Epic One-Day Adventures: Packrafting in Glacier National Park

On Friday, October 14, we will remind all of you of your God-given right to ditch out of work to raft, hike, learn how to surf, or take a motorcycle tour — basically to do any fun, outdoors thing you've been putting off. National Day of Adventure is a skip day for adults where we encourage you to take a single-day adventure that will turn your sick day into a sick! day.

With 734 miles of trails and 1,557 miles of glacier-fed streams, Glacier National Park is a packrafter’s dream. Our suggestion: Follow the section of Red Eagle Creek between Red Eagle Lake and St Mary Lake. The eight-mile hike is a stunner, traversing wide open meadows with non-stop views of high-alpine peaks: Curly Bear Mountain, Split Mountain, Norris Mountain, Red Eagle Peak, and Red Eagle Mountain.

You’ll also hike through an old growth forest, which opened up to open mountain views, made available by a fire in 2006. Take a breather at the turquoise waters of remote Red Eagle Lake, a perfect picnic spot.

To put in, you’ll want to hike a half-mile back downstream, as the first section below the lake is usually blocked up with wood. The rest of the float is fast and clean. Once you reach scenic St. Mary Lake, paddle back to the trailhead. A tailwind may even help push you along.  And word to the wise: Keep an eye out for bears along the shoreline — you’re in prime grizzly territory.