Explore Glacier 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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First time in Glacier. Trail had oustanding views. Hiked 10/16/2018. Elevation gain was heavy half way through for about 1 to 2 miles. Would highly reccomend yak trax or snow shoes for last 1 mile. Was able to complete with my 3 season boots however snow was 1-3 feet deep during last .5 mile -1 mile. Bear tracks everywhere. Take precautions.

hiking
22 days ago

beautiful mountain and lake side views along with three different water falls. only downside is personal, in that I prefer alpine trails :)

hiking
25 days ago

Did this hike today (including the tunnel). The views are spectacular all the way up. Not very challenging to the lake, some easy switchbacks take you up to the tunnel (to be closed in 2 days!). Saw some deer, mountain goats and big horn sheep. Amazing scenery makes this hike one of my favourites!!

walking
27 days ago

Easy, ADA accessible trail. Shaded with large cedar trees. We were not planning to stop, but decided to at the last second. Good for kids too.

hiking
29 days ago

Hiked 9/5/18 from shuttle stop. Apparently there's a new trail, because this is a shorter route than going from the car parking. It goes through a nice clearing with mountain views, but does not go by St Mary Lake. An easy, pleasant walk with both mountain and waterfall views. Be sure to look east (away from St Mary Falls) for nice views.

Hiked today and saw several areas at the beginning of the trail with scat and some bear tracks around the horse loop. Took almost 2.5 hours to get to the lake and a little under 2.5 on the way back down (average hikers). We saw two moose along the way and a deer. We didn’t see any bears until we were pulling out of the many glacier hotel parking area... on the cliff side .. saw several more up on the mountain on the drive out as well as one on the side of the road about .5 miles from the many glacier exit. Carry bear spray and be aware. In regards to the lake, it’s the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen. Weather is temperamental on this side so be prepared for wind, rain, and shine. Bugs were not bad. 9/20.

walking
1 month ago

More of a stroll than a hike, there isn’t a lot to see on this trail, but it does serve a purpose.

The entire trail is boardwalk and pavement with handicap accessibility throughout. The loop winds through heavy forest, and the park has installed signs to educate walkers about trees on the trail. The entire path is covered by the forest canopy, so there is no exposure. Overall the trail is reminiscent of an eastern US nature trail.

If you have children, mobility issues, or are just tired from some other trails, this is good way to spend a half hour or so. It can help you warm up for a more strenuous hike and learn more about the trees that populate a portion of the park.

Cracker Lake trail is very different from many trails in East Glacier. The first half of the hike in is mostly forested, many switchbacks and few great views. But the last half is gorgeous. The Valley seems to continue to unfold as you get closer to the lake. Very scenic valley and nice place to camp out or picnic.

Moderate incline the entire way, but nothing to shy away from. Horses had the first mile torn pretty good. Beauty of a hike with less of a crowd

The lake itself is beautiful! The first couple miles are highly covered in horse poop, which is a little frustrating. Once you get past that part it’s much better. The views of the lake are incredible. It’s worth going to if you don’t mind the horses and horse poop!

Truly a capstone event if visiting the park. The last waterfall is an incredible walk-up 60 foot fall. On the trail, we also saw 2 moose.

We went later in the day, so there were not too many crowds. Easy hike, with a gradual climb.

hiking
1 month ago

Worth every minute, mile, and sore muscle. This was only my second hike ever, but will likely be my favorite for a while to come. Definitely doable, even for those that aren't frequent hikers or aren't in marathon-shape (like me!), just requires stamina and the mental will to keep going. The hardest part (and the longest) for me was the final mile to the end on the return trip. I'm sure that's probaly the case with most hikes, but I thought the trail head was never going to appear! We spotted at mountain goat, a beaver-like animal, and a few riders on horses. Oh, and tons of adorable little chipmunks! Didn't see any bears, but definitely knew they weren't far away as evidenced by their droppings. Recommend bringing bear spray and a bell, just in case. As previously mentioned, the water is a surreal blue, and the backdrop is spectacular. We didn't swim in the water, as it was quite windy and chilly when we hiked (September), but we dipped our fingers in. Plenty of places to pitch a tent or have a picnic. Additionally, there's a little out-house at the top, which is nice! Lastly, the trail was not too crowded, which was nice, seeing as in some spots the path gets pretty narrow. I definitely recommend!

lovely area, Victoria falls is beaut. unfortunately, Glacier is on fire and access is restricted right now, so be aware if u r reading this in the next couple of weeks

Beautiful hike, varied terrain. Highly recommend camping overnight thou getting a permit is not easy.

Cracker Lake is absolutely beautiful, it makes it well worth the 6.5 mile trek. The trail itself isn’t bad at all - there’s a slight incline the entire way up, but it’s not too steep. We completed the hike in just over 6 hours. Like many other people have mentioned, the one downside to this hike is the horse poop on the trail.

This is a fun and fairly easy trail. Goes through a burn area that has now been taken over by the flowers. You still get great views of the mountains as you work your way through the woods. Keep going all the way to Virginia Falls, it is worth it! There are also several “mini-falls” between St Mary and Virginia that keep the light uphill portion entertaining. Limited parking- either take the shuttle, get there early, or be prepared to be patient for a spot.

backpacking
1 month ago

If you don't mind horse poop, Cracker Lake is a beautiful and fairly easy backpacking trail. Instead of steep, steep climbs, the trail makes a gradual incline most of the way. Gorgeous river bridge crossings, marmots galore, and of course three amazing backcountry campsites with full views of Cracker Lake. Please follow the trail around the lake, around a hidden corner is an old mine, which is now home to the cutest family of hoary marmots I've encountered. Horseback riding to the lake is also an option.

Moderate to hard. Amazing scenery. Lake is nothing special but it is worth the extra effort to get to the tunnel. Views overlooking Elizabeth Lake are absolutely amazing. Even spotted a mom and 2 cubs (grizzly) on the way back.

Great trail that isn’t too long or too taxing. But it’s definitely longer than listed. Be prepared for about 4 miles there and back if you want to see Virginia Falls from the furthest viewing location. Lots of deer were on the trail, very tame.

hiking
2 months ago

My group thought this hike was great. On the drive to trailhead, we saw a momma black bear and two young cubs foraging in a field along the way. Perfect way to start the day!

Gang of Coloradans here, so elevation didn’t impact us. Started at 10am thinking we would run into hoards of people, but saw probably 8 groups total, maybe 20 people throughout the entire hike (not including 2 horse trail groups). First bit is wooded and covered, people are right about the horse waste; not the best but also not the worst (like, get over it, share the trail). We were excited to see some different scat at about mile 2, looked like black bear had a great lunch. Steady incline, but manageable. Some steep areas, we brought hiking poles for the day hike but found they weren’t necessary. Saw a snake along the switchbacks, small and harmless. Pretty stream in the middle of the hike, another group mentioned seeing a moose in that area. Up and up included some open areas where coverage was sparse. When you’re about a mile from lake, coverage is gone — bring a hat! Sun was brutal. As it opened up, it was really beautiful and still ascending gradually. Lake itself is surreal, so turquoise and opaque. There’s a healthy shoreline along lake, for many groups to chill and enjoy.

We’ve been a lot of places and done many hikes, and this was one of our top purely for the lake experience. Don’t listen to the party poopers saying majority of it’s boring #takeahike — Bring bear spray and enjoy! Happy trails!

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked hard . Swim in the lake baby. Started this hike behind Many Glacier Hotel. Lots of solitude. Not one of the more popular hikes. But let me tell you it is tough. You will have solitude. And you will be so glad that you chose this hike. Most folks choose Grinnell Glacier and miss this one.

hiking
2 months ago

Spectacular! Was there about a week ago. Many hikers jumping off of the bridge below St. Mary Falls. Hike it to the end for the Virginia waterfall. It’s worth it.

Very pretty. Nice and easy. Lots of people though!

hiking
2 months ago

Did this beauty yesterday July 28th 2018! Perfect hike if you want a bit of a challenge. wouldn't rate it difficult but it definitely gets your heart rate going:) The Tunnel is really something! The weather was perfect and we even spotted a mama grizzly and her two cubs at a safe but perfect viewing distance on the way down:)

hiking
2 months ago

Parking available at Logan Pass. Highline Trail shares a parking lot with Hidden Lake Trailhead, so lot generally fills prior to 08:00.

Climbing up the Garden Wall was previously a bucket list item of mine. Almost a year ago, researching the Highline Trail prompted my father and I to spawn a trip to Montana. Twelve months and thousands of miles later, we clipped our packs and proceeded past the Highline Trailhead. The trail begins somewhat intimidatingly, carved into a mountainside with sheer cliffs to your left, metal handrail to your right. This marks the most unsettling portion of the trail. Gradually separating from Going to the Sun Road, the hike gradually increases in both serenity and enjoyability.

Arguably Glacier's most recognizable image- Reynolds Mountain behind Oberlin Bend- presents itself around 2.5 miles into the hike. The Highline Trail encounters dramatic scenery shortly thereafter. Haystack Butte sits behind a 180-degree view of Glacier National Park, a welcome backrest to the breathtaking vistas of Mount Cannon, Mount Gould, Reynolds Mountain, and Mount Oberlin bathed in sunlight. This vista could surely knock you off your feet. Presently, views of McDonald Creek Valley with sporadic forest occupy the mind until the Garden Wall junction.

Devoid of switchbacks, deceivingly steep, and rocky, the Garden Wall spur demands respect. This 0.6-mile cut shoots up over 800 feet in elevation over the western drainage basin. In return, however, this magnificent venture yields perhaps the greatest views in Montana. Indeed, even before the glacial overlook, the western views of Heavens Peak and waterfalls are- for lack of better term- unforgettable. Yet the climax of the Garden Wall is undoubtedly Glacial Overlook. A steep trail suddenly turns flat, dotted with four trees, and you emerge on a saddle between Peak 7980 and Peak 8479.

The view's reveal is unrivaled by anything I've ever done. Ralston Peak in Tahoe, Eagle Peak in Yosemite, Frigid Air Pass in Colorado; these falter in comparison to the dramatic uncovering of Upper Grinnell Lake. Three steps mark the difference between rock obstruction and complete vista. It's impossible to take in everything at once: indeed, the insurmountable slopes of Mount Gould giving way to Grinnell Glacier is stunning enough. Throw in the crystalline waters of Upper Grinnell Lake, the distant Lake Josephine, Allen Mountain, and you're overwhelmed by beauty.

Upon emerging at the Glacial Overlook, I thought the view couldn't possibly get better. Then, heeding the advice of fellow hikers, I trekked an additional 200 feet towards point 7980. The vista expanded. Almost the entirety of Grinnell Drainage Basin was visible, ranging from Salamander Glacier to Lake Sherburne. This additional trip, even after 800 feet of grueling ascent, marked the complete climax of this hike.

Everything thereafter is simply dispensable gravy. Admittedly, the descent down to The Loop is decent at best; surely my expectations were inflated by Heaven spilling onto the Garden Wall. Granite Chalet is little more than a historic tourist trap, the Granite Park Trail weaves through the remnants of a devastated forest, and the 3,500 feet of descent don't lift spirits. However, if we were to walk through a mosquito-infested hellhole laced with the occasional muddy leech, this hike still would've commanded five stars. The experience of the Garden Wall is simply that powerful.

My father and I begun hiking at 06:45, passed two groups of hikers, and escaped a swiftly-moving third. We had the Highline Trail to ourselves thereafter. I would recommend hiking by 06:15 if you desire serenity; even if you don't mind crowds, an early start is integral to sunrise views. Our two-man crew was the second group up the Garden Wall (summit 09:15). After a 25-minute experience of ripping winds and scintillating vistas, we passed some 25-35 people on the descent.

If you have a single day to spend in Glacier, this is your trail. Don't overthink it. This is perhaps Montana's most remarkable view, on Montana's most acclaimed trail, in Montana's renowned national park. Above all, it was worth waiting an entire year for.

hiking
2 months ago

Short, nearly flat loop through a cedar grove with a few other types of conifer trees. Mostly asphalt or boardwalk. Popular because it is the easiest trail in Glacier National Park. Many people also hike this trail as the start of a hike to Avalanche Lake. Overall, a pleasant short walk if you are not up for one of the park's harder trails.

Popular out-and-back to two fantastic waterfalls. On the harder side of easy due to length and elevation gain. Don't underestimate the climb back up to the Sun Road. Also, very little shade due to recent forest fires: dress accordingly and bring water. Trailhead parking will be nearly impossible, so you will need to ride the free park shuttle from the St. Mary's Visitor Center.

2 months ago

Gorgeous! We took the 2 year old in a backpack, but the other kids (4-9) were exhausted by the end but did it! Virginia Falls are worth finishing the hike for.

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