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Glaciers in Glacier National Park

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Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Postby repelmen » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:31 am

Hello all ...later this month my wife and I are spending four days in GNP. We will be staying in the southwest part of the park and I myself have a peak or two in the Logan pass area to climb.. the other day,s I'd like to get my wife and myself onto a glacier that is close to an open trailhead. Michelle won't want to hike further than a couple of miles and this is our first time to GNP ...is Piegan accessible...sexton from siyeh tr....or anything from Logan pass close to jump onto..we have crampons and axes..and have some knowledge of the dangers ,but want to get off the beaten path..any recommendations or advice is greatly appreciated...best regards...Sean
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Re: Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Postby Bob Sihler » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:37 pm

All glaciers in the park are more than a "couple miles." Forget Piegan; it's way up on the mountain wall.

Image

The trail to Grinnell is less than 5 miles if you use the boat. Sexton is about 5 miles.

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Re: Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:12 pm

You want to "get off the beaten path" but she won't hike more than a couple miles? Good luck. :)
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Re: Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Postby repelmen » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:20 am

Hello Bob thank you for the photos ..and advice..it shows us that our TrailIllistrated map is good for general layout and that's it.....what conditions and terrain will we be facing getting to the Sperry Glacier via Logan Pass/ Hidden lake Floral Park ...or Avalanche Creek,(no map or info of the headwater of avalanche basin). ..or Gunsight Trail / Comeau Pass ....she has accepted to swallow the jagged little pill of suffering to experience this ...how fast should the pace be expected on either route? Thanks for any advice....Sean .... Yes WS..we.always need that good luck..Thank You!:) Cheers
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Re: Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Postby Bob Sihler » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:27 pm

repelmen wrote:Hello Bob thank you for the photos ..and advice..it shows us that our TrailIllistrated map is good for general layout and that's it.....what conditions and terrain will we be facing getting to the Sperry Glacier via Logan Pass/ Hidden lake Floral Park ...or Avalanche Creek,(no map or info of the headwater of avalanche basin). ..or Gunsight Trail / Comeau Pass ....she has accepted to swallow the jagged little pill of suffering to experience this ...how fast should the pace be expected on either route? Thanks for any advice....Sean .... Yes WS..we.always need that good luck..Thank You!:) Cheers


There is a page here on SP for the Floral Park route. I have never done the route although I very much would like to, but I know enough of it to strongly recommend you do not do it without prior off-trail experience in Glacier.

Sperry Glacier via the trail to Sperry Chalet is your best bet, but that is way more than a day hike for most people and you are going to have a very difficult time getting a permit to camp at the Sperry backcountry campground.

Don't even think about trying the way via Avalanche Lake. It's a very difficult, dangerous route. People have gotten killed out that way.

From Gunsight Lake-- way too long for a day hike and again very difficult to get the camping permits.

If you really want to get on a Glacier, drive up to Many Glacier and take the boat shuttles across Swiftcurrent and Josephine Lake. Going that way, it is only around 8 miles RT to Grinnell Glacier and it's only a moderate hike.

You can actually reach Jackson Glacier in a day hike of about 16-18 miles RT, but that Glacier is heavily crevassed and I would not recommend going out on it without ropes and glacier experience.

The only place in North America's Rockies I know of where you can get on a Glacier with almost no effort is up on the Icefields Parkway in Banff/Jasper where it's literally a 5-10-minute walk to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier. Anything else is going to require several miles, and most of them require off-trail travel as well.
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