Trip Number: 12415A
Staff: Rob White
- Cross-country ski in Glacier National Park
- View wildlife and dramatic peaks with expert guides
- Warm your toes with seven nights of luxurious lodging
- All lodging
- All meals
- Airport pick-up and drop-off and all ski-related transportation
Join the Sierra Club and Glacier Park Ski Tours/Glacier Adventure Guides for
a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the wildness and spectacular
scenery of Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park, the world's first International
Peace Park, is also a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. Glacier offers
exceptional scenery, diverse wildlife and plant communities, and unbelievable
skiing. Each day we'll ski the trails and backcountry accompanied by Glacier
Park Ski Tours' staff who will share their knowledge regarding the park's history,
geology, and natural features. In the evenings, we'll retire to a luxurious
lodge, eat delicious meals, and enjoy swimming in the indoor pool, relaxing
in the outdoor hot tubs, and visiting with our fellow skiers.
Photo: Rob White
Most people visit Glacier because of its scenery. The combination of vertical,
glacier-scoured banded mountains, pristine lakes and streams, and dense ancient
forests help provide Glacier with its majestic reputation. However, what sets
Glacier apart and makes the landscape so unique are quite simply the glaciers
themselves. Their blue ice and crevasses distinguish them from the snowfields
and help remind us of the park's antiquity.
Glacier National Park also has a tremendous history. Recent archeological surveys
have found evidence of human use dating back over 10,000 years. These people
may have been ancestors of tribes that live in the area today. When the first
European explorers came to the area, Blackfeet Indians controlled the vast prairies
east of the mountains, and the Salish and Kootenai Indians lived in and hunted
in the western valleys.
Day 1: Arrive at the Glacier Park International / Kalispell
(FCA) Airport no later than 3:00 p.m. The Lodge at Whitefish Lake provides a
van shuttle from the airport to the lodge as needed. Please call the lodge (877.887.4026
or 406.863.4000) ahead of time to schedule a pick-up time. After arriving at
the lodge, please check and get settled. At 4:30 p.m. we will meet near the
lobby fireplace for a welcome/orientation meeting. Following the meeting, we
will move to the dining room and enjoy our first of many delicious dinners together.
Photo: Rob White
Day 2: After breakfast we will rent equipment, if needed,
and then travel through the west entrance of Glacier National Park to the Lake
McDonald Lodge trailhead. From there we will ski into Johns Lake (2 miles) and
tour both the Dancing Cascades Trail and Lake McDonald (6 miles). This trail
wanders through old-growth forests of Western Red Cedar and Hemlock; if we get
clear skies, we'll have fanastic views of the large mountains surrounding the
Lake McDonald area and the Going to the Sun Road. The evening will be yours
to enjoy a soak in the lodge's hot tub, enjoy the company of your fellow travelers,
or take advantage of a good book.
Day 3: We will travel up the North Fork of the Flathead River
Road (45-min drive) to the north entry of Glacier National Park and ski the
Camas Creek Road. This road will take us 12 miles to Apgar Village in West Glacier,
if conditions and weather allow. This will be a full day with 800 feet of elevation
gain over the first eight miles and a downhill ride for the remaining mileage
to Lake McDonald. This tour takes us through the burn areas of 2006 and affords
views of the Livingston Range and the Higher Peaks of Glacier National Park.
We will meet our shuttle at the Apgar Village. Again, you'll have the evening
free to do as you wish.
Day 4: We will travel to Marias Pass at the south end of Glacier
National Park to higher elevations on the Continental Divide (1.5 hour travel
time). We will ski the Autumn Creek Trail Loop, starting at the pass and ending
eight miles to the west, where we will meet our shuttle on Highway 2. This is
an intermediate trip that allows us to traverse without retracing our steps.
We will be surrounded by large mountains and have spectacular views, if the
sky is clear! The elevation gain today's ski is 1,200-1,400' vertical, and the
trip ends with a long descent to the shuttle. Back at the lodge, spend the evening
relaxing as you'd like.
Day 5: We will again travel to Marias Pass to the Fire Brand
Pass trailhead. Today's trip takes us into open terrain with opportunities to
ski in an alpine environment. This is an out-and-back, so mileage is based on
when we decide to turn around. The vertical gain of this trip is 1,200 feet,
depending on our final destination. There will be great views of the large mountains
around Marias Pass and the mountains surrounding the eastern Glacier area. If
time and weather conditions allow, we may also take a side trip to East Glacier
entrance. Relax back at the lodge in the evening.
Photo: Rob White
Day 6: We will travel back to the western entrance of Glacier
National Park and ski into Snyder Basin via the Sperry Trail. This trail will
take us to the Snyder Lake Basin, affording access to big mountain terrain and
views of Mt. Brown and the Little Matter Horn. In the evening, you have your
choice of ways to relax at the lodge, including a soak in the hot tub.
Day 7: We will travel to West Glacier and drive to the McDonald
Lodge trailhead. We will then ski the McDonald Lake Trail to North Bridge and
travel toward Trout Lake on the south side of Mt. Stanton. This trail has some
nice ups and downs, with 1,200 feet of elevation gain and some options for ski
descents to the Trout Lake Basin. This trip will provide views of Mount Stanton,
Rogers Peak, and some of the Livingston Mountain Range. This route typically
has great snow with some large forest sections. Following today’s ski
trip, we will return any rental ski equipment on our way back to the lodge.
Day 8: After breakfast, plan on departing for the Glacier
Park International Airport. Please schedule your shuttle van departure time
with the front desk to coincide with your departing flight.
Note: Daily routes can be adjusted to reflect the ski skill levels of the participants.
There may be options to break up the group into a fast/slow or beginner/advanced
groups, depending on individual abilities. Ski itineraries are subject to change,
depending on skiing abilities, interest, snow, and weather conditions.
Trip participants will be picked up at the Glacier Park International Airport
in Kalispell, MT and shuttled to The Lodge at Whitefish Lake at the start of
the trip. Trip participants will be shuttled back to the airport in Kalispell,
MT at the conclusion of the trip. Shuttle services will also be provided throughout
Accommodations and Food
The trip includes seven nights' lodging and all breakfasts and lunches. We
will be staying at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, a beautiful full-service facility
located in Whitefish, Montana. The lodge is approximately a 45-minute drive
from Glacier National Park and offers a substantial list of services and amenities.
All transportation is provided on the trip: van pick-up from the airport in
Kalispell, Montana; all the travel to various ski destinations; and a final
van drop-off at the Glacier Park International Airport at trip's end.
Standard arrangements are for double-occupancy rooms for all participants.
Private rooms are also available, but numbers are limited so reserve yours early.
The cost for a private room upgrade for the duration of the trip is $500. Please
indicate your preference for private rooms to the leader and he will inform
you of options and payment details.
A minimum skiing ability of advanced beginner to intermediate is suggested.
Skiers should be able to ski rolling terrain and control speed and direction
with at least a basic snowplow. Most of the terrain we'll cover is flat to gentle
rolling hills, but good balance and a familiarity with varied snow and trail
conditions are necessary. Participants should be in good physical shape. As
noted above, the various ski trips will average 6-8 miles. Participants may
also take non-ski rest days on their own at the lodge.
Equipment and Clothing
Rental cross-country ski equipment (including boots) is available for an extra
fee near Glacier National Park. Equipment & clothing needs include:
• Day pack
• Small piece of closed cell foam to sit on snow
• Water bottle
• Sunglasses and/or goggles
• Sunscreen/lip protector
• Pocket hand & foot warmers
• Insulating underwear
• Mid-weight lnsulating layer -- wool or fleece
• Waterproof & windproof outer layer -- jacket & pants
• Pants -- wool or fleece
• Neck gaiter
• Insulated boots
• Camp shoes
- Glacier National Park: www.nps.gov/glac/
Glacier National Park is facing a number of conservation issues today. As in
so many wild areas, the clash between wilderness preservation and human use
is evident in many ways:
• Global warming. Could Glacier National Park be without its namesake
if global warming continues?
• Lack of park staff and resources to protect the natural resources within
Glacier National Park. Is the park being loved to death?
• The impact of development around the park on wildlife and natural resources
within Glacier National Park.
See the How to Apply for an Outing section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation Policy.
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
Rob White has been a member of the Sierra Club since high school and has been interested in preserving and protecting the outdoors for as long as he can remember. After obtaining a master's degree in park and recreation administration, he accepted a position at Rocky Mountain National Park as a ranger/naturalist. He now works with the Colorado State Park system as a park manager. Rob continues to hike and ski a great deal throughout the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains.
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips