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CarriesNineFires
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 9:03 pm 
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Hello NWHikers. I have been scouring the threads for info and I am finding excellent examples of such. What I really want to know is this:

Can I show up at Glacier National Park on the Amtrak on September 27 and expect to secure permits for a nine-day backcountry immersion? Is it busy at that time? And is there an expected weather consideration, i.e. heavy snowfall, if I want to traverse the park west to east over the passes or vice versa? I know that the weather is a game you play by its own rules there.

Thanks for your input.
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Pahoehoe
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 10:27 pm 
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Weather could definately be an issue.  Services will be slowing down.. many shutting down.

Many of the bridges in the backcountry are suspension bridges that the park service takes down for the winter.  I'm not sure when, but before the snow makes it impossible..

They also close ptarmigan tunnel.

Its possible but also lots of potential for issues..
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orin
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 4:20 pm 
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There have been cases in recent years when backpackers were trapped in the Glacier backcountry by snow in September.  Not too likely but you need to have the gear to handle snow if it happens.  There could easily be some snow on the high passes (or a lot if you are unlucky).

Backcountry use is falling fast by the end of September so you should be able to walk in to the Apgar backcountry office and get something.  This page: https://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/bcpermits/bcbull/bcrescgstatus.cfm keeps an updated list of what is currently available.  You don't suggest any particular routes but as stated above some bridges will be removed during your stay.  This page: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/trailstatusreports.htm shows the current status of all the trails and often has the removal dates.  In the Belly River several are scheduled for removal on 9/29.

The backcountry camping guide, https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm , has lots of important info.  So does: http://www.glacier.nationalparkschat.com/phpBB3/
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CarriesNineFires
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 7:46 pm 
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Thanks for the replies and the links. I'm just getting started on planning this trip, which is replacing many other options that I'm canceling because my car died. The Amtrak access is really convenient for a man with no wheels and little desire to rely on people to get me out and back with scheduled rides or hitchhiking. It effectively puts Glacier NP within walking distance of my Seattle apartment. Amazing!

If the high country out there is sketchy due to snow then I'll stay low and love that, too.
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