In the early season, I can’t wait to get out hiking, especially into the high country of Glacier National Park. The deep snow keeps me from doing so, but there are a few sneaky-great options like the hike up Glacier View along the Demers Ridge Trail in the Flathead National Forest.
It features early season drier trails and sweeping views of the jaw-dropping Livingston Range of Glacier National Park.
The weather for Saturday looked like the perfect sunny day, so we made plans to head outside. I had climbed up part of Glacier View on Demers Ridge in the past. I’d loved it and wanted to explore it further.
Glacier View is located along the North Fork Flathead River, on the western edge of Glacier National Park. The trailhead starts right near the junction with the North Fork Road and Camas Road. It is all in Flathead National Forest, but the views are of Glacier, thus its name.
The ridgeline faces to the south, so the trail opens up fairly early. We figured we’d get to some snow, so we brought our snowshoes along and headed out.
After driving on the North Fork’s gravel road (and a flat tire… not pictured), we arrived at the trailhead. We began to climb the steep trail trail and only briefly encountered some snow. The air was cool and the sun heated us right up. Due to a burn a few years ago, there is no protection from the heat, but there is also little to block the views.
As we climbed higher, the North Fork Flathead River stretched out below us as it snaked along the North Fork area and through the mountains. Snow covered Huckleberry Mountain rose prominently to the south.
The real gem, however, is the stunning line of peaks that make up the Livingston Range in Glacier. Peaks like Rainbow Peak, Vulture Peak, and Heaven’s Peak create a serrated ridgeline that awes.
While I was watching a Mountain Bluebird, my wife discovered another animal that was out and about… the Rocky Mountain Tick. We began to discover that this one wasn’t alone. We began checking out hats, shirts, hair, packs, etc and ended up with an extremely unsettling amount (we were wigged out for sure!)
Spring hiking in Montana involves being aware of ticks. For more information regarding Rocky Mountain Ticks, diseases they carry, how to prevent them from getting on you, and how to remove one, head over to MSU Extension Office’s guides to these little guys.
After switching to snowshoes for a bit, we stopped for lunch at one of the many prominent spots. We ate, found a few more ticks and decided to call it. Upon reaching the car, we found a few more hitchhikers, examined just about every piece of clothing and went home… promising to return and go all the way to the top.
Perhaps we will when there is less snow, less ticks, and more flowers.
11 responses to “Spring Hiking up Glacier View”
Jake – Thanks for the post on spring hiking in the Tetons. I’m planning to go to GTNP Memorial Day weekend. We’re camping at Jenny Lake.
Any other suggestions for day hike trails most likely to be snow free in late May? I was planning on Lake Solitude and Amphitheater Lake – but need some alternatives.
Thanks. Enjoy your site.
Hello Lori! This particular hike is outside of Glacier, so don’t go looking for it around the Tetons. I’ve not been to the Tetons in May, so I’m not sure how fast it melts out. I’d guess that Lake Solitude is a slim maybe and Amphitheater Lake is less than that as it sits up higher, but you’ll know when you get there. I think that you’ll just need to chat with the rangers and work your way down my list until you hit a winner. 😀
Hi Jake, Enjoyed the video of your Demer’s Trail hike! I could picture the trail after visiting GNP and using your hike734 map every day! Wow, the views of Glacier from this trail are amazing!
Hi Jake, My husband and I also headed up the North Fork Rd on Saturday. We were planning a cross-country ski on the road going to Kintla. Our plans changed when we experienced a flat tire as well. Because of no cellphone service & not another spare tire we headed back. A beautiful day out there though. The views of the mountains were stunning!
We were most of the way there and I have a full-sized spare, so we figured we would just go ahead. I’m not sure what I ran over as it seems to have given me a flat in the middle of the tire which seems kinda weird for a gravel road, but who knows!
Good luck next time!
In May several years back we were hiking the trail above Lake Josephine and had to climb through an avalanche area. On the other side we realized we each had 8-10 ticks on us. Pretty creepy. Fortunately the ticks out west are large and easy to spot.
I’d prefer no ticks to ticks, but I suppose I’ll choose bigger to smaller. 😀
Thank you! I appreciate learning about trails just outside the park!
By the way, I’m a bit confused: aren’t those photos/views looking east, not west?
Ha! You would be correct! Thanks for the heads up. Should be fixed now. 😀
[…] we’ve only been part way up Glacier View due to attempting the hike in spring. As part of some fall exploration, we decided to go up when […]