Wilderness Stroll | Guided Day Hike

Meander through the often-overlooked Flathead National Forest

glacier-hiker-icon-70x65
Distance

2 Miles

glacier-mountain-icon-70x65
Elevation Gain

200 Feet

hike-difficulty-1
Difficulty

Easy

glacier-money-icon-70x65
Cost Per Person

$50

Hike Overview

Join us as we stroll through the often-overlooked Flathead National Forest. This stunning ecosystem shares a boundary with the lovely Glacier National Park, and it possesses equally stunning wildlife, landscapes, geology, and waterways. This area is truly a jewel in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. This course is geared for those who appreciate a sauntering pace and ample time to relish, observe and enjoy the beauties around us.

READ MORE

Wilderness Stroll | Guided Day Hike

Hike Overview Continued

Educational Guided Tour

Join us as we stroll through the often-overlooked Flathead National Forest. This ecosystem shares a boundary with Glacier National Park, and it possesses equally stunning wildlife, landscapes, geology, and waterways. This area is truly a jewel in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. This course is geared for those who appreciate a sauntering pace and ample time to relish, observe and enjoy the beauties around us.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute main office, 320 Nucleus Avenue, Columbia Falls

Itinerary: We will meet at the Glacier Institute main office at 10 a.m. After brief introductions, we will load up into a Glacier Institute Turtle Top bus and head to Hungry Horse. At the trailhead, we will discuss wildlife safety and trail etiquette. We will slowly stroll along the trail, observing what the Flathead National Forest has to offer in the delightful fall and winter seasons. We will discuss how the ecosystem changes throughout the seasons, and what factors drive these changes. We will take special note of the plants, animal signs, and landscapes as we walk through this delightful forest. We will enjoy lunch on the trail, before returning to Columbia Falls by 3 p.m.

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

Equipment: You will receive a Glacier Institute Field Camp gear list once you register. Most importantly, bring warm clothing layers (synthetic and wool materials only, cotton is NOT recommended), waterproof outer layers, comfortable winter boots, a warm winter hat, waterproof winter gloves, a trail lunch, snacks, water (we recommend at least 1-2-liters), backpack, and sunscreen. Trekking poles can be helpful for balance on the trail. Binoculars are recommended for spotting wildlife. A small foam sit-pad can come in handy for our lunch break. Weather: The weather in the Flathead National Forest is generally N10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than in the Kalispell area, with a much higher snowpack to be expected. Expect cold temperatures, snow, and wind. It is always best to have extra layers than not enough.

Physical Requirements: Moderate difficulty. We will hike up to 4 miles over various icy or snowy terrain. Participants must be comfortable being exposed to fall and winter elements for 5 hours at a time.

Wilderness Stroll Guided Day Hike

What to Expect On Your Wilderness Stroll Guided Day Hike

These light hikes are geared towards those who like to take leisurely strolls, at a very easy-going pace. Distances covered will be a maximum of two miles, with under 200 feet of elevation changes.

Hike Details

  • This Glacier Institute program meets at 320 Nucleus Ave, Columbia Falls.
  • The program will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers up to 2 miles with less than 200 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