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The snow-capped mountains and crystal blue lakes of Glacier National Park make it a beautiful place to visit, but what do you need to pack? Let TFG help you figure it out!

 


Glacier National Park Packing List

Written By: Laura Pulling


 

 

Table Of Contents

 

 

Sitting at the border of the US and Canada, in Montana, Glacier National Park boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole of the States. The beautiful vistas encompass the highs of mountains and the lows of the glaciers and the sparkling turquoise lakes caused from the melted ice over the years.  

Glacier National Park has a colder climate than the rest of the national parks across the US, plus a range of altitudes, which makes planning your packing list extra important. (Think layers!) 

During the summer months is the best time to visit Glacier National Park, as this is when most facilities are open and roads on higher elevations are less likely to be blocked with snowfall. 

Although visible all year round, spring time has extra long, and darker nights to witness the magical aurora borealis lights.  

 

So are you not quite ready for a trip? TFG is here to help you with all the things to pack for Glacier National Park!

 

 

What to Wear in Glacier National Park

 

 

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Salomon Women’s Quest 4d 3 GTX W Backpacking Boot

 

Shoes

 

Home to miles of trails, with so much nature to see, you want to be comfortable enough to trek for hours. So having suitable sturdy hiking shoes is vital when planning a trip to Glacier National Park. 

In the summer, a pair of hiking shoes will work well for shorter hikes. If you’re planning on traveling in during any other season (there’s snow most of the year!), we suggest investing in a pair of hiking boots, like these Salomon Quest Boots.

There are a ton of trails, so you’re going to be walking a lot, especially to get up the mountains for the best views. 

When choosing the best boots, look for ones that are waterproof—for all of that snow—and have a sturdy sole and quality tread. Check that they are supportive of your ankle, and can withstand the types of activities you’ll be doing.

 

Check out more hiking shoe and boot options!

 

 

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Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles

 

When hiking, even if you plan on a shorter ramble, at Glacier National Park, the tracks and terrain make having hiking poles useful. Find some that are sturdy enough for your style of walk, and you’ll find it much easier on your legs afterwards!

 

Looking for more hiking poles? Find out the best in this list here!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-glacier-national-park

prAna Halle Roll-Up Water-Repellent Pant | Sizes 0-18

 

Bottoms

 

Long bottoms or even specific hiking pants are your best option for a day of hiking in a Glacier National Park. Even in the summer, warm days can be in the high 80°Fs, but can rapidly drop down to 40°F by evening.  Long pants will not only keep you warm, but will also save your calves and ankles from prickly branches that protrude from the trail. Choose pants that are moisture wicking and quick drying, in case you get caught in a downpour.  

These prAna Halle Pants  have great pocket space and material that doesn’t snag easily and isn’t stiff. They have articulated knees, which makes hiking, climbing, and bending a breeze. You can also roll up the legs when the temperature goes up.

 

 

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Eddie Bauer Long-Sleeve T-Shirt | Sizes XS-3X Available

 

Tops

 

Layers are great, and t-shirts are the most versatile of tops in all weather situations. For a long hike, get one with moisture-wicking properties, to keep sweat at bay.

If you feel the cold, or are hiking up a shadier trail, a long sleeved tee, like this Eddie Bauer one which could be beneficial as it keeps you from feeling the chill, plus adds a layer of protection.

 

 

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Columbia Benton Springs Fleece Jacket | Sizes XS-XXL and 1X-3X

 

Layers are a must for this park – no matter the season as the temperature can change throughout the day by a few degrees. Packing a fleece jacket as an additional layer, can keep you from feeling cold and ruining a great day by not having the clothing for it.

Fleece is a great travel fabric as it is easy to roll up and stuff inside your backpack without worrying about it getting creased (you could even pop it in a packing cube).

 

Check out some fleece travel jackets here!

 

 

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Minus33 Merino Wool Top | Minus33 Merino Wool Bottoms

 

Layers

 

Your outfit needs to be able to cope with the different changing weather. Think layers, layers layers! If you get warm, you can simply shrug a layer off, but there’s nothing worse than being too cold.  

Wear or pack some merino wool undergarments, as they are thin, but cozy. These Minus33 under layers are top rated as the warmest around! They have sweat-wicking properties to help to keep you dry, no matter how tough the hike gets.  Check out more base layer options that’ll keep you warm on the trails!

 

 

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North Face Resolve 2 Jacket | Sizes XS-XXL and 1X-2X

 

Jacket

 

If you’re traversing around Swiftcurrent Lake, or trekking up the 4300-foot hike of Mount Brown Lookout you are exposed to different elements. A warm but lightweight rain jacket is essential for your trip. Rain showers occur, no matter what the season is, so you’ll want a jacket that keeps you dry.

Choose a jacket that is warm, waterproof, and windproof. Preferably, one with a hood will have you covered (literally) no matter what the weather!

This North Face Jacket is waterproof and seam-sealed for optimal protection. It’s super functional while remaining lightweight and breathable.

 

Find more ideas for the best packable rain jacket for travel!

 

 

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Smartwool Jovian Stripe Crew Socks

 

Accessories

 

You can have the best hiking boots in the world, but you also need the right type of socks to go with them. Your normal cotton socks on an eight-hour hike, are practically screaming for you to have blisters! Try wool socks, they keep your feet super dry and prevent any rubbing from your shoes after a long day on the Apikuni Falls trail. We even recommend taking a spare pair in your backpack, for those “just in case” situations. (wrap them in a packing cube to keep them totally dry). 

 

 

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Roxy 15mm Pop Up  Long John Wetsuit

 

Glacier also has a ton of amazing and exhilarating water sports on offer too, for these you’re going to want to pack a swimsuit, or even a warmer wetsuit too.

 

 

Things to Bring to Glacier National Park

 

 

what-to-pack-for-glacier-national-park

Osprey Women’s Aura AG 65 Backpack

 

Backpack

 

Depending on the length of your stay, you’ll either need a backpack or a day pack. If you’re backpacking Glacier National Park you’ll need a bigger bag to ensure all of your equipment can fit in easily and it is comfortable enough to wear until you make it to your campsite (especially if you have to walk for some of the way). 

The most important features are it needs to be water (and snow!) resistant and fit properly to your frame. This Osprey backpack is a great option for hikers, as it has a ventilated mesh back panel with an ultra-comfortable waffle foam harness. The hip belt provides superb fit, and its anti-gravity system will help relieve pressure and stave off any unwanted pain when carrying it for a long time!

 

 

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Compass Rose Packing Cubes

 

To be a pro packer, you can also use Compass Rose packing cubes to help you pack your backpack for your trip. They’re great for keeping your different layers in, and the numbered and color-coded pouches will keep you extra organized.

 

 

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Osprey Packs Talon 22

 

Daypack

 

If you are planning a day trip around Glacier to see the vast array of wildlife, or just for a hike to Morning Eagle Falls, you can fit essentials in a day pack. Choose one that is lightweight and for ultimate comfort, look for a pack that has padded mesh back support and a waist strap. The Osprey Packs Talon 22 allows you to wander around the trails with enough room to pack hydration and layers!

 

Take a look at more top recommended ultralight backpacks!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-glacier-national-park

Muryabao Fleece Lined Knitted Headband – 2 Pack

 

Warm Hat

 

You lose most of your body heat through your head, so a cozy hat is needed on your hike to keep in that essential warmth. Choose a hat that is made of a soft fleece or wool, and remember to cover your ears for an extra warm feeling. 

If you don’t fancy a full hat look, these Muryabao Knitted Headbands can keep you warm and allow you to rock a cute ponytail too!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-glacier-national-park

Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle With Leak Resistant Sport Cap

 

Water Bottle

 

A water bottle is as essential as it gets. You need to stay hydrated on the trail, and being prepared is a necessity. 

A vacuum style bottle, like this one from Klean Kanteen can keep your water icy cold for hours into your hike. Or you might prefer a squishy bottle that can be squeezed to fit your pack and take up almost no space once you are finished with it. Some bottles even have a hook to allow you to clip them to your backpack for easy access.

 

Check out the top rated water bottles that TFG readers love!

 

 

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OPSAK Odorless Storage Bag

 

Bear Proof Accessories

 

There are black bears and grizzly bears living in Glacier National Park, and the rangers advise that you stay out of their way. Bear spray is available in camping shops close to the parks (you can’t fly with it), but also consider smell-proof bags, or a hanging tree pack, for your outdoor picnics. 

Also, be aware of mountain lions and wolves around Glacier, the best advice is never to hike alone and be aware of all precautions from the rangers. 

 

 

Additional Gear Checklist for Glacier National Park

 

 

 


What are your tips on packing for Glacier National Park? Share your packing list below!


 

For more National Park packing tips, please read:

 

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