Alpine Wildflowers Guided Educational Hike

Wildflowers in Glacier Park are spectacular

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Distance

5 Miles

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Elevation Gain

500 Feet

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Difficulty

Easy/Moderate

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Cost Per Person

$175

Hike Overview

The wildflowers of Glacier are spectacular. They are especially beautiful against the rugged backdrop of mountain peaks. Their fragility is even more striking when the adverse environment of their habitat is understood. In this class, our goal is to discover and enjoy Glacier’s wildflowers in an informal and relatively non-technical manner. We will enjoy discovering the diversity of Glacier’s wildflowers–the spectacular and the inconspicuous. Structure and function of plant parts, plant tolerance, adaptation, distribution, habitat, and limiting factors will be discussed as they apply to flowering plants along the trail. Various flower books and keys will be available for review.

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Alpine Wildflowers Guided Educational Hike

Hike Overview Continued

Instructors: Janet Paul Bones/Jen Asebrook

The wildflowers of Glacier National Park are spectacular. They are especially beautiful against the rugged backdrop of mountain peaks. Their fragility is even more striking when the adverse environment of their habitat is understood. In this class, our goal is to discover and enjoy Glacier National Park’s wildflowers in an informal and relatively non-technical manner. Enjoy discovering the diversity of the Park’s wildflowers–the spectacular and the inconspicuous. Structure and function of plant parts, plant tolerance, adaptation, distribution, habitat, and limiting factors will be discussed as they apply to flowering plants along the trail. Various flower books and keys will be available for review.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp.

Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures, weather, and blooming seasons).
The day will be spent in the field identifying the wonderful wildflowers of Glacier National Park’s alpine areas. At 7 a.m. we will begin with an introduction to wildflower identification and a brief overview of the day. We will then travel to Logan Pass to hike to Hidden Lake Overlook. We will eat sack lunches near the overlook and then return to Logan Pass. For the remainder of the day, we’ll view flowers along the Highline Trail, walking as far as time permits. We will be taking special note of the plants growing on the rim rock at the beginning of the Highline Trail. We will then return to the Logan Pass parking lot via the same trail. The course will end by 4 p.m. and will not be cancelled due to weather. *If late snowfall or unexpected trail closures should make flower viewing at the higher elevations impossible, we will visit alternate sites at lower elevations in the park. Glacier National Park affords glorious floral displays in a wide range of habitats.

Food: Please bring a trail lunch, plenty of water, and snacks for the day.

Park Entrance Fees: Participants are responsible for purchasing their park entry passes prior to the course. These can be purchased online at: https://www.recreation.gov/sitepass/74280

Equipment: You will receive a Glacier Institute Field Camp gear list once you register. Most importantly, bring comfortable hiking shoes, at least 1-2-liter water bottle, backpack, rain gear, hat, and sunscreen. Weather can be varied, especially at the high elevations of Logan Pass, so please be prepared with appropriate clothing, especially warm layers. A magnifying lens as well as binoculars are nice to have. We will provide small field lenses if you don’t have your own.

Physical Requirements: Moderate difficulty. Our hiking distance in Glacier Park covers less than five miles. The Hidden Lake Overlook gains approximately 500 feet of elevation over a one-way distance of 1.5 miles, while the Highline Trail gains and loses about 500 feet of elevation. We will hike the Highline trail about 2 miles one-way (at the most).

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What to Expect On Your Alpine Wildflowers | Guided Day Hike

We will spend the day in the field identifying wildflowers growing Glacier’s alpine areas. Hiking distance covers less than five miles with 500 feet in elevation changes.

Hike Details

  • This program meets at Glacier Institute Field Camp, West Glacier.
  • Instructors: July 22 Janet Paul Bones and on August 3 Jen Asebrook.
  • The program will begin 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers less than 5 miles, than 500 feet elevation change.
  • On-site parking available.
  • There is a maximum number of 13 hikers per trip.
  • This program has a minimum guest count of 3 people. In the unlikely case we don’t reach that number, you will be notified prior to the event.

What to Bring

Please remember that weather in NW Montana during all seasons can change quickly from warm and sunny to freezing at any time of the year. We recommend checking the weather prior to your trip. Please also check your course information sheet for specific gear requirements in addition to those listed below.

  • Lightweight hiking boots or a sturdy pair of hiking shoes
  • 2 liter sized water bottle or Camelback
  • Day Pack with plastic bag liner or cover
  • Waterproof rain jacket and pants
  • Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellant & lip balm
  • Camera (optional)
  • Trekking poles, if you like to use them for hiking (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Field Notebook notes and sketches

Download complete checklist here