Hiking The Northern Circle Route

The 2nd most popular hiking trail in Montana.

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One of the most scenic hikes in Glacier National Park is the 56 mile Northern Circle route, which is best hiked counterclockwise. Starting from Many Glaciers, trek to Ptarmigan Tunnel, Elizabeth Lake, Dawn Mist Falls and on to Belly River. Then push on to Cosley Lake, Glenn Lake, Fifty Mountain, Granite Park Chalet and to Switftcurrent Pass before returning to Many Glaciers.

Overall, Northern Circle Route is the 2nd most popular hiking trail of all 19 hikes in Montana. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Northern Circle Route including Great Northern Traverse, Grinnell Glacier, Ptarmigan Tunnel and Gunsight Pass.

No. Fork Flathead River in Glacier NP (MT/US)

No. Fork Flathead River in Glacier NP (MT/US)

No. Fork Flathead River in Glacier NP (MT/US)

No. Fork Flathead River in Glacier NP (MT/US)

Northern Circle Route Hiking Map



Local Contact(s):  Glacier National Park (406) 888-7800; GNP Backcountry Permits (406) 888-7900; Montana Visitors (800) 847-4868; Hiker Shuttle (406) 888-9187 or 756-2444.

Recommended Book:  "Hiking Montana" from Bill Schneider

Recommended Map:  "Glacier National Park" from Trails Illustrated

Best Season:  August

Average Difficulty:  Difficult

Base Camp:  NP Kintla Lake CG

Luxury Loding:  Many Glacier Hotel, St. Marys (602) 207-6000

Breakfast Restaurant:  Polebridge Mercantile Bakery (406) 888-5105

Reference Source:  click here http://www.nps.gov/glac/

GPS:  48.7997, -113.6565

Date Published:  1/6/2016

Date Updated:  7/16/2016

ID:  11208

Northern Circle Route Hiking Map


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For hiking the Northern Circle Route in Montana, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.