Hiking in Glacier National Park

British Columbia

Glacier National Park, BC

 

Glacier National Park is located in the rugged interior of British Columbia, Canada. Because of the towering peaks, the area has never been fully developed, making it a scenic and pristine nature reserve. Hiking in Glacier National Park is perfect for those who enjoy few crowds, mountainous terrain and big outdoor adventures.

The area is located near Revelstoke, BC, and encompasses the historic Rogers Pass. Here, the mountains force the warm Pacific air to give up its moisture along the western front. So much rain and snow is deposited that giant cedars and Hemlock trees flourish at these high altitudes. The accumulated snowpack has created over 400 glaciers - hence the name of the park.

Hiking trails range from short, level paths to rugged, multi-day mountain treks. The valley bottom is around 1300 meters (4300 ft) and trails can go well over 2600 meters (8600 ft).

 

There are 18 day hikes that start at various points along the TransCanada Highway and the campground. These include:

Hazards on the Trails in Glacier National Park

  • Avalanche - Snow-slides can happen anytime in the winter and spring. This is one of the most active avalanche zones in the world. Check current avalanche conditions before venturing into the back-country.

  • Wildlife, including bears - The remote location and low human population make this excellent habitat for these giants. Learn what to do if you encounter a bear.

  • Glaciers - Only experienced and trained outdoors people should hike on glaciers. Crevasse rescue training is highly recommended.


View Hiking in Glacier National Park in a larger map

 

Information About Hiking in Glacier National Park

  • The massive snowpack usually melts at the lower elevations by mid-June but still lingers at high elevation. Hiking season is from June to mid-September.

  • Check with the Glacier National Park office for trail conditions before heading out.

  • A park pass is required when stopping in the national park. Both day passes and annual passes are available. The pass is valid for all national parks across Canada.

  • The area is remote and lacks full tourist amenities. The closest town for supplies is Revelstoke (70 kilometers west) or Golden (80 kilometers east).

  • Backcountry skiing is a popular winter sport (November to April) but there are avalanche hazards on the steep slopes. Be aware of avalanche conditions, and be prepared. Note that avalanche control takes place regularly.

  • There are three campsites in the park. Bring rain protection as showers are frequent.

Distance to Glacier National Park

From Vancouver - 500 kilometers (6 hours)
From Calgary - 350 kilometers (4.5 hours)

Hiking in Glacier National Park is one of the highlights of visiting BC. Check out other outdoor adventures and hikes in BC, or visit scenic stops and viewpoints, or roadside attractions in beautiful British Columbia!