Hiking the Crown of the Continent

Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks

Trip Details


Days 1-3: Glacier’s West Side

Arrive into Glacier International Airport and make the short drive to West Glacier, your base for exploring the west side of Glacier National Park. Settle in to a friendly, small lodge with forest, river, and mountains at your doorstep. Introductions to this pristine country will be made on a full-day whitewater rafting adventure on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, floating downstream in comfortable rafts with a combination of flat and wild water, in the company of expert, entertaining river guides. A second day will be spent on a private, naturalist guided day hike into the wilds of Glacier along beautifully-maintained national park trails that will be chosen based on your interests and abilities. 

Days 4-5: Glacier National Park Backcountry Lodge

Trek into the backcountry on a fully-guided, three-day, true “off the beaten path” expedition. A combined horseback ride and hike gets you to your home for the next two nights, at a beautifully situated backcountry lodge, perched on the side of Gunsight Mountain, with access to beautiful, backcountry trails leading to lakes, waterfalls, and glaciers. Your stay includes comfortable, rustic accommodations, delicious, hearty meals, and the warm camaraderie of other adventurers. 

Day 6: West Glacier

Bid farewell to your wilderness lodge, and return to civilization by way of a trail to the shores of Lake McDonald. Return to Glacier Guides Lodge for one more night on the west side of Glacier. 

Days 7-8: Glacier’s East Side

Rise and shine for a spectacular day, taking you across the park from west to east along the one-and-only Going-to-the-Sun Road. Take in sweeping views, cascading waterfalls, and sheer rock faces around every hairpin turn. Be sure to stop at the top (Logan Pass) to hike the Highline or Hidden Lake Trails, keeping an eye out for bright white mountain goats. By day’s end, you’ll have arrived at St. Mary, where you’ll settle in to the comfortable St. Mary Lodge, an excellent base for exploring the park’s Two Medicine and Many Glacier destinations, each one featuring alpine lakes, scenic boat cruises, and spectacular hiking trails. On your full day, set out with a naturalist guided hike at one of these two beauties. 

Days 9-10: Waterton Lakes National Park

Cross the border into Canada at Chief Mountain, then make your way to the spacious, lake-laden Waterton Lakes National Park. Together, Water and Glacier National Parks form the Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park. Drink in the fresh mountain air on boat cruise on Waterton Lake. On your full day, hiking will be the name of the game. Choices are many, and your private guide will be sure to select a trail that suits you. Settle in each night at Waterton Glacier Suites, nestled in the small Waterton Townsite, within easy walking distance to the lakeshore, shops, and restaurants. 

Days 11-12: Fernie, British Columbia

Travel the Crowsnest Highway to Fernie, known for their down-home resort and legendary powder skiing. Stay at the base of the resort at Fernie Alpine Lodge, a perfect basecamp for hiking, relaxing, partaking in resort activities, or heading to town to peruse. 

Day 13: Whitefish, Montana

Return to the States, for one last night in the vibrant, outdoorsy town of Whitefish, set at the edge of Whitefish Lake at the foot of the Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort. Treat yourselves to local shops, art galleries, and a number of fine and fun restaurants. 

Day 14: Fly Home from Kalispell, Montana

Rise to the fresh mountain air, and make your way to nearby Kalispell for flights home. 

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