Glacier National Park is known to be one of the most beautiful places in the United States, with rolling snow-capped mountains and expansive green fields below that surround the clear blue lakes. It’s located in northwestern Montana on the Canada-United States border, so it’s a place that both Americans and Canadians can enjoy.
National Park is great for physical outdoor activities such as biking, guided tours, camping, fishing, hiking, and more. This park is huge, and with over 700 miles of trails, there’s no reason to feel lost on what to do. The park has trails of all lengths and difficulty levels, so there’s something for everyone.
This sounds like the perfect place to bring a dog hiking and experience the views. As with most U.S. National Parks though, dogs are only permitted in certain areas of the park. They aren’t allowed on trails, lake shores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
This sounds disappointing, but there are still trails and campgrounds that you and your furry friend can enjoy. Asulkan Valley Trail, Great Glacier Trail, and Bear Creek Falls Trail are fun trails with great views that are dog friendly. Illecillewaet Campground and Loop Brook Campground welcome dogs and are great choices if you’re a camper.
Even on the trails and at the campgrounds, though, dogs must always be on a leash, waste must be picked up and thrown away, and dogs must be watched at all times. Glacier is known for it’s variety of wildlife, including mountain goats, bighorn sheep, bears, deer, lynx, and elk. These are all big animals that can get aggressive if they feel threatened, so it’s crucial to keep your dog close and away from the wildlife. You wouldn’t want to end up in a fight between your dog and a grizzly bear, would you?
Penalties for non-compliance include a maximum fine of $25,000 and/or a possible ban from National Parks. I personally wouldn’t want to give up that much money for an hour hike with my dog on a dog-restricted trail, but that’s just me. Safety is important though, and in National Parks like Glacier with steep drops and rugged terrain, it’s good to follow the rules to ensure your dog stays safe.
Things you should consider before you next dog hike:
In regard to weather, the temperatures in Glacier can drop to very cold, and the weather can be unpredictable. Bring layers and plan ahead for the right conditions. In the summers though, Glacier can experience high temperatures, so don’t leave your dog in the car and be sure to bring lots of water.
Glacier is a highly reputable place with amazing sights, so it’s a great place to visit if you’re in the northern part of the United States. You won’t forget the experience of hiking these trails. I visited Glacier Park years ago and still remember the blue waters of the lakes and the mountain goats frolicking in the snow.
Have a great time at the park, and be sure to check out the other National Parks of the United States, as they’re each beautiful and have something unique to offer. Good luck on your trip, and have fun!