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16 Best Glacier National Park Hikes

16 Best Glacier National Park Hikes


Located in Montana, Glacier National Park provides many nice climbing experiences. The park is stuffed with wonderful 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 straightforward to seek out one you’ll love. Here are my picks for the 16 finest 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 can assist you plan your journey.

Hiking Glacier National Park

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

When 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 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 at all times carry a primary first support package when climbing. But most significantly, carry a way of journey and have enjoyable whenever you strive one among these wonderful 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 unbelievable path, as a result of whenever you come out on the different facet of the tunnel, you are feeling such as you’ve walked into one other world.

When passing by this 240-foot tunnel, you hike by large 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 go Ptarmigan Falls, the path will get so much steeper, so be ready for some powerful climbing throughout this part. It then continues for about 1.6 miles to Ptarmigan Lake, the place you may chill out and admire among the most stunning surroundings within the space. Be ready for a protracted day.

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

2. Swiftcurrent Pass

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Swiftcurrent Pass has attractive surroundings and the prospect to see numerous wildlife.

This is a troublesome 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, you might spy on among the rarest and most colourful birds all through the six lakes.

You can even see the attractive Granite Park. In reality, throughout this hike, you may get among the most unbelievable photos 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 without doubt one of the hottest climbing experiences in Montana’s Glacier National Park. It additionally offers you the alternative to see icebergs floating in an alpine lake. When you hike right here you go by many open areas alongside the best way that provide you with 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 without doubt one of the most stunning lakes on this planet.

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

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 less than $10.99 on Amazon

5. Pitamakan Pass Trail

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Hikes on Pitamakan Trail are restricted because of snow many of the 12 months.

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 because of the snow, this received’t seemingly 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 need to hike a really slim path so be ready. Expect a protracted 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 without doubt one of the most iconic glaciers in Glacier National Park.

This hike takes you to one of the vital iconic glaciers within the park. You go numerous lakes, wonderful meadows, and gorgeous cliffs alongside the best way. 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 wonderful vistas over Grinnell Falls, Angel Wing, and Grinnell Lake. The 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 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 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 superb place for climbing and tenting in Glacier National Park.

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

You also can take a wood boat tour on this space and you will discover some incredible 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 go by a big open meadow and open terrain with colourful wild flowers. If you want, you may spend the night time 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 a number of other waterfalls.

Hiking the 15-mile Dawson Pass takes you as much as wonderful views of Oldman Lake. This path crosses the Dawson and Pitamakan passes taking you by peaceable scenes and waterfalls alongside the best way. If you wish 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 quick path, the altitude makes it fairly difficult. The path is totally open, anticipate numerous solar and wind as you stroll by 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 frequent 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, nevertheless, it may be very busy on the overlook. A really breathtaking expertise that makes your Hidden Lake hike effectively price it. If you may, carry bear spray and a climbing pole.

Location: Logan Pass Visitor Center Elevation acquire: 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 widespread hikes for all ages.

There are numerous timber alongside the path that preserve it cool with some greater than 500 years outdated. You’ll go 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 different panorama of the avalanche creek and forest. While the water on the lake is usually ice-cold and never ideally suited for swimming, you dip your toes in to chill out and funky down.

Location: Glacier Road north of Lake McDonald Elevation acquire: 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 among two wheelchair-accessible trails at Glacier National Park. It’s a straightforward path with stunning views of cascading waterfalls and snow-covered peaks. Walk amongst shadows of big cedar, black cottonwood, hemlock, and yew timber. The paths are broad and may accommodate many individuals without delay. Getting a parking spot might be difficult as this climbing path may be very widespread amongst guests.

Location: Lake McDonald Elevation acquire: 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 isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. If you’re scared o heights you might wish to go 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 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 acquire: 1950 ft 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 one of the vital strenuous 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 essential on this stretch. Bring numerous water and a pair of excellent climbing sneakers because the path can take some time- about 7 hours or extra relying in your velocity. A trekking pole will make your hike simpler.

The path is widespread with seasoned hikers and might be fairly busy, there are additionally elements 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 acquire: 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 underneath 2 hours. Perfect in the event you’re on the lookout for a peaceable meditative hike.

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

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

16. Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail

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The hike begins on the many glacier resort 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 awesome 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’s numerous bear exercise within the space.

Location: Many Glacier Elevation acquire: 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 climbing within the backcountry, it’s best to hike in teams. There is numerous wildlife in Glacier National Park together with Grizzly bears. When climbing with a bunch, make noise, preserve speaking and let the wildlife know you might be there so that you simply don’t startle them.

Get a Steripen or LifeStraw to fill your water bottle with purified water. Make positive you’ve got 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 shall be going by elevation positive factors 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 climbing boots are effectively damaged in and use them earlier than you go climbing into Glacier National Park.

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

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

Give your self sufficient time when 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 already know 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 functional. It’s the one one among its variety on this planet.

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 entire information to climbing Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks on Amazon. 

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