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16 Best Glacier National Park Hikes

16 Best Glacier National Park Hikes


Located in Montana, Glacier National Park affords many nice mountain climbing experiences. The park is stuffed with superb pure wonders of recent blue lakes, imposing mountains and awe-inspiring glaciers.

With greater than 700 miles of each brief hikes and prolonged backpacking trails, it’s straightforward to seek out one you’ll love. Here are my picks for the 16 finest Glacier National Park hikes. This put up was initially written by Julie from Outdoorzer who shared her shared her must-see trails whenever you go to Glacier National Park and The Planet D workforce has added extra selection that can assist you plan your journey.

Hiking Glacier National Park

Before you begin your hike, plan for a secure mountain climbing expertise. Stop on the park’s guests heart to get all the data you want, suggestions from the guides, and any particular warnings. Visit the National Park web site for closures and extra data.

When mountain climbing Glacier National Park: Be conscious of bears and cougars (mountain lions) and use correct security precautions. Hiking in teams or pairs lowers the danger, make noise, and don’t go away any meals out to draw animals. 

Plus, don’t neglect to let somebody know the place you’re going. Be positive to have sufficient water, meals, and provides ought to something occur. We at all times carry a primary first assist package when mountain climbing. But most significantly, deliver a way of journey and have enjoyable whenever you attempt one in every of these superb hikes.

1. Ptarmigan Tunnel

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Ptarmigan Tunnel is a troublesome however lovely hike.

The Ptarmigan Tunnel is a full day Glacier National Park hike. This is an unbelievable path, as a result of whenever you come out on the different aspect of the tunnel, you’re feeling such as you’ve walked into one other world.

When passing by this 240-foot tunnel, you hike by massive meadows full of wildlife in addition to a dense forest. Keep in thoughts that this tunnel was constructed for horses throughout the Thirties and it’s full of assorted slopes and edge ridges.

After you move Ptarmigan Falls, the path will get loads steeper, so be ready for some robust mountain climbing throughout this part. It then continues for about 1.6 miles to Ptarmigan Lake, the place you may loosen up and admire among the most lovely surroundings within the space. Be ready for an extended day.

Location: Ptarmigan Tunnel Total Distance: 10.7 miles spherical journey Elevation Gain: 2300 ft

2. Swiftcurrent Pass

best hikes in glacier national park montana swift current pass
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Swiftcurrent Pass has attractive surroundings and the prospect to see a lot of wildlife.

This is a tough Glacier National Park hike nevertheless it’s price it for the nice surroundings. This hike passes by three lakes and a spectacular waterfall. Throughout your hike, it’s possible you’ll spy on among the rarest and most colourful birds all through the six lakes.

You may also see the attractive Granite Park. In truth, throughout this hike, you may get among the most unbelievable photos of the blue lake and the encircling mountains. If you want, cease at Fishercap Lake, the place you would possibly see moose within the mornings or early within the night.

Length: Location: Many Glacier Round Trip 14.2 miles Elevation Gain: 2400 Feet

3. Iceberg Lake

(*16*)
Check out some icebergs in Iceberg Lake

This is among the hottest mountain climbing experiences in Montana’s Glacier National Park. It additionally provides you the alternative to see icebergs floating in an alpine lake. When you hike right here you move by many open areas alongside the way in which that offer you excellent vistas of the peaceable mountains round you.

This hike takes about 4-hours to finish and begins on the identical path because the Ptarmigan path. It then veers off to the left on the junction. Be conscious of grizzly bears on this hike.

Location: Iceberg Ptarmigan Trailhead Length:Round Trip: 9.7 miles Average Gain: 1275 Feet

4. Cracker Lake

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Cracker Lake is among the most lovely lakes on this planet.

Cracker Lake is taken into account to be one of the vital lovely lakes on this planet. The superb coloration of the lake is a crystal clear aqua blue and makes all of the surroundings round you much more fantastic.

Location: Trailhead begins at Many Glacier Hotel Length: Round Trip: 12.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1400 Feet

Looking for a extra in depth information to Glacier National Park Hikes? Pick up a duplicate of Glacier National Park Must Do Hikes for Everyone for under $10.99 on Amazon

5. Pitamakan Pass Trail

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Hikes on Pitamakan Trail are restricted because of snow a lot of the yr.

This peaceable path goes over the ridge of Rising Wolf Mountain, passes a waterfall from Sky Lake, and finally ends up at Oldman Lake. From there the path switchbacks as much as Pitamakan Pass. Keep in thoughts although that as a result of snow, this received’t possible be satisfactory till late July and even August.

Here you may climb up the excessive hills, then drop again down, almost 3,000 ft. You additionally should hike a really slender path so be ready. Expect an extended and full day

Location: North Shore Trailhead Length: Round Trip: 15.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2500 ft

6. Grinnell Glacier Trail

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Grinnell Glacier is among the most iconic glaciers in Glacier National Park.

This hike takes you to one of the vital iconic glaciers within the park. You move numerous lakes, superb meadows, and beautiful cliffs alongside the way in which. The first half of the hike is simpler than the second half. It then turns into harder because it rises steeply with a number of slopes.

But it’s price it as you may see some superb vistas over Grinnell Falls, Angel Wing, and Grinnell Lake. The mountain climbing path is nicely maintained and it’s possible you’ll encounter wildlife sightings alongside the way in which. No pets allowed

Location: Grinnell Glacier Trailhead Length: Out and Back: 7.6-miles Elevation Gain: 1840 Feet

7. Siyeh Pass

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Siyeh Pass takes you thru rocky slopes and the Sunrift Gorge.

This path hike begins in a forest and takes you to numerous peaks. Hike the rocky slopes after which go down by extra meadows to the Sunrift Gorge. Follow the path by the timber for about 2.5 miles after which head as much as Preston Park.

Be positive to take a little bit of time to admire the attractive surroundings throughout you earlier than you descend over 3,000 ft for the subsequent 5.4 miles the place you’ll find yourself on the Sunrift Gorge.

Length: Round Trip: 8.9 miles Elevation Gain: 2090 Feet

8. Two Medicine Area

best hikes in glacier national park two mediciine area
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The Two Medicine Area is a good place for mountain climbing and tenting in Glacier National Park.

Located on the north a part of town of East Glacier, this unbelievable space affords extra jaw dropping surroundings and a few nice mountain climbing. The trails are extra peaceable than those at the start line (situated close to the Many Glacier lodge). It’s a very good are to hike in Glacier National Park if you’re a newbie.

You can even take a picket boat tour on this space and you’ll find some improbable tenting. At roughly 1.5 miles you emerge from the forest to be greeted by lush meadows and different vegetation. During your hike, you’ll move by a big open meadow and open terrain with colourful wild flowers. If you would like, you may spend the night time tenting right here.

Location: Two Medicine Entrance Two Medicine day hikes embody, Appistoki Falls, Aster Falls, Aster Park Overlook

9. Dawson Pass

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Dawson Pass takes you by Oldman Lake and a number of other waterfalls.

Hiking the 15-mile Dawson Pass takes you as much as superb views of Oldman Lake. This path crosses the Dawson and Pitamakan passes taking you by peaceable scenes and waterfalls alongside the way in which. If you need to shave a while off your hike you may take the shuttle boat throughout Two Medicine Lake.

Location: North Shore Trailhead Length: 6.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2450 ft

10. Hidden Lake Trail

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While the Hidden Lake Trail is a reasonably brief path, the altitude makes it fairly difficult. The path is totally open, count on a lot of solar and wind as you stroll by alpine meadows. Depending on the season, you would possibly even should work throughout snowfields.

Keep an eye fixed out for marmots, and big-horn sheep. Mountain goats are widespread on this path and recognizing one makes it fairly the journey. Grizzly bears have been seen within the space as nicely. At the overlook, you’re rewarded with panoramic views of the close by mountains, lake, and wildflowers, nevertheless, it may be very busy on the overlook. A very breathtaking expertise that makes your Hidden Lake hike nicely price it. If you may, carry bear spray and a mountain climbing pole.

Location: Logan Pass Visitor Center Elevation achieve: 1325 ft (403 ft) Total spherical journey miles: 5.4 miles (8.9 km)

11. Avalanche Lake

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This hike begins on the Trail of Cedars trailhead. While it’s an uphill climb you’ll be rewarded with one of the vital breathtaking views. The terrain on this path isn’t difficult making avalanche lake one of the vital common hikes for all ages.

There are a lot of timber alongside the path that preserve it cool with some greater than 500 years previous. You’ll move a bridge that crosses Avalanche Gorge and be handled to views of Bearfoot Mountain jutting out from behind Avalanche Lake.

Take a while to arrange a picnic and take within the picturesque of the lake and the waterfalls as you benefit from the diversified panorama of the avalanche creek and forest. While the water on the lake is usually ice-cold and never splendid for swimming, you dip your toes in to loosen up and funky down.

Location: Glacier Road north of Lake McDonald Elevation achieve: 757 ft Avalanche Lake Distance: 5.9 miles

12. Trail of the Cedars

hikes in glacier nationla park trail of the Cedars
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Trail of the Cedars has no hills or steps to climb and is one in every of two wheelchair-accessible trails at Glacier National Park. It’s a straightforward path with lovely views of cascading waterfalls and snow-covered peaks. Walk amongst shadows of big cedar, black cottonwood, hemlock, and yew timber. The paths are large and might accommodate many individuals directly. Getting a parking spot might be difficult as this mountain climbing path may be very common amongst guests.

Location: Lake McDonald Elevation achieve: 60 ft Total spherical journey miles: 1.0

13. Highline Trail

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Highline Trail might be one of many spectacular hikes at Glacier National Park. However, it’s not for the faint of coronary heart. If you’re scared o heights it’s possible you’ll need to move on this path as on the primary quarter mile you come throughout a steep ledge. There is a hand cable to help you on this stretch, nevertheless, it may be fairly nerve-wracking particularly when it will get windy.

Don’t let this discourage you as this path rewards you with spectacular views of Glacier National Park, the forested valley, waterfall cascades, alpine meadows, and wildflowers. You would possibly even spot some wild animals.

You don’t must do your entire a method journey, many individuals flip round midway at Haystack Butte or Granite Park Chalet.

Location: Logan Pass Visitor Center Elevation achieve: 1950 ft Total One-Way Trip Miles: 11.8

14. Grinnell Glacier Overlook

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If you’re in search of a problem, attempt the Grinnell Glacier Overlook, which might be one of the vital strenuous mountain climbing trails at Glacier National Park. Starting the hike on the Logan Pass Visitor Center the place the Highline Trail begins. Located southeast of the Granite Park Chalet it takes you to the Continental Divide.

Set out early earlier than the solar will get too scorching as the primary three miles are open with no shade. Sunscreen and hats are a must have on this stretch. Bring a lot of water and a pair of excellent mountain climbing footwear because the path can take some time- about 7 hours or extra relying in your pace. A trekking pole will make your hike simpler.

The path is common with seasoned hikers and might be fairly busy, there are additionally elements with slender edges and steep drop-offs that be fairly nerve-wracking. You would possibly spot some mountain goats and even grizzly bears down within the alpine meadows within the Chalet space.

Location: Highline Trail Elevation achieve: 2830 ft Total journey miles: 15.5

15. Upper McDonald Creek Trail

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The Upper McDonald creek path is among the many simpler hikes at Glacier National Park. It’s a straightforward route within the woods that may be accomplished in beneath 2 hours. Perfect if you happen to’re in search of a peaceable meditative hike.

The terrain is usually flat and really clean making it common amongst chook watchers and for horseback using. The hike begins with scenic views of waterfalls, creeks, and the forest. There is a lot of shade obtainable which retains the path very cool. If you’re fortunate, you would possibly spot a moose or deer on the path.

Location: Lake McDonald Elevation achieve: 210 ft Total out and again miles: 5.3 Miles

16. Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail

glacier national park hikes Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail
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The hike begins on the many glacier lodge boat dock or on the Grinnell Glacier trailhead simply close to the picnic space. The hike is pretty straightforward and might be accomplished in an hour as a big portion of the route is paved. It’s an excellent route for the entire household to get pleasure from a pleasant and stress-free hike with lovely views throughout for images. Take a second to get pleasure from lovely views of the lake and the encircling mountain peaks. Carry with you bear spray as there may be plenty of bear exercise within the space.

Location: Many Glacier Elevation achieve: 25 ft Total spherical journey miles: 2.7

Likes in Glacier National Park Map

Tips for Hiking Glacier National Park

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When mountain climbing within the backcountry, it’s best to hike in teams. There is plenty of wildlife in Glacier National Park together with Grizzly bears. When mountain climbing with a gaggle, make noise, preserve speaking and let the wildlife know you’re there so that you just don’t startle them.

Get a Steripen or LifeStraw to fill your water bottle with purified water. Make positive you may have a bottle holder in your backpack and preserve it full. I like to hold two bottles of water that I can refill through the use of my Steripen.

Pack layers. You will probably be going by elevation beneficial properties and the climate can change from scorching to chill, so put on light-weight breathable clothes that may be simply layered with a rain jacket and a mid-layer of merino wool.

Make positive your mountain climbing boots are nicely damaged in and use them earlier than you go mountain climbing into Glacier National Park.

Always let somebody know the place you’re going earlier than mountain climbing and examine with the web site and ranger station to see what the circumstances are.

And there you may have it, my favourite 16 Glacier National Park hikes. Remember, you don’t have to complete any of those hikes as there may be at all times a chance to show round.

Give your self sufficient time when mountain climbing to make it again earlier than the solar goes down and don’t hike past your limits. Glacier National Park has hikes for everybody, so be good and hike inside your capabilities. Start small and have enjoyable!

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Did you recognize Glacier National Park within the United States is linked to Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park? The two parks are generally known as the International Peace Park, they’re a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a Biosphere Reserved rolled multi function. It’s the one one in every of its form on this planet.

This put up was initially written by Julie Mclain of Outdoorszer. It has been up to date by The Planet D Team.

Thinking of doing a little Glacier National Park hikes? Pick up the entire information to mountain climbing Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks on Amazon. 

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