Best Hikes in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park’s Most Popular Hikes For All Abilities

Glacier National Park in Montana is a stunning beauty owing to its many glaciers, deep blue lakes, the snow capped mountains, the pretty wildflowers that make it a popular destination for hiking and backpacking. It has hikes and trails of different levels of difficulties and hikers can choose one depending on their experience.  Nonetheless, a hike in Glacier National Park is sure to leave you breathless with its beauty. In this article, let us take a look at four of the most popular hikes in Glacier National Park, among many others.

Grinnell Glacier

Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

The trailhead begins at the Many Glacier Road, which after a short walk along the road joins the Grinnell Glacier trail. The initial part of the trail is mostly flat and along the northern shores of the Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine, after which the ascent begins. You also have the option of choosing boat rides past the two lakes ( around 3.4 miles of hiking ), and begin the hike from the south end of Lake Josephine.

The hike from this point is a steep climb, and the views get better and better as you make your way up. In less than a mile’s hike, you get stunning views of the Grinnell Lake in the Grinnell Glacier. The color of the lake is pure emerald, that is acquired from glacial flour, the stones crushed by the glaciers into powders that settle at the lake.

As the trail continues to climb, you get beautiful views of the alpine meadows and the wildflowers that adorn your path. Continue your way along the trailhead and after a few switchbacks, you get to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook from where you get views of the Grinnel lake and the Garden Wall. Shortly after, you arrive at the Grinnell lake where you can spend some time and then start back.

Difficulty Level: Difficult
Distance: 7.6 miles round trip
Elevation: 6515 feet

Highline Loop

The Highline loop is one of the most popular hikes in Glacier National Park. The trail begins at the Logan Pass parking lot which takes you through meadows, creeks, rivers and scenic views all through, especially from the Logan and McDonald Creek valleys. As you get past the valleys, and a steep climb, you arrive at the Haystack pass that is a popular lunch spot. Continuing along the trailhead will join the Grinnell Glacier Overlook shortly which gives you the best views of the Upper Grinnell Lake and the Grinnell Glacier. From the junction, you make your way up to the to the Granite Park Chalet, from where it is mostly downhill to the loop.

Fifty Mountain Backcountry Campground is a popular campground where you could camp the night after finishing this hike.

Difficulty Level: Difficult
Distance: 11.4 miles round trip
Elevation: 7280 feet

Cracker Lake

Cracker Lake Glacier National Park

The hike to the Cracker Lake begins from the Cracker Lake trailhead, with the first few miles of the trail through a thick forest where you get beautiful views of the Cracker Flats Area. The hike through the forest continues for around 3 miles, and as you emerge from it, you get the majestic views of the Canyon Creek, and the Cracker lake at a distance. Continue along the trailhead and at 5 miles from the trailhead, you arrive at an overlook from where you get to see the Cracker Lake in its full glory, 400 feet below. The turquoise blue lake and the multi-colored sedimentary rocks surrounding the lake, make the hike worth it.

Difficulty Level: Difficult
Distance: 12.6 miles round trip
Elevation: 6035 feet

Siyeh Pass Loop

Siyeh Pass Glacier National Park

The Siyeh Pass loop begins at the Siyeh Bend trailhead and gradually climbs up to the pass. The first few miles of the trail follows along the Siyeh Creek after which it continues into the forest. At around one mile after entering the forest, you reach the Piegan Pass Trail junction from where you need to take a right and continue the hike up to Preston Park, which is a very picturesque place to stand by and bask in the beauty of the place. The alpine meadows get bigger and gorgeous as you proceed on your way, with the pinewood trees and flowers making it all the more pretty.

After crossing the Preston Park, you reach the end of hiking the Siyeh Creek but the actual adventure to the Siyeh Pass begins here. It is the most difficult part of the hike with switchbacks and after you finally reach the Siyeh Pass, you get views of the Goat mountain, Mt. Siyeh and the Matahpi Peak.

Distance: 10.4 miles round trip
Elevation: 8100 feet
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult

That is it for the article guys! I hope this article has helped you choose your next hiking spot in Glacier National Park. Have fun and most importantly stay safe!

Have you hiked up any of these destinations in Glacier National Park, or are you planning one in the near future? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear your experiences :)

Point to Note: Glacier National Park is bear prone, so it is necessary to be educated on Bear Safety. Check out this guide for tips on Bear Safety.

About The Author: Mark Bennett is an American writer and traveler, whose major inspiration has been camping with his father ever since his childhood. He aims to visit 75 countries before he’s 30. You can also follow his adventures on his site Outdoorily.


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