Sunday, March 15, 2015

Enjoying a Campfire in the Backcountry- Glacier National Park edition, Part One

In our last post we talked about having a campfire in the backcountry, the arguments for and against it, and, mostly important, talked about the right way to do it.

So you've decided you're on board with all of that. One of the "must haves" for your backcountry trip is to be able to sit around a campfire with your kids after a long day of hiking and watch the sun set. Sweet. I can't say blame you. The thought of doing that myself gives me chills. Now, where do you go?

If you want to visit Glacier National Park at the beginning of the backcountry camping season there, which begins around mid-June, there's a number of choices partake of. Here's a partial list of the early-season backcountry campgrounds at Glacier that allow campfires in the established pits on-site.

- Adair
- Atlantic Creek
- Bowman Lake HD
- Coal Creek
- Gable Creek
- Goat Haunt Shelters
- Harrison Lake
- Lake Janet
- Kintla Lake HD
- Logging Lake FT
- Lower Quartz Lake
- McDonald Lake
- Many Glacier CG
- Ole Creek
- Ole Lake
- Park Creek
- Reynolds Creek
- Slide Lake
- Upper Kintla Lake
- Upper Park Creek
- Waterton River

Now, while this is a list of the campgrounds that are open, these aren't necessarily going to be real easy to get to. Nothing in Glacier is a bad choice; some might be better than others, but you won't miss out by choosing one over another. But early season in Glacier can involve plenty of snow still on the ground, requiring the use of ice axes to get around, fording roaring rivers from the new snow melt, and the like. For instance:

- As discussed before, Harrsion Lake is either a ten-mile hike, or requires fording a freezing and torrential river.
- Lake Janet is accessed from the Waterton Lake valley trail system, the trailhead of which is located near the Canadian Border at the Goat Haunt ranger station. Very isolated, and challenging for even experienced folks.
- Reynolds Creek campground can't be visited on the first day of your multi-day backcountry trip.

So, then- you have a list of what's open... but how do you use it? What's the right hike for you and your kids? It's hard to know, especially when you might be coming from thousands of miles away, and have to apply for a backcountry permit months ahead of time.

Stay tuned, because that's our job here at Backcountry Dad. We want to help figure that stuff out- so we can inform you properly, and you can get out there with your kids and have an outstanding backcountry trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment