Glacier National Park Backpacking, Backcountry Camping

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Backcountry Camping

With over 700 miles of exciting trails to explore, Glacier National Park is a backpacking paradise, furnishing hiking enthusiasts with an abundance of backcountry campgrounds, surrounded by astonishing landscapes.

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  • Permits available at Apgar Backcountry Permit Center, or one of two ranger stations and visitor centers.
  • Be bear aware when backpacking in Glacier National Park. Make noise, carry bear spray, and keep a clean campsite.
  • Pass through glorious cedar forest surrounding Avalanche Creek Trail, on your way to the lovely Snyder Lake backcountry campground.

Popular Areas

With more than 60 backcountry campsites throughout the park, rest at one of these highlighted areas after a day of Glacier backpacking.

West Glacier: Explore Apgar, Lake MacDonald, Gunsight Pass and more.

  • Snyder Lake CG (Sperry Trail/Snyder Lake Trail)
  • Gunsight Lake CG (Gunsight Pass Trail)

East Glacier: Take in views of Two Medicine Lake, No Name Lake, and other east Glacier Park backpacking destinations.

  • Two Medicine CG (North Shore Trail)
  • Oldman Lake CG (North Shore Trail)

Many Glacier: Experience dramatic alpine views, clear lakes, and wildlife.

  • Helen Lake CG (Elizabeth Lake/Helena Lake Trails)
  • Gable Creek CG (Belly River Trail)


Backcountry camping permits required. Overnight fees $5.00/adults. Seniors/young adults $2.50. (Children under 7 free). $60 season pass. Advanced reservation applications available. Obtain permits from Apgar Backcountry Permit Center, St. Mary's or Waterton Lakes Visitor Centers, or Many Glacier/Two Medicine or Polebridge ranger stations. Call (406) 888 - 7857 for more information.

Be Bear Aware

Bear awareness is essential for a successful backpacking experience in Glacier National Park. Adhere to the following:

  • Make noise. (Bears hate surprises!)
  • Carry/know how to use bear spray.
  • Store food in provided hanging/storage devices.
  • Eat in designated areas. (Never in your tent!)
  • Leave foods with strong odors at home.
  • Avoid hiking/camping alone.


  • Pack out what you pack in - Leave No Trace!
  • Remain on designationed trails.
  • Bury human waste properly.
  • Drink boiled, filtered or bottled water.
  • Be prepared for changeable weather.