Highline Trail Geology Guided Day Hike

Discussions on the Geologic Features of the Highline Trail

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Distance

7.2 Miles

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Elevation Gain

1,500 Feet

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Difficulty

Moderate

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Cost Per Person

$175

Hike Overview

July 29, 2023: The geologic features one can see along the Highline trail offer stunning glimpses of time in Glacier’s history. Our many vantage points provide spectacular views of the classic glacial landscape. Along the hike we will make several stops to examine the billion-year-old sedimentary rocks, describe the processes of mountain-building, and the further action of recent glacial activity. Flora and fauna abound on this trail and wildlife encounters often upstage any discussion of geology.

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Highline Trail Geology Guided Day Hike

Hike Overview Continued

The geologic features one can see along The Highline trail, offers stunning glimpses of time in Glacier’s history. Our many vantage points provide spectacular views of the classic glacial landscape. Along the hike we will make several stops to examine the billion-year-old sedimentary rocks, describe the processes of mountain-building, and the further action of recent glacial activity. Flora and fauna abound on this trail and wildlife encounters often upstage any discussion of geology.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp

Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather)
At 7 a.m. we will gather at Field Camp for introductions and an overview of the geology of Glacier National Park before our departure for Logan Pass. Several pull-outs along our drive provide key geologic perspectives as well as photo opportunities. Our hiking route along the Highline Trail takes us toward Haystack Butte for lunch. Returning by the same route. 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.

Equipment: You will receive a 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.

Physical Requirements: Moderate to strenuous difficulty. We will hike at a moderate pace between a dozen or more geology stops to discuss the landscape. The hike from Logan Pass to Haystack Butte and back to Logan Pass is about 7.2 miles with 1,500 feet of elevation changes.

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What to Expect On Your Highline Geology | Guided Day Hike

We will hike between a dozen or more geology stops to discuss the landscape. The hikig distance is about 7.2 miles with 1,500 feet of elevation changes.

Hike Details

  • This program meets at Glacier Institute Field Camp, West Glacier
  • Instructor: Ashley Mason
  • The program will begin 7 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers 7.2 miles with 1,500 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