9 Best Hikes in Glacier National Park, BC

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.

LocationBritish Columbia
Nearest Metro AreaCalgary, AB
Area Size333,345 acres
EstablishedOctober 10, 1886
Hiking Trails87 miles

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Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Best Hikes in Glacier National Park, BC

Hermit Trail
Hiking up the amazing Hermit Trail in Glacier National Park near Revelstoke, BC
Hiking up the amazing Hermit Trail, Photo by Ryan Van Veen

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
  • Strenuous
Great Glacier Trail 
Illecillewaet Glacier
Illecillewaet Glacier, Photo by Dogymho

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
  • Moderate
Avalanche Crest Trail
Eagle Peak - West Face-2.jpg
Eagle Peak – West Face, Photo by Murray Foubister

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
  • Moderate
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
  • Easy
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
  • Moderate
Mount Sir Donald Trail
Mount Sir Donald from trail
Mount Sir Donald from trail, Photo by sf-dvs

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
  • Strenuous
Glacier Crest
Illicilliwaet Glacier
Illecillewaet Glacier, Photo by Kelly-Anne

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
  • Strenuous
Abbott Ridge Trail 
Illecillewaet Glacier and Neve
Illecillewaet Glacier and Neve, Photo by M.E. Sanseverino

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
  • Strenuous
Perley Rock Trail 
Mount Sir Donald from Abbot Ridge
Mount Sir Donald from Abbott Ridge, Photo by sf-dvs

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
  • Strenuous

Featured Image: Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Photo by 2long2print

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