Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Are you a seasoned hiker, or just starting out? Let us know your questions or experience with the backcountry permit process.

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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by NotAllAreLost »

paul wrote: Sun Jan 21, 2024 8:33 am Interesting, if you had back to back days and Granite and Sperry chalets. You could theoretically do it in one day hike by using the floral park traverse between Granite and Sperry. You could get to Logan pass either by hiking down to the loop and grabbing the shuttle or hiking the trails to Logan. It would be a long day but definitely doable depending upon your condition.
The Floral Park Traverse looks like a great off-trail hike. It would be a long day, but quite the adventure.
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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by Jay w »

The Floral Park route

The hike up to the ridge between Hidden Lake and Floral Park (Mary Baker) is quite steep. Of course I could be remembering it wrong, but it was hard packed with some gravel on top and I was on the edge of retaining grip (hands and feet climbing). It was steep enough that I looked down and thought it would be a very difficult climb down unless you slide on your ass. (Bring appropriate britches.) The other side into Mary Baker is also quite steep (and all 130 lbs of Todd hauled ass down that), but at least is has some vegetation. I bent a pole there when a foot slipped. All this is to say, I'd hate to carry a pack over that. I'm sure that some are capable, but would take a combination of strength and a light pack. I'd rather hoof 30 miles over Gunsight. Not half bad scenery though.

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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by paul »

Yeah, not saying it would be easy. But then again, you would probably only need to carry a sleeping bag and some food if you were staying at the chalets. I thought the hike up to the ridge over Hidden lake wasn't too bad. The climb down to floral park was the rough part. I didn't have poles so was grabbing vegetation to slow my decent.
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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by zozeppelin »

Back to the matter at hand, 5 nights later I assume means 4 camping nights. You could do a northern circle, but as you mention that would really be pushing it. Other option would be an ‘out and back’ from Many Glacier (Elizabeth, Cracker, Red Eagle, Poai), or taking it slow on Gunsight Pass, perhaps exploring Jackson/Blackfoot Glacier (no experience but sounds nice). At any rate, put in for the permit lottery and see what you can make of it!

GRN-FIF-GLH/GLF-MAN-REY-SPE
GRN-MAN-REY-GUN-ELL-SPE
GRN-MAN-CRA/ELF/POA-MAN-REY-SPE
GRN-MAN-REY-REF-REY-SPE

I like the Floral Park suggestion, that is top 3 on my list but likely too skittish to attempt solo. I’ll take that craziness and raise it a Red Eagle Pass / Almost a Dog(?) (as-if I’ve ever been there). GRN-MAN-REY-REH-GUN-SPE.
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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by solohiker5555 »

Congrats on nabbing those nights at Granite and Sperry Chalets! In planning some of those more creative itineraries to get from one chalet to the other, keep in mind (and double check with the backcountry permit office on this) there may be restrictions on piecing together trail segments that come out on TH and enter another, all in one itinerary/permit. I believe you could do this coming over Piegan Pass and continuing into Reynolds en route to Gunsight and Ellen Wilson, but it may not be permitted to take the shuttle from the Loop, or coming in from Waterton, etc. As a practical matter, i don't see that Rec.gov would even have the ability to process this all in one permit. But regradless, I'm sure you'll find something that works out great!
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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by NotAllAreLost »

solohiker5555 wrote: Wed Jan 24, 2024 9:07 am Congrats on nabbing those nights at Granite and Sperry Chalets! In planning some of those more creative itineraries to get from one chalet to the other, keep in mind (and double check with the backcountry permit office on this) there may be restrictions on piecing together trail segments that come out on TH and enter another, all in one itinerary/permit. I believe you could do this coming over Piegan Pass and continuing into Reynolds en route to Gunsight and Ellen Wilson, but it may not be permitted to take the shuttle from the Loop, or coming in from Waterton, etc. As a practical matter, i don't see that Rec.gov would even have the ability to process this all in one permit. But regradless, I'm sure you'll find something that works out great!
Thanks. Totally agree with you on what you shared above. I have put together several itineraries taking into all of the restrictions and understanding that the Rec.gov site will not consider that Chalet stays as a part of a backcountry trip. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed, but now just embracing the fact that our trip may change even the day before when we pick up our permits and adjust to a better available campsite. As one of my group said no matter what happens, there is not a bad hike in Glacier. I appreciate this group and the insights they are providing.
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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by zozeppelin »

zozeppelin wrote: Fri Jan 19, 2024 7:27 pm I think you’re correct that you’ll struggle with the permitting system if you just try to grab MAN-REY-ELL or something like that due to the ‘can’t be the first or last day’ and ‘trips of more than X days’ constraints on MAN and REY, the system isn’t really setup for a hybrid itineraries, although it wasn’t enforced last year (people were starting/finishing northern circles with MAN.
Following up on this, I can confirm the intention of GNP to not allow for the first night at MAN, regardless of starting point, due to Rec.gov limitations and their decision to restrict all first nights vs allow all first nights. I’m in contact with the BC office on this one, as there is nearly a 30 year history with having an explicit provision allowing for this (and they dumped ‘last-night’ restrictions as well, so there is no consistency). And selfishly, SBE-MAN is my favorite first leg of an itinerary and I was looking to do it this year.

I’m requesting an outright fix (removal) of the restriction. Alternatively to that I’m asking for a provision for a manual add by backcountry staff to honor the tradition manually on request (similar to how large group permits work). I’ll give an update on where this lands.

On the plus side, thinking through your options with the bookend chalets gave me the idea of the itinerary I am going for- so thanks for that!
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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by NotAllAreLost »

zozeppelin wrote: Tue Jan 23, 2024 9:37 pm Back to the matter at hand, 5 nights later I assume means 4 camping nights. You could do a northern circle, but as you mention that would really be pushing it. Other option would be an ‘out and back’ from Many Glacier (Elizabeth, Cracker, Red Eagle, Poai), or taking it slow on Gunsight Pass, perhaps exploring Jackson/Blackfoot Glacier (no experience but sounds nice). At any rate, put in for the permit lottery and see what you can make of it!

GRN-FIF-GLH/GLF-MAN-REY-SPE
GRN-MAN-REY-GUN-ELL-SPE
GRN-MAN-CRA/ELF/POA-MAN-REY-SPE
GRN-MAN-REY-REF-REY-SPE

I like the Floral Park suggestion, that is top 3 on my list but likely too skittish to attempt solo. I’ll take that craziness and raise it a Red Eagle Pass / Almost a Dog(?) (as-if I’ve ever been there). GRN-MAN-REY-REH-GUN-SPE.
I did pick up a reservation at Swift Current Motor Inn for the night after Granite Park Chalet, so adds another option to my itinerary once we get through the lottery and see how things fall out. Only a few more days till the 15th.
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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by Ipasha Jen »

I would love to know how this works out! Did you get your permit?
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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by NotAllAreLost »

My lottery date is not till April 19th at 7 am. Currently looking at staying at Avalanche, then Granite Park Chalet, back to Avalanche, then do a backcountry of GUN, ELL, SPE, then last night at Sperry Chalet if it works out. My nights for GUN, ELL, and SPE are still open for now as they are in the middle of the week. We shall see. No matter what happens, it will be a great trip with the two chalet stays.

Brian
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Re: Backpacking between Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet

Post by NotAllAreLost »

Ipasha Jen wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:21 am I would love to know how this works out! Did you get your permit?
My lottery date is not till April 19th at 7 am. Currently looking at staying at Avalanche, then Granite Park Chalet, back to Avalanche, then do a backcountry of GUN, ELL, SPE, then last night at Sperry Chalet if it works out. My nights for GUN, ELL, and SPE are still open for now as they are in the middle of the week. We shall see. No matter what happens, it will be a great trip with the two chalet stays.

Brian
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