Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

Guidelines for Safety

  • Make sure to check for area and trail closures and current avalanche conditions, especially if you are planning on going downhill backcountry skiing
  • It is not recommended to ski on frozen lakes due to the danger
  • Cross park trips contain extreme avalanches and terrain hazards and should be attempted only be experienced and well-equipped parties
  • Make sure to drink a lot of liquids, stay dry, carry survival gear, wear many layers of clothing, and eat frequently to avoid hypothermia. Be aware of symptoms of drowsiness and confusion.
  • During the winter it is very difficult for wildlife to survive, coming in contact with humans only adds to the stress which could make them lash out. Avoid approaching any animals or birds. Make sure to be extremely careful in bear and mountain lion country.
  • No pets allowed on trails
  • No snowmobiles allowed anywhere in Glacier National Park
  • Be aware of black ice when driving on roads

Avalanches

Avalanches are common and very dangerous.

  • Never stop in or underneath an avalanche path
  • Make sure to stay on low angle ridges or stands of trees so thick they are difficult to travel through
  • Be aware of signs on the paths of slope instability that include recent avalanche activity, shooting cracks in the packed snow, and strange sounds. Stay out of gullies and away from steep to moderately steep open slopes
  • If you have to travel on a steep slope, stay on that path for the least amount of time possible. Cross one at a time, loosen pack straps, remove ski pole straps, fasten all layers of clothing, and put on a hat and gloves
  • Avalanche activity increases with a foot or more of new snow, snowfall of one inch or more per hour, sustained winds over 15 miles per hour, changing temperatures, and during spring warming. Learn to recognize dangerous weather conditions.
    If caught in an avalanche, make swimming motions and fight to stay toward the surface.