Easy Hikes for Active Seniors in Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park, located in the Rocky Mountains area of Montana, is a popular attraction for sightseers and outdoor enthusiasts. There are over 700 different trails to explore, each with their own unique views of different parts of the area. For the active senior who wishes to get back to nature, and maybe explore a bit of history, Glacier National Park is sure to have a trail to fit your sightseeing needs.
Glacier National Park Trails to Explore
Some Glacier National Park Trails can be traversed by yourself or part of a small group. Other trails are led by experienced guides who will ensure maximum enjoyment and safety during the hike. The following list has some examples of simple trails the active senior can explore, sorted by difficulty. This is only a small suggested list, as some trails that are manageable for some seniors might be very challenging for others.
This is the shortest trail in the park, extending 0.6 miles on a round trip. A well-maintained path and slight elevation changes means little trouble for the active hiking senior. There are several places near the trail that you can detour to take a look at the mighty falls. Depending on when you visit, you may see anywhere between a 20-foot to 40-foot waterfall.
Going-to-the-Sun Road is the start and end point of this 1.0-mile looping roundtrip hike. This is a popular trail, with many opting to start eastward to witness grand cedars that can grow up to 100 feet. The midpoint of this trail offers a stunning view overlooking Avalanche Gorge. On the western side of the trail is a paved path to navigate back to the starting point.
This 1.1-mile hike will offer plenty of views. You can see where the forest has begun to regrow with new lodgepole pine saplings and young aspens after fires in 1967 and 2001. It’s recommended to visit in early summer, as you’ll see plenty of wildflowers in bloom and a nice thimbleberry patch at the high point of the trail. A short climb of about 100 feet leads to views of the Flathead River and the mountains near the Continental Divide.
Hiking Tips for Seniors
Many seniors choose walking as their method of exercise and hiking the trails of Glacier National Park is an excellent way to get moving and take in fantastic views of nature. Of course, before embarking on any hiking trip, it is important to be prepared. Here are some helpful tips to consider as you are planning your hike.
No matter where you choose to hike or walk, make sure someone close to you knows where you are or will be going. This is especially true in Glacier National Park, as many trails do not have cell phone service.
Dress appropriately. Make sure your shoes are sturdy enough for active walking. Wear clothes that not only offer protection against the elements but can also be removed in case of an emergency.
Go at your own pace. There is no need to rush through any hike, so take your time and enjoy the sights.
Bring supplies. Some trails are long enough that you’ll need to bring plenty of water and energizing snacks. It’s also recommended to bring something that can make a sharp loud noise, such as a whistle, in case of emergency.
Consider a hiking pole or walking stick to help with keeping balance along the trails.
Leave no trace. Glacier National Park is home to important historic and scientific artifacts. Do not take anything without permission, as items are usually there for a reason, such as marking paths or keeping stability with the local wildlife.
Active Senior Living in Kalispell, MT
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