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  • Ross Morey
  • "What are the best hikes in Glacier National Park?"

Ross Morey

Belmont , California

What are the best hikes in Glacier National Park?

My wife and I are planning a trip to Glacier in July.  What are the best trails for experienced hikers?

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  • Anthony Gamell

    top answer by

    You can't go wrong with any hike in Glacier! They all provide spectacular scenery.

    Some of my favorite day hikes include:

    The Garden Wall trail: park at the only switch back on the Going To The Sun Road and take the shuttle to Logan Pass. From Logan Pass find the Garden Wall Trailhead. You'll enjoy incredible views! You can have lunch at Granite Park Chalet and hike back to your car. It's a 13.5 mile hike.

    http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/glacier-overlook-garden-wall-trail/

    Iceberg Lake: plan to stay at Many Glacier Lodge or camp in that area. Iceberg Lake is the payoff for a beautiful 4.8 mile hike one way. Even in August there are large chunks of ice floating in the gorgeous blue/green pure lake water. Go for a swim to really cool off!

    http://www.glacierhikers.com/iceberg-lake.html

    Grinnell Glacier Hike: this hike also originates from the Many Glaciers area. I love this hike as it has stunning views almost the entire time. It's a bit shorter than Iceberg Lake at 7.6 miles round trip but if I remember right it has a bit more elevation to hike up.

    Enjoy!

    BONUS HIKE:

    Hidden Lake: drive to Logan Pass and pick up the boardwalk from the visitors center and hike to Hidden Lake. Go past the overlook to the lake. This trail is really busy but a nice hike after driving the Going-to-the-Sun road.

    http://www.glacierhikers.com/hidden-lake.html


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    • Ross M.

      Ross M.

      Thank you -- this is awesome info. We're so excited to hit the trails! · (0 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      ha, am loving your "bonus" hike! · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Garden Wall (attraction)
    2. Going To The Sun Road (attraction)
    3. Logan Pass (attraction)
    4. Granite Park Chalet (attraction)
    5. Iceberg Lake (attraction)
    6. Many Glacier Lodge (hotel)
    7. Grinnell Glacier (attraction)
    8. Hidden Lake (attraction)

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  • Matt Baney

    answered first by

    There are many good trails in Glacier! In July you will be a little bit early for many of the high-country trails. Are you wanting day-hikes or over-night backpacking hikes?? The Many Glacier valley is very popular and has many great hikes..

    Iceberg Lake is one of the most popular day hikes in Glacier, but can be very busy.. I prefer Ptarmigan Tunnel, its on the same main route, but branches off about 3/4 of the way to Iceberg. The tunnel is interesting and the views are very nice, although I'm not sure when the tunnel will open, it depends on the snow level..

    On the other side of the valley the hike to Grinnell Glacier is very nice, again great views but a bit longer and steeper than Iceberg. The day hike from Logan Pass to Granite Park Chalet and then over Swiftcurrent Pass and back down to Many Glacier Campground is an excellent day hike, but its a bit long (15-18 miles?) and you will need to use a shuttle bus, or work out a drop off or pickup ride. Also on the east side is the Siyeh Pass loop hike, its approximately 12 miles and 2500 ft elevation gain, you can catch a park shuttle bus to the trail head at Siyeh Bend on the Going to the Sun Road, then hike up to Preston Park and Siyeh Pass and back down to the highway at Sunrift Gorge and catch a shuttle back to your car..

    Also on the eastside is the Pitamakan Pass Dawson Pass loop hike from the Two Medicine Lake campground. Its a great hike, with some spectacular views, and you can cutoff the last 2-3 miles and take a boat ride across the lake if you time things right!

    The hike to the Hidden Lake overlook from Logan Pass is short and crowded but the views are great! I would suggest doing it early in the day to beat the crowd, and if you're adventurous you can make a side trip to the Dragon's Tail, the rangers at the Logan Pass visitors center can help you with directions. Mt. Oberlin is another nice hike from Logan Pass, I've heard it described as the easiest summit in Glacier, spectacular views, again the rangers can help you with directions, both Dragon's Tail and Mt Oberlin are not official trails but the routes are well used and easy to find.

    On the west side, I'd suggest Avalanche Lake and Apgar Lookout Trailhead, and Sperry Chalet would be another possibility.


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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Wow, this is really amazing insight, Matt! You clearly know the park well! By the way, team Trippy has helped you geo-tag all of the places that you mentioned for easier visualization. You can do this in future answers by typing the @-symbol and the name of the place you want to tag as you're typing your answer! :) · (0 likelikes)

    • Ross M.

      Ross M.

      Thanks a bunch Matt -- all these hikes sound terrific! · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Many Glacier (attraction)
    2. Iceberg Lake (attraction)
    3. Ptarmigan Tunnel (attraction)
    4. Grinnell Glacier (attraction)
    5. Logan Pass (attraction)
    6. Granite Park Chalet (attraction)
    7. Siyeh Pass (attraction)
    8. Siyeh Bend (attraction)
    9. Preston Park (park)
    10. Sunrift Gorge (attraction)
    11. Pitamakan Pass (attraction)
    12. Dawson Pass (attraction)
    13. Two Medicine Lake (attraction)
    14. Hidden Lake (attraction)
    15. Dragon's Tail (attraction)
    16. Mt. Oberlin (attraction)
    17. Avalanche Lake (attraction)
    18. Apgar Lookout Trailhead (attraction)
    19. Sperry Chalet (attraction)

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  • Michelle C

    answered by

    Glacier National Park is full of absolutely beautiful hikes. Some of the most popular hikes are Highline Trail, Hidden Lake Trail to the Overlook, Avalanche Lake, and St.Mary Fallsand Virginia Falls. When planning for these hikes keep in mind that parking is limited! During peak season starting before 9 a.m. or using the shuttle bus is key.

    Highline trail is an 11.6 mile loop and is absolutely beautiful, the first half of this hike is often called the Garden Wall, a fitting name. The views from this trail are absolutely astounding.

    When we hiked Hidden Lake Overlook we experienced beautiful views, interactions with wildlife, and even a bear sighting (from a distance). An absolutely worthwhile adventure.

    Avalanche Lake is a 2 mile hike that runs parallel with the Trail of the Cedars, a beautiful boardwalk, and has a beautiful view of the creek.

    St. Mary’s and Virginia Falls is a great warm up hike at only 3 miles! This is a great start to your hiking adventure and the waterfalls are unlike any other.

    If you want to learn more about our experiences on these trails (and see oh so many beautiful pictures) please visit our blog post detailing our experiences: http://intentionaltravelers.com/exploring-glacier-national-park/.

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    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Highline Trail (unknown)
    2. Hidden Lake Trail (unknown)
    3. Avalanche Lake (attraction)
    4. St.Mary Falls (attraction)
    5. Virginia Falls (attraction)

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  • Matt Merkel

    answered by

    Glomming onto this question... have any of those who posted answers here encountered any bears while hiking in Glacier NP? I'm planning a visit next September and would like to know how to be prepared for just such an encounter.

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    • Ross M.

      Ross M.

      We were there in early July, so much of the hiking discussed in this thread wasn't accessible yet. We didn't run into any bears while hiking, but we did carry bear spray and made noise while hiking. While we were hiking to Grinnel Glacier, some other hikers let us know that they ran into a bear near Lake Josephine. Couldn't tell you if it was a black bear or a grizzly. Have a great time! · (0 likelikes)

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