Wolves of the North Fork Valley | Guided Educational Hike

Spend time looking at and taking short hikes into wolf country

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Distance

3 Miles

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Elevation Gain

300 Feet

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Difficulty

Easy/Moderate

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Cost Per Person

$100

Hike Overview

This course will focus on the recovery and current status of wolves in Glacier National Park and the Northern Rocky Mountains. Since human behavior plays such an integral role in wolf recovery efforts, current wolf politics and western attitudes towards the wolf will be discussed and reviewed. We will spend time looking at and taking short hikes into wolf country on the west side of the Park. By the end of the course you will have a basic knowledge of wolf life history and characteristics, wolf ecology, an introduction to wolf research techniques, and an understanding of the complex politics surrounding wolf recovery in the area and globally.

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Wolves of the North Fork Valley | Guided Educational Hike

Hike Overview Continued

Instructor: Diane Boyd

This course will focus on the recovery and current status of wolves in Glacier National Park and the Northern Rocky Mountains. Since human behavior plays such an integral role in wolf recovery efforts, current wolf politics and western attitudes towards the wolf will be discussed and reviewed. We will spend time looking at and taking short hikes into wolf country on the west side of Glacier National Park. By the end of this Glacier Institute course, you will have a basic knowledge of wolf life history and characteristics, wolf ecology, an introduction to wolf research techniques. You will also get an understanding of the complex politics surrounding wolf recovery in the area and globally. Because of the wolves secretive nature, it is unlikely that we will actually see or hear wolves on our field trip, although we are likely to find evidence of their activities.

Meeting Place: Glacier Institute Field Camp

Itinerary: (subject to change due to weather and trail closures)
After a brief introduction to each other and to the class, we will discuss basic wolf life-history data. We will look at a presentation on biological specimens, and discuss wolf ecology, history, and politics. We will head out in the Glacier Institute van, into traditional wolf habitat along the nearby Inside North Fork Road in Glacier National Park, looking for clues of recent wolf activity. We will also further discuss wolf recovery and management of native and reintroduced populations. The entire day in the North Fork area of Glacier National Park will be spent learning about the history and current status of the wolf packs that have resided here. Lunch will be in the field. We will observe and discuss other wildlife species along the way, and we may find wolf tracks and scats. This Glacier Institute 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 so please be prepared with appropriate clothing, and warm layers. Binoculars and spotting scopes are not required but may be beneficial in viewing wildlife.

Physical Requirements: Moderate difficulty; on-trail or off-trail hikes up to 3 miles and/or 800 feet of elevation.

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What to Expect On Your Wolves of the North Fork Valley | Day Hike

We will hike in traditional wolf habitat along the nearby Inside North Fork Road in Glacier National Park, looking for clues of recent wolf activity, while further discussing wolf recovery and management of native and reintroduced populations. On-trail or off-trail hikes up to 3 miles and/or 300 feet of elevation change.

Hike Details

  • This program meets at Glacier Institute Field Camp, West Glacier.
  • Instructor: Diane Boyd.
  • The program will begin at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Hiking distance covers up to 3 miles with up to 300 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