Hiking The Great Northern Traverse

The MOST popular hiking trail in Montana.

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On the western side of Glacier National Park, the Great Northern Traverse skirts the Canada border, crossing truly magnificent Continental Divide terrain before exiting the park at its northeastern boundary. At 58 miles, this is a long (seven- to ten-day) haul in grizzly country, requiring snowfield-crossing skills and strong legs. The trek begins along Kintla Lake and climbs to Boulder Pass on its way to the head of Waterton Lake, 32 miles in. Part two takes you another 26 miles through Waterton Valley, up Stoney Indian Pass, and through the wild and beautiful Belly River Valley to the Chief Mountain customs station.

To reach the hiking trailhead from Kalispell, drive north 33 miles on U.S. 2 to the parks west entrace at West Glacier, and then north to the trailhead in Kintla Lake Campground. Leave a second car at Chief Mountain customs station.

Overall, Great Northern Traverse is the 1st most popular hiking trail of all 19 hikes in Montana. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Great Northern Traverse including Northern Circle Route, Grinnell Glacier, Ptarmigan Tunnel and Gunsight Pass.

Hiking The Great Northern Traverse - Montana Hiking Trails

Flathead River Valley in Glacier Natl Park (MT/US)

Hiking The Great Northern Traverse - Montana Hiking Trails

Flathead Valley in Glacier Natl Park (MT/US)

Great Northern Traverse 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/

Article Source:   Hiking The Great Northern Traverse https://www.trailsource.com/?type=HIKE&id=6921

GPS:  48.9359, -114.3439

Date Published:  1/3/2016

Date Updated:  10/15/2018

ID:  6921

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Great Northern Traverse Hiking Map

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