Summer 2020 Glacier Challenge Itinerary Changes!

Day 1 – Highline Trail

2 – Piegan Pass

3 – Firebrand Pass or Elk Mountain

4 – Gunsight Lake or Virginia Falls

5 – Sperry Chalet

More details coming soon! Itinerary change is in response the closure of Glacier’s eastern entrances.

5 Day Glacier Challenge Trip Details

Join us on the best Glacier National Park hikes, including a trip to Iceberg Lake!

Join us on the best Glacier National Park hikes, including a trip to Iceberg Lake! Photo by Guide Jeff Compton.

We know the best hikes in Glacier National Park, and we know they’re on your list. Are you ready for the Highline, Piegan Pass, Iceberg Lake, 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

2020 Dates:
July 8th
July 27th
August 17th
September 4th

Trip Duration: 5 days

Price Adult: $1,605.00
Price Child: $1,605.00
Minimum Age: 13
Other Price: 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 hikes in Glacier. 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. Most nights we come back to hot showers, camp-style cooking, and our comfy tents! On the last night, camping may be more primitive. 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 7:30 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 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, Montana. Hot showers are available. Your guides will prepare dinner after your arrival.

Let’s Eat!

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 in advance.

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. 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 hiking, we drive further south to the Two Medicine area of Glacier. We’ll camp in the East Glacier area. The campsite may be primitive on this final night, and showers may not be available.

Day 5 – Two Medicine Area, via Dawson-Pitamakin 

If you’ve read much about the best hikes in Glacier, 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!


Meeting Notes

Guests should call our office the day prior to departure at 406-387-5555 to check-in. The day of the Glacier Challenge departure, arrive at our office at 7:30 AM to meet your guide.  Click on directions for how to find us.

What Guests Say About the 5 Day Glacier Challenge

I was thoroughly impressed by our guides — their knowledge, skills, wisdom, organization, gentle yet structured leadership and guidance, and their warm spirits. They made the experience comfortable yet challenging. I would recommend this trip and Glacier Guides services in general to anyone and everyone. I was blown away by the entire experience.

July 23, 2018 – 5 Day Glacier Challenge participant

Extremely impressed with the knowledge of the park from each of our guides! And the endless accommodating! Never a moment of bother from ALL the requests we had! Do y’all teach them that??? It truly seemed like it was just their personality … awesome 🙂

August 31, 2018 – 5 Day Glacier Challenge participant

Guides Andrea, Tarek, and Nataly were amazing! Helpful, knowledgeable, and unflappable. Oh, and super fun to hike with!

August 31, 2018 – 5 Day Glacier Challenge participant

The trip was wonderful. The guides were upbeat, knowledgeable, attentive, and fun. Also it was very organized for a large group. The food was plentiful and delicious!

August 31, 2018 – 5 Day Glacier Challenge participant

Jen, Vince, and Nataly were great guides. They went the extra mile to care for my family as if we were their own!

July 23, 2018 – 5 Day Glacier Challenge participant

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