15 Best Hikes in Glacier National ParkPin

15 Best Hikes in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Parks is best known for the epic Going to the Sun Road drive through the park. The drive gives you amazing views and pullouts, but if you want to see the best views in the park, you need to hop onto the trails. There are dozens of hikes in the park for every skill level, but to help you get started, we’ve put together a round up of the best hikes at Glacier National Park.

Best Hikes in Glacier National Park Montana // localadventurer.com

Before hitting the trail, be sure to stop by a Visitor Center and talk to the rangers. Hikes are closed through the majority of the year due to snowfall. Even during our visit at the end of June, some of the trails we wanted to hike were still closed. Also, whether you’re doing a long or short hike, it’s best to have bear spray with you. Before your visit, check out our post on everything you need to know about Glacier National Park. You are in bear country, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

15 BEST HIKES IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

HIKES IN LAKE MCDONALD AREA

1. Avalanche Lake
Distance: 2.3 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
This is one of the most popular hikes in the park. It may not be the most beautiful lake in the park, but it’s a relatively easy hike and is also easy to access. Following the creek up the gorge, you’re rewarded with a view of a lake fed by waterfalls.

2. Trail of The Cedars
Distance: .7 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 0
This hike is a really quick stop and is wheelchair accessible. There are interpretive signs throughout the path, and you get to see the creek rush through the gorge for a great photo opp!

HIKES IN LOGAN PASS AREA

3. Hidden Lake Overlook
Distance: 1.4 Miles One-Way
Elevation: Gain 460 feet
Starting at the Logan Pass visitor center, take this short trail to see Hidden Lake. On the way, you’ll get panoramic views and wildflowers. Because of its elevation, snow is typically there until mid-July. You can also hike an additional 1.2 miles to the lake itself.

4. Highline Loop/Trail
Distance: 11.5 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 1950 Feet
This is the most iconic hike in the park and on most hikers bucket list. You see the park’s high country, stunning peaks, wildflowers, and you might spot some wildlife too.

5. Piegan Pass
Distance: 4.5 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 1740 Feet
This hike is far less crowded than Highline but offers some equally spectacular views.

HIKES IN MANY GLACIER AREA

6. Cracker Lake Hike
Distance: 6.4 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 1400 Feet
This is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The turquoise color is unreal, but you do have to earn it by trekking through the forest. To really make it worth your while, you can book a campsite right near the lake and stay to enjoy the views.

7. Grinnell Glacier Hike
Distance: 5.3 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 1600 Feet
Grinnell Glacier is the most easily accessible glacier in the park, and since you’re at Glacier National Park, it’s worth checking out. You can also extend the hike to get a view of the milky blue Grinnell Lake.

8. Iceberg Lake Hike
Distance: 4.8 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 1200 Feet
The lakes in Glacier National Park are stunning. This one is unique because you get to see icebergs floating in the lake too!

9. Ptarmigan Tunnel
Distance: 5.3 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 2300 Feet
The highlight of this hike is the 240-foot tunnel that was originally built for horses and early park tours. You get amazing views on both sides and the slopes are frequented by bighorn sheep and grizzlies.

10. Swiftcurrent Pass
Distance: 6.8 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 2300 Feet
This is a tough hike but is chock-full of amazing scenery. You’ll get a chance to see three lakes and waterfall on the way up. Afterwards, you’ll get an overlook of six lakes and Swiftcurrent Glacier. You can even see Heavens Peak and Granite Park!

ST. MARY AREA

11. Saint Mary Falls
Distance: 1.2 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 260 Feet
This is one of the most popular hikes in the St. Mary valley because of its relative ease and beautiful waterfall. You can also check out Virginia Falls in the same area.

12. Siyeh Pass Loop
Distance: 5.5 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 3440 Feet
This stunning hike takes you through Preston Park and climbs to one of the highest maintained trails. The hike ends at Sunrift Gorge, which is the perfect view before hopping back on the shuttle.

TWO MEDICINE AREA

13. Pitamakan Pass
Distance: 7.6 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gains: 2400 Feet
Pitamakan Pass offers dramatic views and you can see five lakes on either side of you. Dawson Pass is also a popular hike in the area.

14. Scenic Point
Distance: 3.9 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 2350 Feet
This is a tough hike! You gain a lot of elevation in a short amount of time. Fortunately, it lives up to its name with a beautiful view at the end.

15. Upper Two Medicine
Distance: 5 Miles One-Way
Elevation Gain: 350 Feet
Two Medicine is a beautiful area to get away from the crowds especially when Going to the Sun Road is open. Enjoy the serene lake and keep your eyes out for wildlife in the area especially during dawn and dusk.

That’s it on our list! We can’t wait to head back to do many more of the hikes. Hopefully, the next time we go, they will all be open! Also, be sure see 9 Incredible Things to Do in Glacier National Park  (besides hiking of course!).

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Have you been to Glacier National Park or are you planning visiting? What are your favorite hikes at Glacier National Park?

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ESTHER + JACOB

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 25 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city every year and currently base themselves in NYC.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. THANK YOU so much for this. I have been planning a trip to Glacier and have been struggling with figuring out where all the hikes are. Thanks for such an organized list. I will definitely be using this for my planning.

    1. So glad you found this helpful, Danielle! Hope you get to check out some amazing hikes there :)

  2. Thanks for your awesome suggestions! We didn’t have time to do much hiking but we really look forward to our return back to Glacier. What a great list :) Hope you don’t mind but I linked your blog post on my own about a day trip in Glacier National Park. Thanks again!

    Tam

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