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Welcome to Get Fit Great Falls!

Get Fit Great Falls is a coalition of like-minded people who encourage neighbors, family, and friends to get active and make healthy choices when selecting foods for their dinner table.

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115 4th St S, Great Falls, Montana

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Hikes

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National Trails Days

June 3rd 2017
Hit the Trail - Make new friends - Find and adventure - All for free

How to sign up:

Visit getfithikes.com to view our website dedicated to National Trails Day!

All hikes are also listed below.

Find a hike that fits your fitness level. Click the registration button associated with that hike. Select the number of hikers in your party. Click on “Check Out.” Fill out the form for each hiker. You will receive an email confirmation and reminder. Happy hiking ūüôā

T-Shirts are available for pre-order until 8am on June 2nd! Click here to place your order and support Get Fit Great Falls!

These walks are interpretive in nature and probably not suited for fidgety children. There will be many stops and lots of talking on an adult level.

Historic District with North-
Side Homes

Length: 1  mile
Elevation gain: minimal
Meet: 10 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell
Total time:  1 hour
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  None. Leave from park
Age limit: None; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 20
Difficulty Level: Easy
Coordinator: Carol Bradley

Step back into history with Carol Bradley as you stroll through the Lower North Side neighborhood for a sidewalk tour of the earliest homes in Great Falls. Enjoy views of front porches, see massive pillars, cupolas, and historic renovations. Wheelchair and stroller accessible. This walk makes many stops to view old classic homes.

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South Fork Judith-Wildflower Walk

Length: 3.6 miles roundtrip
Elevation gain: 740′ (74 flights of stairs)
Meet: 8:30 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 8 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 95 miles, two hours
Age limit: 12 and up, in good shape; children with legal guardian
Max. number: 16,
Coordinators: Wayne Phillips and Gordon Whirry
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Note: SUV advised

This wildflower interpretive walk follows old roads and trails in beautiful canyons of the South Fork Judith country, with lots of wildflowers and possibility of seeing rare columbine. We will be taking our walk slowly with lots of opportunities to identify the flowers we see and learn about native plants, including plant anatomy and latin names. A side trip to a cool limestone arch is possible.  Bring your wading shoes in addition to your hiking boots as we have one stream to cross. We also need high clearance all-wheel drive vehicles.

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History Tour-Camp Disappointment and Lewis & Blackfeet Encounter Site

Length: 3-5 miles
Elevation gain: less than 500 feet
Meet: 8:30 a.m. Bandshell, Gibson Park to caravan to Cutbank City Park
Total time: 8 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  109 miles; 270 miles of driving total
Age limit: 12 and up; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 35
Difficulty level: Moderate with uneven footing, bushwhacking
Coordinator: Larry and Callie Epstein
Note: Blackfeet permit is a must and will be checked at the park.  SUV required as we will drive off-road. Also, this hike will be cancelled if it rains, due to gumbo roads. Blackfeet Tribal permit required.

Join Larry and Callie Epstein who will host tour to sites of the Meriwether Lewis‚Äôs exploration of the Marias and their encounter with the Blackfeet on the Two Medicine River. This is a historical drive to several sites with walks that will have many stops for narrative and historical context.¬† The geography is beautiful with unusual rock formations. We will caravan from Gibson Park to meet the hike coordinators at the City Park in Cutbank and drive to where the tour begins at Great Northern Monument for Camp Disappointment on U.S. Highway 2, travel to Two Medicine Holy Family Mission with visit to Tribal Historical marker for James Willard Schultz grave, then to the site of Lewis‚Äô encounter with young warriors of the Blackfeet Tribe in late July, 1806.¬† Finally, we will hike to the site of Lewis-Blackfeet encounter, read from Lewis‚Äô journals and discuss events on the Two Medicine.¬† This walk has lots of local history and a very moderate hike. It is a great day of local history and outdoor explanation.¬† Non-Tribal members will need a $10 Blackfeet Tribal Conservation License. ¬†Licenses will be checked at the park. Purchase one at https://blackfeet.nagfa.net/online/ or at Scheel’s.

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Historic Downtown Business District

Length: approximately 3 miles
Elevation gain:  none, all sidewalk travel
Meet: 10:30 a.m.  Gibson Park Bandshell; leave from park
Total time:  2 Hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  None. Leave from park
Age limit: 14 and up; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 20
Difficulty Level: Easy
Coordinators: Ike Kaufman and Channing Hartelius

Join Ike Kaufman, owner of Great Falls’ longest single-family owned business, and Channing Hartelius, part-owner of the Celtic Cowboy Pub,  for a whirlwind tour of the historic business district. Learn the history of the business owners who operated flourishing stores, taverns, theaters, and hotels in in the historic business district. Ike and Channing will share their extensive research and long-standing family knowledge of establishments from the past.  You will gain a new perspective on how you see downtown next time you travel along Central Avenue and the lower south side. For those interested, a post-walk celebration at the Celtic Cowboy is an optional activity.

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In addition to the kids hikes below, every 20 minutes starting at 10:30 a.m., a coordinator will lead a walk around the Gibson Park Loop.  Activities such as jumprope and hopscotch will be ongoing. No need to register these extras. Just show up at the Gibson Park Bandshell.

Kiddos and Grown-ups Hike

Length: 3  miles
Elevation gain: none
Meet: 10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.  Bandshell, Gibson Park
Total time:  2.5 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: Depart from park
Age limit: None
Max. Number: 20 children
Difficulty Level: Easy
Coordinators: Tammy Lacey at 10,  Bonnie Warren/Shirley Weaver at 10:30
Note: Tennis shoes or good walking shoes required (no flipflops, please)

Grab your parents and join Great Falls Public School Superintendent Tammy Lacey (10 a.m.) or Bonnie Warren and Shirley Weaver  (10:30 a.m.) for a hike across the Central Avenue West walking bridge, then onto Garden Home Park, a fun natural area hidden in the heart of the city.  This hike is wheelchair and stroller accessible and  is designed for children who are active and inquisitive. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Put on your tennis shoes (no sandals please) and come join the fun! When registering, register the number of kids only (guardians are listed in the guardian section)

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Kiddos’ Playday Walk

Length: Less than 1  mile
Elevation gain: none
Meet: 10 a.m. Bandshell, Gibson Park
Total time:  1.5 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: Depart from park
Age limit: None
Max. Number: 20 children
Difficulty Level: Easy
Coordinator: Cramer Caouette

Join Great Falls Public Schools educator Cramer Caouette for a play day with your children. Plan on a short walk from Gibson Park to a play area where organized activities will keep your little one active and engaged in fun, fun, fun, including sidewalk chalk drawing and activity booklet to take home! This walk is designed for preschool to second-grade children. All children must be accompanied by an adult. When registering, register the number of kids only (guardians are listed in the guardian section)

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Giant Springs State Park Nature/Historic Hike

Length: 3 miles
Elevation gain:  Mostly flat ground with little hills (half is single track dirt trail and half is paved trail)
Meet: 9:30 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time:  2 hours, including interpretive stops and talks by the rangers
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  3.5 miles from Gibson Park to main parking area at Giant Springs State Park
Age limit: none, strollers not recommended; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 15
Difficulty Level: Easy
Coordinators: State Park Rangers Tamara Tollett and  Austin Jaynes

Description: State Park Rangers Tamara Tollett and Austin Jaynes will lead you on a nature/history hike through Giant Springs State Park. Learn about the smelter sites which still have remnants of the old stacks still standing, the historical work done by the WPA & CCC in the early 1900s, and the plants and animals that call Giant Springs their home.

You will also discover the amazing natural features in the park to include the springs and the shortest river in the world. The hike will be easy to moderate on single track dirt trails to paved trails. There is some incline involved but mostly flat terrain. All ages welcome, but strollers are not recommended. Learn and see all the wonderful things about Giant Springs State Park and why it is the most visited State Park in Montana.

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River’s Edge Trail: Westbank Park and Bridges Loop

Length: 3 miles
Elevation gain:  Mostly flat ground with little hills. All is paved.
Meet: 10 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  No driving. We will walk from the park.
Total Time: 2 hours
Age limit: Ages 4 and up; younger in strollers; wheelchair accessible; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 20
Difficulty Level: Easy
Coordinators: Erin Merchant and Derrick Merchant

Description:¬†¬†Erin and Derrick Merchant will lead you from bridge to bridge on an easy loop route on the River’s Edge Trail. ¬†You will cross the Missouri River at Central Avenue West bridge, stroll along the West Bank park, viewing the many waterfowl that hide among the rushes and islands as you head to the Ninth-Street Bridge. At this point, you will ¬†walk the other side of the river by the Dog Park and end up where you started, completing the circle back to Gibson Park.¬†¬†A great little hike to get a body in motion.¬† Who knows? You may make this part of your daily walking routine.

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Memorial Falls and Upper Falls

Length: 2 miles
Elevation gain:  500 feet, (50 flights of stairs)
Meet: 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  63 miles, one hour 10 minutes
Total Time: Four hours
Age limit: None; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 20
Difficulty Level: Easy
Coordinators:  Robin Strathy and Chuck Frey

Come visit this gem of a waterfall, nestled in the Little Belt Mountains. We follow a pretty creek uphill to the major waterfall, where we will stop to enjoy it and eat our lunch. Then we will continue up a short, steep section to a smaller upper waterfall and continue along the creek for another half mile.

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Clary Coulee–Rocky Mt. Front

Length: Approximately 4 miles total
Elevation gain: 1600 feet, (160 flights of stairs)
Meet: 8 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 7 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 85 miles, 1.75 hours, 3 miles on gravel road
Age limit: 8 and up in good shape; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 13
Difficulty Level: Moderate, but steep
Coordinator:  Travis Rixford and Jon Edwards
Note: Bear spray required

This is a great hike in the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Front that ends with a fantastic view of the plains. We will hike an established Forest Service trail that passes through remnants of an old wildfire and various segments of timbered forest.  The area offers an abundance of wildflowers, birds and small and large mammals. Please be sure to bring good, preferably waterproof, hiking boots, backpack with three liters of water, sunscreen, and high energy snacks and food. The hike is rated as difficult based on elevation gain, so it is important that all hikers be in shape and used to walking over uneven terrain and have good ankle strength.

Notes: This is grizzly bear country; please bring bear spray and be bear aware. This is an early season hike, so there may be sections of trail that are snow covered or muddy.

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First People’s Buffalo Jump

Length: 3 miles
Elevation gain: 500 feet (50 flights of stairs)
Meet: 9:30 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 3 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 18 miles
Age limit: None; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 20
Difficulty level: Moderate
Coordinator: Alice Southworth

View the famous buffalo jump with Ranger Alice Southworth from the park’s loop trail. Tread where ancient bison hunters procured mass quantities of meat and hides. Learn how the First Peoples used native plants to survive on the prairie. Hike is good for active families. View the exhibits in the Visitors‚Äô Center afterwards.

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Sulphur Springs Hike

Length: 3.6 miles
Elevation gain:  500 feet (50 flights of stairs)
Meet: 9:30 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time:  4 Hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  17 miles
Age limit: 8 and up; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 15
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Leaders: Darian Kath and Ray Tetreault

Sulphur Springs Trail is part of the Lewis & Clark Trail. It starts at a trailhead next to the Morony Dam (17 mile drive Northeast of Great Falls). Starting from the trailhead, it is a 1.8 mile hike to the Springs site. The terrain crosses through several small coulees. The trail follows the river through a rocky, native prairie landscape.This hike is a guided interpretive walk with topics ranging from native plants to the Lewis and Clark expedition.

On this hike you have to be in good physical shape; please bring insect repellent, hiking boots, backpack with about 3 liters of water, sunscreen, and high-energy snacks and food. We will hike at a moderate pace. The distance is 3.6 miles round trip, which we will cover in about three hours. We will take a snack break at the springs.

Hikers can expect great views and possibly wildlife, including rattlesnakes. Insect repellent is suggested as there are ticks and mosquitoes: a true Lewis and Clark experience! The hike coordinators are Darian Kath and Ray Tetreault, both staff at the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center.

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Windy Point–Highwoods

Length: 5 miles
Elevation gain:  1,000 feet (100 flights of stairs)
Meet: 9 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 6 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  45 miles, half on dirt road
Age limit: 6 and up if good hikers; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 15
Difficulty level: Moderate
Coordinators: Allison Borchert and Kathy Dunn

This moderate hike will take participants into the heart of the Highwood Mountains. We will have several small stream crossings as we climb a not-too-steep ridge for views into the lush green valleys and hills of our closest mountain range. We can expect to see a host of spring wildflowers, including shooting stars, arrow-leaf balsamroot and pasque flowers on this hike. The road is a gravel road. All wheel-drive is best.

Please note: this hike has several stream crossings. Waterproof boots and gaiters are recommended. Be sure young children are comfortable getting wet.

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Flesher Pass/Sculpture Garden

Length: 4 miles
Elevation gain:  400 feet (40 flights of stairs)
Meet: 9 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 7 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  85 miles, and then 20 to Sculpture Garden
Age limit: 6 and up if good hikers; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 15
Difficulty level: Moderate
Coordinators: Shelley Liknes, Jo Ann Wright and Catherine Lara
Note: Bear Spray required

Come hike the CDT: Continental Divide Trail where we can expect to see a host of wildflowers and fantastic views of the Rocky Mountains and their many subranges. This moderate hike in the Helena National Forest is along a raptor flyway, so we may see eagles and hawks, particularly golden eagles.

This hike is in grizzly country. Bear spray will be checked at the park and is a must.

After we finish our hike at Flesher, we will head down the road to the edge of the town of Lincoln to walk the half-mile trail through the Blackfoot Pathways: International Sculpture Garden to view  the artwork.  Read more here: http://www.sculptureinthewild.com/

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Square Butte

Length: 5 miles
Elevation gain:  1000 feet (100 flights of stairs)
Meet: 9 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time:  7 Hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead:  30 miles. 45 minutes
Age limit: 16 and up; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 12
Difficulty Level: Moderate, with uneven footing
Coordinators: Mike Dannells and Camille Consolvo
Note: This is snake country

Follow Camille Consolvo and Mike Dannells for a hike to the top of the iconic Square Butte near Cascade for panoramic views of the surrounding area. This hike is by permission of the private landowner; the group is expected to stay together, coming and going. In the event of rain, the road may not be drivable and hike may be canceled. Hike is in tick and rattlesnake country, so bring your walking stick. Hike requires some scrambling over rocks with exposure due to a recent rock slide. Those with a fear of heights should avoid this hike.

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Rogers Pass

Length: 3.5  miles
Elevation gain: 1,000 feet (100 flights of stairs)
Meet: 8:30 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 7 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 69 miles, 1.25 hours
Age limit: 10 and up in good shape; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 15
Difficulty Level: Difficult for steepness
Coordinators: Kathy Meier and Cathy Kuntz
Note: Bear spray required

Join Kathy Meier and Cathy Kuntz for a hike along the Continental Divide Trail where the coldest temperature in the lower 48 states was recorded. The pass was named for A.B. Rogers, a surveyor who discovered this saddle in 1887. Wildflowers will line our path all the way and culminate in a glorious display of alpine flowers including thousands of forget-me-nots on the ridge top. Hike is steep, so please be in shape for hiking for two hours uphill.
Notes: This is grizzly bear country; please bring bear spray and be bear aware. This is an early season hike, so there may be sections of trail that are snow covered.

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Muddy Creek Falls–RM Front

Length: 5.5  miles
Elevation gain: 500 feet (50 flights of stairs)
Meet: 8 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 8 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 90 miles, 2 hours, 38 miles dirt road
Age limit: 10 and up in good shape; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 15
Difficulty Level: Difficult for uneven terrain
Coordinator: Barb Long
Note: Bear spray required; rough gravel road. SUV advised.

This hike is a one-of-a-kind experience in the Rocky Mountain Front that ends in a fantastic waterfall. The trek starts on an old road, passing an old capped gas well, but quickly enters a slot canyon. You will follow the dry creek bed, where the water runs underground, but as the canyon narrows,  you will reach the point where the creek emerges above the ground. Finally, the slot comes to a dead end against giant boulders with the falls spilling from overhead.

In the alcove, it will be quite cool in the shadows, so we will put on our jackets while we enjoy our lunch sitting on the large rocks by the falls. Be sure to bring your sandals or water shoes to wade into the pool at the bottom of the falls for the full effect of the cascading spray! This hike has off-trail sections, and requires hikers to step over boulders and stream-bed rocks with uneven footing. Good footwear is a must.

Notes: This is grizzly bear country; please bring bear spray and be bear aware. This is an early season hike, so there may be sections of trail that are snow covered. The road is rough gravel and two track at times. SUV advised.

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Crown Butte All-Women’s Hike

Length: 5 miles
Elevation gain: 1000 feet (100 flights of stairs)
Meet: 9 am Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 6 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 35 miles, 50 minutes
Age limit: 8  and up in good shape; girls with legal guardian
Max. Number: 15
Difficulty Level: Difficult for steepness and length
Coordinators: Mary Somerfeld, Ida Johnson and  Lindy Hatcher
Note: High-clearance vehicles required

Come climb Crown Butte to find 360-degree views of where the Rocky Mountain Front mountains meet the plains. This butte is a unique example of a laccolith with gorgeous shonkinite formations covered in lime-green lichen. Eagle catches and teepee rings can be found on the butte along with native Montana grasses and a Nature Conservancy plaque. If we are lucky, we will catch a glimpse of the mule deer herd that inhabits the valleys on the butte. High clearance vehicles required. Hikers will be changed to Rodgers Peak if it rains, due to gumbo roads.

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Mount Wright Climb–RM Front

Length: 7 Miles
Elevation gain: 3,425 Feet (340 flights of stairs)
Meet: 8 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time: 8 Hours (Approximately 2 hours’ drive time each way)
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 90 Miles; two hours
Age limit: 16 and up; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 13
Difficulty Level: Expert
Coordinators: Sean Higginbotham  and Matt Washington
Note: Must bring bear spray; SUV advised

Description: A trip up to Mount Wright! This seven-mile, very strenuous round trip will give your legs and lungs a great workout as the journey is steep! This mountain sits in the Sawtooth Range of the Rocky Mountain Front. With an elevation of 8,875 feet, Mount Wright has views that are unparalleled for typical day hikes. You will see Corrugate Ridge, Washboard Reef, Mt Lockhart and a host of unnamed mountains. On a clear day, you can even see the majestic peaks of Glacier National Park.  It is not uncommon to see Big Horn Sheep in the area, so bring your cameras and field glasses!

Notes / Advisory: This is prime grizzly bear country; please bring bear spray and be bear aware. This is an early season hike, so there may be sections of trail that are snow covered. This is a remote area, and cellular devices may not have coverage. There is a short section of this trail that can give certain people a sense of exposure, please keep this in mind. There is limited cover from the elements during this hike. Thirty miles of the drive are on gravel. SUV advised.

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Arrow and Lava Peaks

Length:‚ÄĮ7.5 miles
Elevation gain:‚ÄĮ 2750 feet (275 flights of stairs)
Meet: 8:30 Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan
Total time:‚ÄĮ‚ÄĮ8-10 Hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead:‚ÄĮ 55 miles; 1 hour, 15 minutes
Age limit:‚ÄĮ13 and up; children with legal guardian
Max. Number:‚ÄĮ12
Difficulty Level:‚ÄĮExpert/Extremely Difficult
Coordinators:‚ÄĮDavid Schuler and Mercy Padgett
Note: This hike is a bushwhack (off trail); SUV advised; waterproof boots needed

Come enjoy a very steep, off-trail mountain climb in the Highwoods, with gorgeous views all around. This hike to Lava (7142 feet) and Arrow Peaks (7485 feet) is quite strenuous with 2750 feet of elevation gain, so it requires hikers be in excellent shape. In addition, we will be traveling at a moderate pace. This is the second tallest peak in the Highwood Mountain island range, which is volcanic in origin.

The hike will begin at trailhead off Country Road 208 about 55 miles east of Great Falls to the south of the mountain range. We will begin up the ridge to Lava Peak for about two miles, and then follow the ridge over to Arrow Peak. This hike is off trail; we will be going through forested areas and traveling on uneven ground.
We will follow the clearing up high then through some trees until we hit the igneous rocks near the summit. We will have lunch on the summit, enjoying the great views and possible wildlife.

Please be sure to bring good,‚ÄĮpreferably‚ÄĮwaterproof, hiking boots, backpack with‚ÄĮthree liters of water, sunscreen, and high energy snacks and food. We will be climbing over coarse rocks, so it is important that all hikers be in shape and used to walking over uneven terrain and have good ankle strength. Part of the road is on well-maintained gravel. SUV advised.

The hike coordinator David Schuler is retired U.S. Coast Guard, an experienced mountaineer, and currently serves on the advisory board for the Glacier Mountaineering Society and Get Fit Great Falls.

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