Mid-to-Late JULY

Let us know when you will be visiting,

Moderators: Kathy, Tara

Mid-to-Late JULY

Postby Pack_Mule » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:45 pm

I am hoping to get permits for the Northern Circle Route out of Many Glacier. I heard certain campsites don't open up until certain times of the year. I also read that the Ahern drift could be somewhat of an issue before August 1st. Given the snowfall this year, does anyone thing that Mid-July would be a problem? I would LOVE to beat the crowds. Thanks!
Pack_Mule
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:44 pm

Re: Mid-to-Late JULY

Postby PeteE » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:02 pm

Pack_Mule wrote:I am hoping to get permits for the Northern Circle Route out of Many Glacier.
Permits plural? You'll be extremely lucky to get one permit.
You need to review these pages thoroughly.

https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ ... ations.htm
https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ ... ap-Web.pdf

I heard certain campsites don't open up until certain times of the year.
That is true. Again, check the link above for the earliest dates that the various camp sites can be reserved.
Make sure you read every word of the "fine print" too.


I also read that the Ahern drift could be somewhat of an issue before August 1st. Given the snowfall this year, does anyone thing that Mid-July would be a problem?

There is absolutely NO WAY this early in the season to know about when the Ahern drift will be passable for sure. Winter has barely begun here.
Major snow dumps, two feet plus, can happen as late as early/mid June---upsetting lots of people's plans.

The Ahern drift was virtually "non existent" the 3rd week in July 2015 when I hiked to Ahern Pass. On the other hand, some years it can't be crossed in early August unless they have blown it up, OR you have the experience and equipment to cross it wearing crampons and carrying an ice ax


I would LOVE to beat the crowds.
Yeah well good luck "beating the crowds" in mid July. That's arguably the busiest time of year in GNP

Thanks!


You're welcome

pete :wink:
User avatar
PeteE
 
Posts: 2318
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Location: Whitefish, MT

Re: Mid-to-Late JULY

Postby paul » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:54 am

Pete's right about the crowds in mid July. Peak season happens between July and August. That being said, if you are hiking in the back country you really aren't effected too much by the number of folks visiting the park. The permit system limits the number of people that can camp in the back country. So I think if you get a good permit you'll find some good quiet time out there.

The best time to do the Northern circle is after August 1st. I don't think it is wise to try for July since the snow hazards will likely be present and the campsite opening dates will limit your options. If you still are interested in a July trip there are plenty of great routes that will be open. Probably a trip to the Belly River area would be best that time of year.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
User avatar
paul
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 1282
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:42 pm
Location: MA

Re: Mid-to-Late JULY

Postby Pack_Mule » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:09 am

Thanks guys. I just plan on trying for a single permit.

If we have crampons/ice axes, would the park staff allow us to camp at the high camps (i.e. Fifty Mountain). Does the Ptamigan Tunnel ever open prior to Aug 1?

Eh, I think I’ll just try for Aug 1+. Seems to be more logistical.

Thanks for the knowledge and your time!
Pack_Mule
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:44 pm

Re: Mid-to-Late JULY

Postby PeteE » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:16 am

Pack_Mule wrote:Thanks guys. I just plan on trying for a single permit.

If we have crampons/ice axes, would the park staff allow us to camp at the high camps (i.e. Fifty Mountain).
No, campsites are not open until they melt out and dry up. Otherwise people would destroy them.
Does the Ptamigan Tunnel ever open prior to Aug 1?
Yes, it typically opens in mid July. They will post the tentative opening date later on. They need to wait until the North side, which is shaded and buried in snow, can be cleared.

Eh, I think I’ll just try for Aug 1+. Seems to be more logistical.
Yeah, you would be wise to put in for dates after Aug 1. Giving them the BIGGEST window of dates possible will greatly improve your chances of getting a permit.

Thanks for the knowledge and your time!


quite welcome

pete

Snowing here now. I may head out to Lake Mc Donald in a couple hours
User avatar
PeteE
 
Posts: 2318
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Location: Whitefish, MT

Re: Mid-to-Late JULY

Postby PeteE » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:30 am

Winter camping is possible but highly unlikely. You would have to prove to the BC Office that you have all the equipment and expertise to winter camp.
If the sites are "muddy" and partially melted out(like in the summer), I would put your chances at zero. Sites are just too fragile in muddy conditions.
So I would not count on them letting you out there in July/August under those conditions.

pete :wink:
User avatar
PeteE
 
Posts: 2318
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Location: Whitefish, MT

Re: Mid-to-Late JULY

Postby Ear Mountain » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:55 pm

As Pete alluded to, campsites that typically do not melt out until late in July or early August are not reservable until August first. If a campsite is under winter conditions you may get a permit to camp there but only one group at a time may use a campsite under winter conditions. Other factors complicate using such sites.
1. If the outhouse or privy is not useable (buried under snow for example) you may be required to use a WAG bag. (Waste Amelioration and Gellification).
2. If there is a bear pole at the site it may not be in the upright position. They are lowered in the winter to help prevent damage from snow creep. In this case you will be required to use an alternate approved method of storing food.
3. Campsites in Winter Status are not reservable in advance.
4. As spring progresses in high country and the snow melts out the campsite status is changes from "Winter" to "Closed due to Sensitive Environmental Conditions." This is the mud Pete talked about. Campsites in this condition are closed until they completely dry out to prevent excessive resource damage.

And, also as Pete said, There is no way to know when campsites in the high country will melt out and be available for use. Also the Ahern Drift is problematic well into the summer unless it has been cleared by trail crews. This usually mean blasting the drift.
Ear Mountain Photography.
Text and photos Copyright 2007-2012.
Ear Mountain
Moderator & Donator
Moderator & Donator
 
Posts: 4815
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:53 pm
Location: Choteau, Montana


Return to 2019 Trip Dates

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests