Established in 1886 along with Yoho National Park, Glacier National Park is Canada’s second national park (after Banff).
Indigenous peoples including the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc, Sinixt and Sylix Okanagan have lived and travelled through this area for millennia. In the late 1880s, the diverse landscape of this region was an awesome challenge for the builders of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Today, it offers visitors a unique mixture of ice and mountain, beauty and challenge.
Within the park, the Rogers Pass, site of the largest mobile avalanche control program, has been designated a National Historic Site to commemorate the history of this national transportation corridor.
As they did thousands of years ago in the Ice Age, more than 400 glaciers are still sculpted in the landscape of the park’s many rugged and steep mountains.
The park’s narrow valley and steep slopes and the high annual snowfall make it one of the world’s most active avalanche zones. As you make your way to and through the 1,350 square kilometre (520 sq mi) park, you’ll see that many snow sheds protect sections of the TransCanada Hwy#1, as well as the railway, from avalanches. In fact, with up to 14 metres (45 ft) of snowfall each year, the park is the perfect place for scientists and geologists to study avalanches.
Hiking in Glacier National Park offers you the chance to explore the Columbia Mountains whether minutes from your car or hours from the nearest road. Trails range from short, valley-bottom strolls, to steep, tough climbs to stunning views. Select a trip that best suits your experience and time you have available.
|Spring: Early season hiking is minimal. Skiing is possible well into May.
Summer: Hiking, mountaineering, camping, scenic driving, backpacking, picnicking, interpretive events, Rogers Pass Discovery Centre Museum. Wildlife watching – bears, mountain goats, moose, ground squirrels, birds.
|Fall: Some of the year’s best hiking can be had in September. Snow comes to stay in mid-October. Wildlife watching – bears are most visible in this season as they descend to lower elevations seeking food before hibernating.|
Winter: Ski touring in Rogers Pass is world-class but not for beginners. Experience, knowledge and tools to travel in avalanche terrain required.
A Winter Permit System manages winter back country access so that it doesn’t conflict with the avalanche control program. These permits are free of charge. The Rogers Pass Discovery Centre is open 7 days a week with an open theatre room playing educational videos about avalanche control, highway history and ski touring.
|Park Services and Facilities: Picnic or day-use facilities, hiking trails, gift/souvenir shop, EV Charging Station (both DCFC & Level 2) at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.
Campgrounds: Open mid-June to late-August. Front and back country camping reservations launch on March 13, 2023. There are also first come / first serve campsites available.
Huts & Cabins: There are four Alpine Club of Canada operated accommodations in the park.