First GNP trip !

Are you a seasoned hiker, or just starting out? Let us know your questions or experience with the backcountry permit process.

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First GNP trip !

Postby Koredavid014 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:37 am

ood evening everyone . First time poster here . Hope everyone is doing well . Just coming out of winter over here on the east coast . Looking forward to my first GNP trip this summer . Just wanted to post my itinerary for my late July trip . Extremely fortunate to get a advanced reservation permit for KIN> UPK> HAW> BOW. They shuffled a site or two around but overall it is exactly what I was looking for .

Just inquiring for any input on this route. Will be ( weather gods permitting ) starting this journey during the last week of July . Any suggestions and advice on the campsites themselves . ? Overall feelings about the itinerary ? Crampons and ax? How much snow have you encountered if have completed at the end of a July . Would love to hit boulder pass overlook and lake Francis once settling in at hawksbill .

Thanks in advance
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Re: First GNP trip !

Postby PeteE » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:14 pm

Koredavid014 wrote:ood evening everyone . First time poster here . Hope everyone is doing well . Just coming out of winter over here on the east coast . Looking forward to my first GNP trip this summer . Just wanted to post my itinerary for my late July trip . Extremely fortunate to get a advanced reservation permit for KIN> UPK> HAW> BOW. They shuffled a site or two around but overall it is exactly what I was looking for.

Well you have a reservation "in hand". :)
The basic itinerary you have, the Kintla-Bowman semi loop, is one of the most sought after routes in the park.
You can almost always improve an itinerary using the walkup process when you go to pick up your permit.
Adding a day at that time would help make a better trip imo.

If you're a pretty strong hiker maybe go for changes that result in something like this:
In at BOU trailhead(Kintlla Lake)UPK-->BOU-->FRA-->BOW--> out at Bowman Lake CG.
Add a day for UPK-->BOU-->HOL-->FRA-->BOW--> out
There are lots of variations you could ask for, assuming they are available that morning.

I think you're biggest challenge will be if BOU and HOL are clear of snow and dried out.
We've had a big snow year, on a par with 2011.
An ice ax and crampons may well be needed.

If you get a night at BOU, you can scramble up to Boulder Peak.

pete :wink:

PS
If you don't have transport arranged, that will also be a major issue to resolve.
Look at discussions in the Roads and Transportation forum.







Just inquiring for any input on this route. Will be ( weather gods permitting ) starting this journey during the last week of July . Any suggestions and advice on the campsites themselves . ? Overall feelings about the itinerary ? Crampons and ax? How much snow have you encountered if have completed at the end of a July . Would love to hit boulder pass overlook and lake Francis once settling in at hawksbill .

Thanks in advance
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Re: First GNP trip !

Postby Koredavid014 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:53 pm

Thanks Pete !
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Re: First GNP trip !

Postby sbosecker » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:39 pm

Koredavid014 wrote:Thanks Pete !


Koredavid014,

Pretty much what Pete said with a few additional thoughts:

1. If nothing else try to swap Hawksbill for Lake Francis campsites. These are not that far apart but Hawksbill is not - in my opinion - a very good campsite. This may have changed as it has been well over a decade (2004?) since I camped there but it was very exposed to afternoon sun then. Lake Francis campsite is very close to Hawksbill and is located on an extremely pretty lake. Of course Upper Kintla to Hawksbill is a pretty big day so afternoon sun may not be a problem. Ha!

2. From Hawksbill (or Lake Francis) to Bowman Lake (west of the pass) was very brushy in places (chest deep) when I went this way in 2007. The brush was very wet and even with rain gear my socks got soaked. Gaiters would be recommended.

3. Getting from wherever you are staying to Kintla Lake may well take longer than you expect. I would say it is a minimum of 45 minutes from Polebridge to the Boulder Trail Trailhead. Add quite a bit of time to get to Polebridge from lodging in Kalispell (a couple of hours?) I yield to Pete's greater experience.

As Pete pointed out, one problem I could see if all the snow Glacier got this past year doesn't get melted out would be the trail from Boulder Pass to Brown Pass being VERY sketchy in places. When you are in the backcountry office getting your permit please ask for information on that part of the trail in particular and consider your experience level with snow and Ice before proceeding. Depending on which backcountry office you use to get your permit, the ranger's personal knowledge of that area of Glacier may be limited. The Rangers at Polebridge (also Goat Haunt but no permits there) would probably have the best "real-time" info. Your results may vary at any of the other offices.


Best regards,

Scott
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Re: First GNP trip !

Postby PeteE » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:35 pm

You'll see a reference to the "North Fork News". I think they post things from the North Fork News on this bulletin board as well as their web site.
Those backpackers who are looking for transportation help might want to look into posting a notice on this website. Read about the website owner. Maybe contact her directly and explain what you want to do. She knows everyone in the North Fork. If there is a way to find a ride in advance, she or the website may be able to help.
Here:
http://nfnews.net/

I was out at the Polebridge Mercantile today and saw that bulletin board.
Might be of help to post something on it.
"Will share expenses for a ride to Kintla Lake CG"
I'd be discreet in the wording if it were me. 8)

pete :wink:

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