Autumn in Glacier Park | Guided Educational Hike

Learn how animals and plants react to the Fall Season

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Distance

7 Miles

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Elevation Gain

1,000 Feet

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Difficulty

Moderate

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Cost Per Person

$100

September 25

Hike Overview

Autumn is the season of change. Learn how animals and plants react to waning daylight hours and cooling temperatures. On our hike through meadows, aspen glens and into the subalpine zone, we’ll see some of the brilliant reds, oranges & golden hues of fall foliage and observe evidence of animals preparing for winter. Along the way, we’ll smell the scents of autumn; listen for the sounds of bugling bull elk; and savor the flavor of frost-kissed huckleberries in the high country.

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Autumn in Glacier Park | Guided Educational Hike

Hike Overview Continued

Educational Guided Tour

Autumn is the season of change. Learn how animals and plants react to waning daylight hours and cooling temperatures. You will hike through meadows, aspen glens and into the subalpine zone, where you will see some of the brilliant reds, oranges & golden hues of fall foliage and observe evidence of animals preparing for winter. Along the way, we’ll smell the scents of autumn; listen for the sounds of bugling bull elk; and savor the flavor of frost-kissed huckleberries in the high country.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp

Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather)
We will begin the day at 7 a.m. with brief introductions and class overview at Field Camp. Then we’ll travel by the Glacier Institute van to the Firebrand/Lubec Trailhead. During the drive, you’ll learn about the biology of autumn leaves and become more aware of the variation of colors they display. As we hike in Glacier Park, from the foothills into the mountains, we’ll discuss topics that range from vertical migration to elk mating season, hibernators to hyper-eaters, and food caching critters to cocoon spinners. After lunch (in the field) we’ll resume our hike into the high country where trees grow shorter, mountain views grow bigger, and winter comes earlier. The course will end by 4 p.m. and will not be cancelled due to weather.

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 with high winds and cold temperatures so please be prepared with appropriate clothing, and extra warm layers. Binoculars are recommended, but optional, as well as any field guides that interest you.

Physical Requirements: Moderate-to-strenuous difficulty. We will hike part of the way to Firebrand Pass, with the total hiking distance covering up to seven miles round trip with up to 1,000 feet elevation gain.

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What to Expect On Your Autumn in Glacier Park | Guided Day Hike

We will spend the day hiking from the foothills into the mountains, learning about animal migration, elk mating season, biology of autumn leaves, and much more. The hiking distance covers up to seven miles round trip with up to 1,000 feet in elevation changes.

Hike Details

  • This program meets at Glacier Institute Field Camp, West Glacier.
  • Instructor: Ellen Horowitz
  • The program will begin 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers up to 7 miles with 1,000 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