Women’s Basecamp Backpacking in Whitefish

Whitefish | Montana
5.00
3 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top reasons to go backpacking near Whitefish

  • Trip Highlight

    Tackle two scenic lakeside hikes in a single tour

  • Trip Highlight

    Relax, swim, meditate, and camp out near beautiful alpine lakes

  • Trip Highlight

    The trails are well-maintained, with very manageable intermittent climbs

Thanks to its proximity to two different airports, Whitefish is the ideal home base for outdoor adventures in Glacier NP, Flathead National Forest, and Montana’s Rockies. Though your options are endless, the most serene and relaxing hikes in the area encircle the alpine lakes. Embark on an out-and-back hike from Bond Lake, known for its cliffside vistas, log bridges, and lush vegetation, to Crevice Lake, a wildflower paradise often visited by marmots, squirrels, and pronghorn. Relax in lakeside campsites, meditate, stretch out your hiking muscles, and swim to your heart’s content—you’ll feel fully immersed in Montana’s majestic wilderness.

Season

August through September

Nearest city

Kalispell, MT, and the Glacier Airport are 15mins away from Whitefish

Duration

5 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Backcountry Base Camp Adventure in Whitefish

5 days

Embark on an epic five-day backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains of northwest Montana. Explore two scenic alpine lakes and take a stroll among the summits with seasoned local guides. Off the trails, enjoy swimming, stretching, meditations, and campfire evenings with your new-found friends.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Heading out

Meet your guide in Whitefish on Monday at 8 am, and head out to start your hike. Along your journey, you’ll take plenty of snack, water, and swim breaks, and learn fun facts about the Montana wilderness from your guides. Once you reach the campsite, you get to do some more snacking, swimming, and relaxation with optional guided stretching, journaling, and meditation sessions. After dinner by the campfire, retreat to the tents with your roommate for the week.

Hiking distance: 5.4 miles/ 8.7 km
Elevation gain: 2,862 ft/ 872 m

A view of Whitefish, MT, from overhead

Day 2: The first sunrise over the lake

Have your morning coffee or tea with views of the sun rising over the mountains and onto Bond lake. After some guided stretching, you’ll discuss the journey, learn how to properly break camp, repack your backpacks, and head for the next campsite. Reach a site near a beautiful alpine lake, set up camp, and get immersed in the scenery.

Hiking distance: 7.9 miles/ 12.7 km
Elevation gain: 1,853 ft/ 565 m

A golden dusk illuminates pine trees and birch trees that line a meandering Swan River that feeds into Flathead Lake near Big Fork, Montana as autumn color envelops the birch trees.

Day 3: More hiking or an optional rest day

Ten miles or zero—today you get to choose your hiking distance! If you want to rest by the lake, read a book, and recharge your batteries, feel free to do so. If not, there are plenty of scenic trails with amazing views in the area you can tackle without your heavy pack.

Hiking distance: Up to 10 miles roundtrip
Elevation gain: Depends on the trail

Backpacking - Camping with Tent in the Mountains after day of hiking

Day 4: The trek back

Wake up at your base camp on top of the mountain. Enjoy some meditation and stretching before starting your trek back to Whitefish. Take in the soaring vistas from the opposite direction before reaching the final lake campsite of the trip.

Hiking distance: 8.8 miles/ 14.2 km
Elevation gain/loss: -2,492 ft/760 m, +1,000 ft/304 m

Hikers walking on a cloudy day in Whitefish, Montana

Day 5: Return to Whitefish

Take advantage of your last chance for morning swims and sunrise stretching. After you pack up, head to the cars to enjoy some much-deserved cold drinks and reminisce on this epic adventure.

Hiking distance:4.5 miles/ 7.3 km
Elevation loss: -2,158 ft/ 658 m

A hiker near a lake in Whitefish, Montana.
Reviews

Reviews (3)

Jemma M. about Great Northern Wilderness Guides on Google Reviews

One of the best trips I’ve ever been on! I felt so safe even in the middle of nowhere on my first backpacking trip. The guides were helpful, supportive, and a ton of fun! Would love to go again if I get the chance!

Emily H. about Great Northern Wilderness Guides on Google Reviews

I can’t recommend booking a trip with Madison and Sally enough! They answered all of my questions leading up to the trip and were so patient and helpful throughout the entire experience. I gained so much knowledge and confidence from backpacking with this group of women. Well worth every penny!

Rebecca F. about Great Northern Wilderness Guides on Google Reviews

10/10 would highly recommend! Check them out! We had a great time and the guides were fun!

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Whitefish, Montana

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Whitefish, Montana, please refer to the CDC’s guidelines for international travel to and from the United States and Montana’s COVID-19 information website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
  • Five days of hiking
  • Campsite accommodations
  • Food and snacks for the duration of the tour
  • All hiking and camping gear

If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, make sure to notify your guide in advance of the trip. They will adjust the menu accordingly.

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to Whitefish, Montana
  • Anything not mentioned above
  • Guide gratuities — optional

How fit do I need to be?

No prior multi-day hiking experience is required for this hiking adventure, but you will need to have decent fitness levels. If you can hike for a max of 8-9 miles (13-14,5 km) a day and overcome 3,000 ft (900 m) of elevation gain, you should be good to go! Your guides will accommodate weaker hikers with more frequent breaks, and if you feel like you need a day off, you can choose to spend day 3 relaxing by the lake instead of hiking.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag, can be provided by guide)
  • Hiking poles — optional (can be provided by guide)
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Spare clothes for layering and 5 days of hiking
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping pad (can be provided by guide)

The sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, hiking poles, backpack, and cooking system can be provided by your guides. If you need hiking and camping gear, make sure to notify your guides in advance. Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

  • For this group adventure, the max client-to-guide ratio is 8:1. 
  • The cost does not decrease as the group grows. 
  • All hikers and guides on this adventure are women.

Hiking in Whitefish can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

  • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.

Deposits and cancellation policy

A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 3 months (90 days) prior to departure. In case of a last-minute reservation, the full amount is paid at once. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

  • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to one hundred twenty (120) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. 
  • For cancellations ninety (90) to one hundred nineteen(119)  calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
  • For cancellations seventy-five (75) to eighty-nine (89)  calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
  • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Whitefish, MT, most people fly into Glacier Park International Airport only 15 minutes away from Whitefish. The airport has daily direct flights from most major cities in the US. From there, you can take a taxi or a shuttle service to Whitefish.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, which will usually be at Whitefish Depot Park. It’s important to note that you can’t leave vehicles parked overnight at the park, which is why we recommend walking or getting a ride there.

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