Glacier National Park Backpacking Packing List

With more than a million acres of rugged wilderness and 700 miles of trails weaving through its valleys, mountains and alpine lakes, Glacier National Park is a paradise for backpackers. If you’re ready to explore Glacier’s backcountry, here’s a checklist to help you plan your trip.

The following list is designed for a non-guided backpacking trip in Glacier National Park. (For information about visiting the park, see our guide.) The list includes some environment-specific options for the park’s backcountry. If you’re going with a commercial group, check with the guide company to see what items they provide.

Included in this list are the Ten Essential Systems you should have on every backcountry trip: navigation; sun protection; insulation; illumination; first-aid supplies; fire starter; repair kit and tools; nutrition; hydration; emergency shelter. To learn more, see our Ten Essentials article.


Clothing and Footwear

The base elevation in Glacier is approximately 3,110 ft. on the west side and 4,540 ft. on the east side. The average daily high temperature during summer months is 70°–80°F, while the average daily low is 45°F. At higher elevations, both averages will be lower. If you’re camping in the backcountry, be sure to bring insulated clothing.

Although the Continental Divide creates a rain shadow for the east side of Glacier, you still need to be prepared for rainy weather in all parts of the park because the weather patterns are highly variable. When you head into the backcountry, rain gear is a must.

Personal Items


Quantity varies depending on activity and length of trip.

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