Hi, looking in mid September to head to glacier to do the Nyack Coal Creek Loop. Limited information out there on this route so was looking to see if anyone has experience doing this. From what I've read the loop seems very demanding, overgrown but it takes you into some awesome remote backcountry off the beaten path. I understand it's a walk in permit. You think we would have any problems getting one? Also the route seems like it follows the valley floor the whole time. Anyone heard of any herd paths going up to any of the surrounding peaks? In Mid September you think the rivers will still be waist high? Any tips or input would be appreciated thanks.
All backcountry campsites in Glacier are available for walk in permits as long as the campsite is not full. Walk in permits can be obtained for trips that begin no later than the day after the permit is issued. The main difference with the Nyack/Coal Creek Wilderness is that permits are readily issued for undesignated camping. The Nyack/Coal Creek loop does indeed follow the valley floors. Most stream crossings are not bridged and wading is required. These trails are not cleared or brushed as often as other trails. The Middlefork of the Flathead fords near the Nyack or Coal Creek trailheads are usually at their lowest in September. Still the river may be swift and the water maybe thigh deep. Other fords such as crossing the Nyack near the Middlefork of the Flathead River may also be difficult.
All of the mountains lining these valleys have been climbed but due to the more remote area and the generally brushy condition of the valleys climbing is less common than in other areas. In fact visitation in these valleys is very low due to the oribkemns of access and the areas remoteness. For these reasons there are few, if any, "cowpaths" to the summits. If this is your first trip to Glacier I would advise a route in one of the more accessible areas of he park.