Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Grade I
Elevation Gain
4,510.00 ft (1,374.65 m)
20.00 mi (32.19 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Floral Park Traverse is a spectacular off-trail route that begins at Logan Pass and traverses roughly 20 miles of Glacier National Park down to Lake McDonald. On the way, it passes alpine lakes, craggy mountains, and the Sperry Glacier, one of the larger glaciers in the park. There is no established trail between Hidden Lake and Comeau Pass, and visitors should be comfortable route-finding and traveling on scree/talus, as well as self-sufficient in case anything goes wrong. This is not a casual stroll and will take a long time. Don’t overestimate your abilities – if you haven’t done this big of a day before, don’t start with this one.


A disclaimer on this description and track - this off-trail line was traveled on a single day with certain conditions. The route described is a reasonable way to move through this terrain, and the description below mentions some of the hazards found during the trip. However, conditions may be significantly different when you visit this area. The advice in this trip report is not meant to be followed perfectly - you will need to adapt the route for the conditions you find and for your party’s abilities.


The Basics

  • Seasonality/Snow: Glacier National Park gets a ton of snow and you’ll be passing alongside Sperry Glacier, so there will always be some snow along this route. The route should be clear of snow from late July to early October, but make sure you check the conditions before you go and bring adequate equipment for what you’ll find.
  • Route Add-ons:
    • You can scramble up Bearhat Mountain as well as Edwards Mountain (near Comeau Pass) if you’ve got the energy.
  • Number of Days: Most people will do this as a day trip, but you could spend a night at Sperry Chalet if you want to get fancy!
  • Direction of travel: This description is written traveling southbound from Logan Pass to Lake McDonald, as this significantly decreases the amount of gain (though you’ll do a ton of descent). If you want to make things tougher, start at Lake McDonald and head north!
  • Permitting: There’s no way around it, permitting in Glacier National Park can make things a bit complicated. As of Summer 2022, you’ll need a permit to access the Going to the Sun Road. This system is constantly shifting, so make sure you take the time to check the park service website to make sure you’re complying with the various requirements. Here's the website for the ticketed entry.
  • Park Access: You'll also need to pay for access to the park, which is $35 for a private vehicle for 7 days (as of Summer 2022) or $80 for an America the Beautiful pass, which lasts the whole year. Here's a link for this information.
  • Shuttle: You'll either need two cars or to use the Glacier Shuttle service (which runs roughly every 30 minutes) between the start of the season and Labor Day. Here's the shuttle website.
  • Navigation: Bring a map and/or a GPS, it can get a bit tricky out there.
  • Gear:
    • Good gear for scrambling and moving fast in the mountains.
    • Bear Spray (and the know-how to use it) – Whenever you travel in Glacier National Park, you should be bringing bear spray, there are a ton of grizzlies up there!
    • Consider an ice axe and traction (microspikes/crampons) if it’s still early season.


Note on Leaving No Trace

Glacier National Park gets an incredible number of visitors, many of whom are newer to the backcountry. If you’re considering this route, you should have a lot of backcountry experience. As a result, you should already know about LNT, but it bears a reminder: off-trail travel is inherently hard on alpine environments. Do what you can to minimize your impact, taking care to avoid stepping on delicate alpine plants where you can and following cairns whenever possible.

Remember, as an experienced backcountry traveler, you can and should model the type of behavior for other visitors to ensure Glacier National Park can stay a special place, not just for us but for all the generations to come.


The Trip

The trail begins at Logan Pass. It can be tricky to find parking up here in the middle of the season, so try to arrive early or take the shuttle up. Head southwest toward Hidden Lake Pass along the broad trails. As you reach Hidden Lake Pass, take a look south and you’ll be able to see several miles south toward the rest of your route and broad-faced Bearhat Mountain.

The established trail ends at the outflow of Hidden Lake. Cross the creek and follow cairns and a faint trail along the western side of the lake, hugging the shore beneath Bearhat Mountain. As you near the southern knob of the lake, begin looking for passage through the cliffs above you. You’ll cut through the first band of cliffs before entering a basin at roughly 7,000’. Continue south toward the ridgeline.

Once you reach the ridgeline, you’ll get great views of the rest of your route, including Sperry Glacier in its hanging valley. Head southeast to the slight saddle at 7,700’ before finding your way through the krummholz (twisted alpine trees) and steep tussocks to Lake Mary Baker and Floral Park. Take your time here, you’re deep in Glacier National Park.

Head south, finding your way through steep and sometimes loose terrain toward the glacially sculpted rock northwest of Sperry Glacier. There are many possible routes through this terrain so pick the path that seems best to you.

Once beneath Sperry Glacier, you’ll find multi-colored tarns filled with glacial melt. Meander southwest toward Comeau Pass, past ice caves carved into the glacier.

Once at Comeau Pass, look for the obvious staircase cut into the rock and regain the established trail system. From here, wind your way past Feather Woman Lake and down valley. You have a long (almost 5,000’) descent here, so take your time and be easy on your knees!

2.5 miles below Comeau Pass, you’ll pass the turnoff to Sperry Chalet, which is worth a visit if you’ve got the time and energy to climb up to it! Otherwise, continue down the trail alongside Sprague Creek, gradually descending from the rocky alpine into lush coniferous forests. Cross Snyder Creek at Crystal Ford and you only have 2 miles left to Sperry Trailhead. Take a dip in Lake McDonald to celebrate your traverse!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Remote exploration into the heart of spectacular Glacier National Park.


No trail for large portion of trip. Grizzlies. Requires shuttle.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

6,650.00 ft (2,026.92 m)

Highest point

8,025.00 ft (2,446.02 m)


Big vistas



Typically multi-day


Permit required


Permit self-issue on site


Primary aspect

North facing

Drinking water

Unfrozen water



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