By Robert Lucke
These days lots of folks want to hike in Glacier National Park, but do not know where they can go to minimize bear danger on park trails. During the summer season, one answer is to go on a ranger guided trek. That is a good plan for two reasons. First, it does minimize bear danger by numbers of people walking and being with a ranger armed with a gun or at least bear spray. Not only that, but it is a good way to have what you are seeing explained and interpreted as you walk.
Ranger led trips change a couple of times during the summer season and are based out of several key areas of Glacier. Those areas are Apgar, Lake McDonald Lodge, St. Mary's, Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Goat Haunt, and Logan Pass.
Glacier guides offer two boat trips and hikes. One from Many Glacier involves taking one boat across Swift Current Lake, and then a short trek, another boat up Josephine Lake and a walk to Grinnell Lake. At Two Medicine there is a boat trip across Two Medicine Lake and a short stroll to Twin Falls.
In the Lake McDonald area there is a lower McDonald Creek stroll to see streamside environments, a hike to Avalanche Lake, a hike to Sacred Dancing Cascades, and a new stroll around Glacier greenhouses to see how native plants are cultivated and replanted as needed in the park.
Around the Marias Pass area there is an Autumn Creek hike from the top of the pass.
Many Glacier hikes are some of the most popular in Glacier. There is everything from a bird walk to a hiker's morning update or the popular hike to Iceberg Lake, Apikuni Falls Hike, Redrock Falls hike and even a stroll up the Swift Current valley a ways to see what wild flowers are in bloom.
Goat Haunt is located on the U. S. end of Watertown Lake in Alberta. There is an International Peace Park Hike there along with a Goat Haunt overlook hike among others. Access to Goat Haunt is by a tour boat from the Waterton townsite.
Around St. Mary and Logan Pass are a St. Mary boat trip with a walk to Virginia Falls, a ranger led sunset cruise of St. Mary's Lake, and alpine talks at the Logan Pass visitor center.
Two Medicine affords treks to Upper Two Medicine Lake and hikes to places with romantic names like Aster Park, No Name Lake, Paradise Point and Scenic Point.
A complete park hike and walk guide (all ranger led) is given free of charge at park entrance points. There are tips for what to take, and length of time most hikes take.
Many books are available throughout the park listing the level of difficulty of all Glacier principle hikes and what to see that the ranger might have forgotten.