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16 Best Glacier National Park Hikes

16 Best Glacier National Park Hikes


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

With greater than 700 miles of each quick hikes and prolonged backpacking trails, it’s simple to seek out one you’ll love. Here are my picks for the 16 greatest Glacier National Park hikes. This publish 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 staff has added extra selection that will help you plan your journey.

Hiking Glacier National Park

Before you begin your hike, plan for a protected mountain climbing expertise. Stop on the park’s guests middle 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 chance, make noise, and don’t depart any meals out to draw animals. 

Plus, don’t overlook to let somebody know the place you’re going. Be positive to have sufficient water, meals, and provides ought to something occur. We all the time carry a primary first support package when mountain climbing. But most significantly, carry a way of journey and have enjoyable whenever you strive considered one of these superb hikes.

1. Ptarmigan Tunnel

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Ptarmigan Tunnel is a tricky however stunning hike.

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

When passing by way of this 240-foot tunnel, you hike by way of huge meadows stuffed with 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 cross Ptarmigan Falls, the path will get rather a lot steeper, so be ready for some powerful mountain climbing throughout this part. It then continues for about 1.6 miles to Ptarmigan Lake, the place you possibly can loosen up and admire among the most stunning surroundings within the space. Be ready for an extended day.

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

2. Swiftcurrent Pass

best hikes in glacier national park montana swift current pass
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Swiftcurrent Pass has beautiful surroundings and the prospect to see numerous wildlife.

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

You may even see the beautiful Granite Park. In reality, throughout this hike, you will get among the most unimaginable pictures of the blue lake and the encompassing mountains. If you want, cease at Fishercap Lake, the place you may 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 likely one of 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 cross by way of many open areas alongside the best way 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 likely one of the most stunning lakes on the earth.

Cracker Lake is taken into account to be some of the stunning lakes on the earth. 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

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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 seemingly be satisfactory till late July and even August.

Here you possibly can climb up the excessive hills, then drop again down, almost 3,000 toes. You additionally need to hike a really slim path so be ready. Expect an extended and full day

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

6. Grinnell Glacier Trail

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Grinnell Glacier is likely one of the most iconic glaciers in Glacier National Park.

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

But it’s price it as you possibly can see some superb vistas over Grinnell Falls, Angel Wing, and Grinnell Lake. The mountain climbing path is effectively maintained and you might encounter wildlife sightings alongside the best way. 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 varied peaks. Hike the rocky slopes after which go down by way of extra meadows to the Sunrift Gorge. Follow the path by way of the bushes 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 toes for the following 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 the town of East Glacier, this unimaginable space presents extra jaw dropping surroundings and a few nice mountain climbing. The trails are extra peaceable than those at the place to begin (situated close to the Many Glacier lodge). It’s a very good are to hike in Glacier National Park in case you are a newbie.

You can even take a wood boat tour on this space and you will discover 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 cross by way of a big open meadow and open terrain with colourful wild flowers. If you would like, you possibly can spend the evening tenting right here.

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

9. Dawson Pass

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Dawson Pass takes you by Oldman Lake and several 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 way of peaceable scenes and waterfalls alongside the best way. If you wish to shave a while off your hike you possibly can take the shuttle boat throughout Two Medicine Lake.

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

10. Hidden Lake Trail

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While the Hidden Lake Trail is a reasonably quick path, the altitude makes it fairly difficult. The path is totally open, anticipate numerous solar and wind as you stroll by way of alpine meadows. Depending on the season, you may even need to 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 effectively. At the overlook, you’re rewarded with panoramic views of the close by mountains, lake, and wildflowers, nonetheless, it may be very busy on the overlook. A very breathtaking expertise that makes your Hidden Lake hike effectively price it. If you possibly can, carry bear spray and a mountain climbing pole.

Location: Logan Pass Visitor Center Elevation achieve: 1325 toes (403 toes) 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 can be rewarded with some of the breathtaking views. The terrain on this path isn’t difficult making avalanche lake some of the standard hikes for all ages.

There are numerous bushes alongside the path that preserve it cool with some greater than 500 years outdated. You’ll cross 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 diverse panorama of the avalanche creek and forest. While the water on the lake is generally ice-cold and never excellent for swimming, you dip your toes in to loosen up and funky down.

Location: Glacier Road north of Lake McDonald Elevation achieve: 757 toes 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 considered one of two wheelchair-accessible trails at Glacier National Park. It’s a simple path with stunning views of cascading waterfalls and snow-covered peaks. Walk amongst shadows of large cedar, black cottonwood, hemlock, and yew bushes. The paths are broad and might accommodate many individuals without delay. Getting a parking spot will be difficult as this mountain climbing path could be very standard amongst guests.

Location: Lake McDonald Elevation achieve: 60 toes 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 isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. If you’re scared o heights you might wish to cross 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, nonetheless, 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 may even spot some wild animals.

You don’t have to do your complete a technique journey, many individuals flip round midway at Haystack Butte or Granite Park Chalet.

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

14. Grinnell Glacier Overlook

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If you’re on the lookout for a problem, strive the Grinnell Glacier Overlook, which might be some of the 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 sizzling as the primary three miles are open with no shade. Sunscreen and hats are a must have on this stretch. Bring numerous water and a pair of fine 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 standard with seasoned hikers and will be fairly busy, there are additionally components with slim edges and steep drop-offs that be fairly nerve-wracking. You may spot some mountain goats and even grizzly bears down within the alpine meadows within the Chalet space.

Location: Highline Trail Elevation achieve: 2830 toes 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 simple route within the woods that may be accomplished in below 2 hours. Perfect when you’re on the lookout for a peaceable meditative hike.

The terrain is generally flat and really clean making it standard amongst hen watchers and for horseback driving. The hike begins with scenic views of waterfalls, creeks, and the forest. There is numerous shade out there which retains the path very cool. If you’re fortunate, you may spot a moose or deer on the path.

Location: Lake McDonald Elevation achieve: 210 toes 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 simple and will be accomplished in an hour as a big portion of the route is paved. It’s an ideal route for the entire household to take pleasure in a pleasant and enjoyable hike with stunning views throughout for photographs. Take a second to take pleasure in stunning views of the lake and the encompassing mountain peaks. Carry with you bear spray as there may be loads of bear exercise within the space.

Location: Many Glacier Elevation achieve: 25 toes 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 loads 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 might be 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 might have a bottle holder in your backpack and preserve it full. I like to hold two bottles of water that I can refill by utilizing my Steripen.

Pack layers. You shall be going by way of elevation positive aspects and the climate can change from sizzling 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 effectively 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 might have it, my favourite 16 Glacier National Park hikes. Remember, you don’t have to complete any of those hikes as there may be all the time a possibility 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 sensible and hike inside your capabilities. Start small and have enjoyable!

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Did Glacier National Park within the United States is related 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 considered one of its sort on the earth.

This publish 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 whole information to mountain climbing Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks on Amazon. 

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