Almost 3,000 hikers a week make their way along the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park in Montana. Some wander a few hundred yards to take in the view. Others use it as a jumping-off point for long backcountry trips.
“The Highline is probably one of the most popular trails in the park,” said Denise Germann, spokeswoman for Glacier National Park.
All of that use led to some wear and tear, which is why it will get some work done to it this fall. The project will result in a much-improved trail for a variety of hikers, Germann said. In addition, the rehabilitation will make this section much safer and reduce resource damage from hikers skirting around rough tread and rocks.
A series of handrails offer something for hikers to hold on to as they make their way along the cliff. Those handrails are actually old garden hoses, which will be replaced. Instead, hundreds of feet of cable will be used. Some of the anchors for the cable will be replaced as well.
The project will reconstruct the first quarter-mile of the trail, including work on some switchbacks that have eroded over the years.
“That includes some rock work,” Germann said.
It also includes the trailhead, which has widened over the years as visitors have wandered off trail.
Crews will also work to stabilize and widen a section of trail in the Rimrock area.
The project comes with a $40,000 price tag. The Glacier National Park Conservancy contributed $20,000 for the project, which was matched with National Park Service Centennial Cost Share funds.