Backcountry Safety Tips
As with all National Parks, Glacier National Park is beautiful natural wilderness area. The National Park Service in partnership with Xanterra Parks & Resorts, works hard to preserve these areas so they are as lush and diverse as they were when they were first established. The wild and rugged landscapes and native species found in the park are beautiful but the pose safety risks for our visitors.
Never hike alone, a buddy can help you stay aware of your conditions, make noise to alert wildlife and help you if you become injured. Becoming familiar with some of the potential hazards within the park will ensure your visit be safe and fulfilling.
- Bears: Glacier National Park is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. When exploring the park, be alert, keep your distance if you see a bear and don’t go hiking without a buddy and bear spray.
- Mountain Lions : Make noise to avoid surprising a mountain lion. Report all mountain lion encounters immediately to the NPS.
- Other Wildlife : Do not approach wildlife to take photographs. Feeding or harassing wildlife is strictly prohibited and subject to fines. Be aware of ticks, deer flies and rodents.
- Varied Weather Conditions: Temperatures and weather conditions vary greatly from day to night. Be prepared for temperature changes by packing extra layers.
- Difficult, varied terrain: Stay on designated trails and don’t go beyond protective fencing or guard rails. Be cautious of snowy and icy conditions and follow trails, carefully noting directions given by trail signs and markers.
- Water: Swift, cold glacial streams and rivers, moss-covered rocks, and slippery logs all present dangers. Be cognizant of hypothermia and drowning risks. Also be aware of Giardia in the natural water sources by packing safe water or water treatment equipment.
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