I live about 3 hours away from Glacier National Park and I finally got to complete a backpacking trip there. In 2021 I, along with my brother-in-law and a friend from my PCT days, set out to backpack for 9 days in Glacier. Unfortunately due to snow and freezing temps in August(!), we decided to turn around instead of risking it in the cold. We were sad to leave, but we made the right choice as some others got off the trail with us. Logan, my brother-in-law, and I were able to head down to the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho instead, but we still wanted to complete a backpacking trip in Glacier.
In the spring each year Glacier runs a lottery for backpacking permits. You submit several routes and dates and then they shuffle all applications and work their way through them. They get thousands of applications so there’s a good chance you won’t get your first choice, or any of your choices at all.
I submitted an application for Logan and I in 2022. It was the exact same routes as 2021 and our hope was that we could complete the trip this year and not run into snow and freezing temperatures. Since I live close by I wrote in my application that any dates from late July to early September would work. We scored a permit for late August, though some of the campsites had been moved around by them. In Glacier you have to camp at designated campsites. There are only so many slots at each site, so if others in the lottery have already booked up all the slots on the night you want to stay at the site, you cannot stay. However, the rangers processing the permits will look for other sites nearby with openings and move you to those sites if possible.
The trip was a success — Logan and I had a blast! I journaled everyday and took too many pictures. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting each day of my journal here along with pictures from that day. I hope you’ll follow along and get a peak at what an adventure we had!