Back in August, we visited Glacier National Park in Montana for some hiking. We’d planned this trip back in 2019 with a couple of friends, and we decided to still go on the trip even with all of the virus-related changes in 2020.
What’s different in 2020?
We had rented a house and planned to cook meals at home anyway, so it’s not like we’d be having that much more contact with people than at home. But there were other things to consider, too.
The biggest change is that the eastern border of the park is closed. It borders the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and the Blackfeet Nation has closed the reservation to visitors for the remainder of 2020. Because of that, the Two Medicine and Many Glacier areas in the park are closed, along with their trails and roads. A lot of the most spectacular hikes are in Many Glacier.
The Park Service isn’t running any shuttles, so if you want to do a point-to-point hike, you’ll need to figure out your own transportation. We had another couple with us, so that worked out okay.
We had planned to do a two-night backcountry camping hike during our trip, and even sent in the paperwork in March (the day they opened for camping reservations), but the Park Service cancelled all of those applications, and only just before our trip opened a small number of campsites. Those didn’t allow for the type of camping we wanted, so we decided to skip it. In retrospect, that was a blessing in disguise, both because it was really hot during our trip (90 degrees most days) and also because there’s a lot more bear activity in the park than we realized.
Looking back on the trip, with the amount of the park that was closed, I think it worked for us because we had never visited Glacier National Park before. If we had, though, the amount of trails that were closed would have made it tough to find enough exciting hikes.
Don’t let all that make you think we didn’t have a great time!
We saw some spectacular views, lots of glaciers, and even some wildlife (thankfully no bears). Take a look at the video below for a quick run-down of eight hikes we did while in Glacier:
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