Glacier National Park, BC Overview
Not to be confused with Glacier National Park in Montana, Glacier National Park, BC is a stunning natural area located in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. The park is known for its rugged mountain peaks, alpine meadows, dense forests and is home to over 400 glaciers, including the famous Illecillewaet Glacier, once a major draw for early mountaineers. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, moose, and deer. Birdwatchers can spot a wide range of birds, including eagles, ospreys, and owls. In addition to its natural beauty, the park has a rich history, with evidence of First Nations habitation dating back over 10,000 years. The park offers a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking, mountaineering, camping, skiing, and snowshoeing. The best hikes in Glacier National Park, BC are described in further detail below.
|Nearest Metro Area||Calgary, AB|
|Area Size||333,345 acres|
|Established||October 10, 1886|
|Hiking Trails||87 miles|
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Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Best Hikes in Glacier National Park, BC
Known for its epic steepness, Hermit Trail tops the list of best hikes in Glacier National Park, BC! Climb many switchbacks, rock stairs, and a rope-assisted scramble to an alpine meadow and backcountry campsite (permits required).
- 4.0 miles (6.4km) out and back
- 2,690’ (820m) elevation gain
Great Glacier Trail
Originally leading to the Illecillewaet Glacier, the trail now ends at sloping bedrock out of sight of the receding glacier.
- 5.4 miles (8.4km) out and back
- 1,050’ (320m) elevation gain
Avalanche Crest Trail
One of the best scenic trails in the park. Hike into an open alpine basin nestled between Avalanche Crest to the left and a ridge off Eagle Peak. The nearby left ridge overlooks the highway/railway corridor.
- 6.3 miles (10.2km) out and back
- 2,610’ (795m) elevation gain
Bear Creek Falls Trail
Short trail leading down to a secluded glacial waterfall. At the bottom of the hill, stay on the main trail to go to the falls.
- 0.6 miles (1km) out and back
- 245’ (75m) elevation gain
Asulkan Valley Trail
A glacier carved landscape with lush forest, mountain views and waterfalls. This hike starts as a valley walk and then climbs a steep glacial moraine.
- 8.6 miles (13.8km) out and back
- 2,855’ (870m) elevation gain
Mount Sir Donald Trail
A mountaineering route created by North America’s first recreational climbers, this tough trail switchbacks from valley bottom to alpine. Beyond the turnoff to Perley Rock, conditions vary and hikers should have route finding skills. A backcountry campsite at trail’s end is an ideal climbing basecamp (permits required).
- 6.3 miles (10.2km) out and back
- 3,315’ (1,010m) elevation gain
This trail climbs a rock ridge between two valleys carved by the Illecillewaet and Asulkan glaciers. Stunning panoramic views of rock and glacial ice.
- 7.1 miles (11.4km) out and back
- 3,150’ (960m) elevation change
Abbott Ridge Trail
Trail up to alpine tundra that ends on a narrow ridge. During early season take the marked short cut to avoid a steep snow slope.
- 8.5 miles (13.6km) Out and back
- 3,710’ (1,130m) elevation gain
Perley Rock Trail
An ambitious day hike in the park ending at a high viewpoint overlooking the Illecillewaet Icefield and Abbott Ridge. The first 2 miles of this trail are shared with Mount Sir Donald Trail listed above on this list of best hikes in Glacier National Park, BC.
- 6.7 miles (10.8km) out and back
- 3,755’ (1,145km) elevation gain
Featured Image: Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Photo by 2long2print
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