to hike to Piegan Pass and back. That option is about 9 miles roundtrip. Expect fantastic views of glaciers, open meadows, and alpine lakes along either route! We’ll also get a rare glimpse of the eastern face of the Garden Wall. At the end of the day, we’ll return to our camp in St.Mary for a second night. Hot showers available!
Day 3 – Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada — Rest Day!
After breakfast, we head north to explore the Canadian part of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Today’s activities are on your own. You can rent a surrey bicycle or moped, take a boat ride across Waterton Lake, go horseback riding, play a game of golf, do some shopping, get a massage … or just sit back and relax by spectacular Waterton Lake with your favorite book. This evening’s dinner is also on your own, and you’ll be able to choose from numerous quaint restaurants with international flavor. We will camp together at one of the scenic campgrounds and hot showers will again be available. Read more about charming Waterton here.
Day 4 – Many Glacier Valley, via Iceberg Lake
Today, we return to the United States to explore more of the exquisite Many Glacier Valley. We’ll hike to Iceberg Lake, a trail known for its abundance of wildlife and wildflowers, and of course, its turquoise, iceberg studded lake, tucked into a glacial cirque. The hike to Iceberg and back is 9.8 miles round trip.
If you’re looking for an even bigger Glacier challenge, add an additional 6.4 miles to your day by trekking on to Ptarmigan Tunnel. Ptarmigan Tunnel was blasted through the solid rock of the Ptarmigan Wall in 1931 and overlooks the remote backcountry of the Belly River. It offers majestic views of Elizabeth Lake with Natoas Peak rising above it. After another day of best Glacier National Park hikes, we drive further south to the Two Medicine area of Glacier. We’ll camp in East Glacier Park with hot showers and gorgeous views.
Day 5 – Two Medicine Area, via Dawson-Pitamakin
If you’ve read much about the best Glacier National Park hikes, then you’ve definitely heard about Pitamakin Pass and Dawson Pass, commonly called Dawson-Pitamakin. Today’s hike will traverse the Continental Divide between these two incredibly beautiful alpine passes. This is a 18.9 mile loop hike and an amazing way to top off your Glacier Challenge. Today’s short option is to Scenic Point and back, for a total of 7.6 miles. We will return to West Glacier in the late afternoon or early evening, so be sure to inquire about late check in at your hotel. And let us know if you need a recommendation on West Glacier lodging!
Glacier Challenge FAQ
Glacier Challenge Meeting Notes
Guests should call our office the day prior to departure at 406-387-5555 to check-in. The day of the trip, you should arrive at our office by 8:00 AM to meet your guide. We are located 1.5 miles west of West Glacier on Highway 2. Look for our Glacier Guides and Montana Raft sign on the north side of the highway, between mile marker 151 and 152. Our property is just off the highway, tucked in the trees. When you see our sign turn to the north and you will see us shortly thereafter.