Ranger-Led Hiking in Glacier National Park?

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Oct 16, 2007
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Glens Falls, NY
We plan to do some hiking when visiting Glacier National Park later this year. After reading (and viewing) information about the park, we've become a little paranoid about the potential for grizzley bear encounters. (The info we've read give repeated cautions about this.)

One of the hikes on our "must-do" list is to Iceberg Lake. This trail, however, is listed as a "prime" Grizzley Bear area. Figuring that perhaps there's more safety in numbers (There are only two of us...), I thought that it might be a good idea to do this hike as a Ranger-led hike.

Various websites mention that Ranger-led hikes are available in the park, but I haven't found any specifics about them. For example, would we need to make a reservation well ahead of time (as we did for lodging)? If so, where do I call? If not, how do you sign up for one of these hikes after arriving at the park? (We'll only be in that side of the park for 3 days.)

Thanks!
 
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Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Bert -

They aren't terribly formal on most ranger-led activities/hikes in the park. The few times we've done them in YNP or Glacier, it's written on a whiteboard and you just show up at the designated time :biggrin: They might require bear spray for that hike.

Sean

http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ranger-led-activities.htm

"Our Ranger-led Activity Schedules are made available about 3 weeks before each program segment begins. Each schedule covers 3-4 weeks at a time. Programs start mid-June and generally conclude at the end of September."
 
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Alaska
10's of thousands of people hike in Glacier and Waterton each year, and very very few even see a bear. We live in an area with a high population of both brown (grizzly) and black bears. Thousands of people hike in Denali NP (the border of the park is two miles from our house) each summer. Bears are very common, and it is common to see one or more on a hike. If you use common sense and avoid a bear when you see it, you should not have any problems.
 
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Mill Creek, WA.
We did a ranger led hike our first time in the Park. We ran into a griz two times on the trail we wanted to hike. We then found out there was a ranger led hike in an hour and we signed up. It was great and there were about 15 people. The only thing was we went down to a little lake to see some moose and by the time we got back to the trail the group had moved on. The downside to the groups is they are pretty slow. At least the one went on.
 

Butlerkid

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The best place to get information regarding ranger-led hikes during the time you plan to be there is to contact the Ranger station/visitor's center in Glacier.
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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We did a ranger led hike our first time in the Park. We ran into a griz two times on the trail we wanted to hike. We then found out there was a ranger led hike in an hour and we signed up. It was great and there were about 15 people. The only thing was we went down to a little lake to see some moose and by the time we got back to the trail the group had moved on. The downside to the groups is they are pretty slow. At least the one went on.
Thanks, James. As I said, we'd prefer to be in a larger group, so something like this would work for us. ...And the group being "pretty slow" means that we'd fit right in! :biggrin:
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
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Glens Falls, NY
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Bert -

They aren't terribly formal on most ranger-led activities/hikes in the park. The few times we've done them in YNP or Glacier, it's written on a whiteboard and you just show up at the designated time :biggrin: They might require bear spray for that hike.

Sean

http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ranger-led-activities.htm

"Our Ranger-led Activity Schedules are made available about 3 weeks before each program segment begins. Each schedule covers 3-4 weeks at a time. Programs start mid-June and generally conclude at the end of September."
The best place to get information regarding ranger-led hikes during the time you plan to be there is to contact the Ranger station/visitor's center in Glacier.
Thanks for the this on checking at the Ranger station. Steve - I'd heard previously that the sequestration might cause late openings/early closures of some parks, so if there are fewer ranger-led hikes because of doesn't surprise me.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
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Oregon
All the info you will see at the park will have you believing that there is a grizzly waiting behind every other tree to eat you. There was a lake I wanted to hike into. (Forget the name). I asked a ranger about it, and he said “What do you want to hike into there for”? Signs all over the park say wear bells and do not hike alone. Well, I hiked a lot alone, and wore no bells. I even left trails for cross country hikes a few times. I never saw a single bear. Do what you are comfortable doing.

How do you identify grizzly bear droppings? They have bells in them and smell like pepper spray. :biggrin:
 

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