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glacier hikes Map

Spectacular but not for the faint of heart (heights). Some narrow paths with steep drop offs but a nice steady easy gradient. Fabulous views. Take plenty of water. We saw one Grizzly Mum and 3 cubs on the way back down and another Black bear too. Lovely day. Highly recommend.

Place is dope. Expect a crowd

Amazing hike! We saw a grizzly bear about one mile in and later spotted three more (mom and two cubs), two moose, and a large ram. The hike is slightly strenuous, but worth it. It took our group of six about 5.5 hours in total.

Great views

This might be my all time favorite hike. It’s mostly uphill and parts of it are steep, but the payoff is huge. The glacier and the glacial lake are some of the most stunning nature I’ve ever seen. Even better, you cross waterfalls, streams, and pass gem colored blue lakes on your way up. The views are magnificent. Highly recommend this hike.

Pros: Accessible, Variety of terrain, amazing viewpoints throughout, accesses a (still) impressive Glacier and Glacial Lake Cons: Exposed trail much of the way, can be deceptively strenuous, potential crowds
This trail is one of the best known in Glacier NP for a reason, as it is accessible rather easily from the road coming from St. Mary MT, and covers a wide variety of terrain in its traverse. (As of Sep. 2018) you can either take a ferry across lake Josephine or hike along the east shore of said lake. We hiked along the shore, which was a pleasant way to start the trail, going through dense forested land, and through quite extensive berry patches. Bear danger is greatest by the lake shores, so it is worth it to remain aware and take bear spray with you. Occasional trail closures due to bear activity are to be expected. After passing the SW end of lake Josephine, the trail begins its gradual switchback ascent to Grinnell Glacier itself. This section is exposed and does cross some narrow sections with steep drop offs, so one does not want to be in a hurry nor improperly outfitted here. The views from this mid section of trail are wide open and cover an amazing variety of terrain. At the crest of the trail is the still quite impressive Grinnell Glacier and Lake.Unfortunately, the Glacier is receding rapidly, and may potentially be gone in 10 yrs.. You can walk unimpeded up to the lake shore, but the water is extremely cold, and immersing oneself is only feasible on a warm/hot day. The top vantage point is certainly worth it though, as many of the Glaciers in the park require back country access, while this one does not. There is one pit toilet towards the top, but no water , so you are advised to bring plenty with you.
5/5 stars

Hiked the trail on 9-12-18. In aggregate, the reviews are spot on. This is a spectacular trail with incredible views throughout. Be prepared for wildlife. I walked up on a Grizzly on the North side of Josephine Lake (the trail had been closed due to bear activity in the days prior). At the end of the hike (in the rain) several of us got to pass close by a bull moose frolicking in Swiftcurrent Lake. The one thing that isn't clear from all of the reviews: You can get to the trail via boat (the 9.7 mile hike listed on Alltrails), but you don't have to take a boat. Park at the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead and you are looking at 11.4 miles minimum, per the signs. It's about the same walking from the hotel. There are a lot of people, but spectacular and worth the trip!

The smoke was not a problem, even though it was just over the hill.

The trail showed obvious signs of heavy usage, but was also well maintained. The signage made the path obvious. There were stair-like rocks all the way to the top. I saw plenty of folks over 60 doing the trail, even all the way at the top.

Most folks turned back about halfway, but there were a ton of people. However, it was not too crowed. We found a parking spot at the bottom without waiting.

I think that this late in the season it is less busy and crowded.

The views are incredible, even with smoke. All the way up, there's an un-blocked view of the granite peaks. The glacier at the end is awe inspiring.

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.

Amazing views..We hiked on 9/9/2018..started at the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead. The north trail was closed due to bear activity and so it added ~1 mile to the round trip...It took us 3.5 hrs to get to the top and 2.5 hrs for the descent (including water / photo breaks)..It was a little windy and chilly at the top..

on Grinnell Glacier Trail

9 days ago

Hiked on 9/5/18. Great hike; one in the best We have ever done. Very nice views after Lake Josephine all the way to Grinnell Lake. While the Glacier was great to see, we were most impressed by the lake, which was aquamarine and contained many pieces of ice. Color contrast between the lake and the sky was beautiful.

10 days ago

This was the first hike of our 8 day trip. It was awesome! The moderate rating is right on, nothing technical simply a nice incline on the way up, and a decline on the way down. There is a glacial lake at the end of the trail, you might be able to spot a waterfall depending on the glacial melt at the time of year. The mountain in front of the lake is actually a part of the highline trail. The lake is a little chilly, but if you want to be a true Canadian just walk strait in. ;)
We spotted a moose swimming in a lake from up above from a very far distance away.
You may spot a mountain goat on the trail.

10 days ago

Absolutely love this hike. We started at the Many Glacier Hotel and follow the south trail( the north was close due to bears activity in the area). So end up to be around 11 miles. Amazing views and except for the last section near the glacier where it get a bit steep, a very pleasant hike. Loved it

Keep walking and the view gets better and better. #godly

There’s a lot of reviews of this trail written that make it seem easier than it is, so here’s a review written by a normal person of average fitness. We did this hike yesterday thinking by many of the reviews that this would be a 4-5 hour round trip hike. Reality was it took us 5 hours just to reach the top. The trail was very very crowded and every few minutes we were stopping to let people pass us, pass people, or let other people come down the trail. The trail ends up being a lot longer than 5 miles each way because once you get to the top you inevitably wander around for an hour or so. My advice for those “average” hikers who want to take the time to enjoy the hike and fully take in the sights is to plan on this being a full day hike in the 8-10 hour range. There are plenty of people who want to run up the trail (thank you to the gentleman who physically pushed people out of his way) grab their pictures and run down, they might be able to do in that 3-5 hour window. It took us 5 hours to get up, but only 1.5 to get back to the trailhead. Don’t be fooled by these 3-5 hour round trip times plan on it taking a lot longer especially if the trail is crowded. Finally: bring as much water as you’re comfortable carrying. The last three miles of the trail have no shade whatsoever and you will roast if it’s hot out. All that being said this is an incredible hike and totally worth it. Just don’t be fooled, unless you’re especially athletic, this will be a day hike.

11 days ago

Busy, but one of my absolute favorite hikes. A little steep near the end, but it is worth it.

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

My husband and I are a fit 33 & 35. We used trekking poles on this hike. We started this hike around 1pm. It wasn’t too busy the first mile or so, but once we hit the ferry boat there were more people. As we started moving up the mountain it got even busier. I actually didn’t mind it so much on this trail with all the bear activity that had been going on around the park. Coming back there were maybe 10 people. The views are spectacular on this trail! Grinnell lake will change colors every turn you make, each view better than the last! It’s a bit windy and significantly colder once you reach the glacier so be prepared. We didn’t see any bears on our hike. We did scare a baby and momma goat who didn’t hear us coming around a curve. There were also several moose drinking & playing in the lower lake. This is my favorite hike in Glacier, a definite must!

on Redrock Falls Trail

11 days ago

Trail is a little boring but falls make it so worth it!

11 days ago

Breathtaking! Our favorite hike so far.

This was our first hike in Glacier & wow, it did not disappoint! We tried to schedule our boat ride about 3 weeks in advance and we were only able to get reservations for the 11 am boat. However, the boats also have waiting lists for extra seats, so we took the advice to show up at 8 and put our names on the wait list. We were super lucky and we were actually able to bump up to the 8:30 am boat. We started the hike around 9 and went ahead of the guided hike. The views are simply amazing & get better as you head up. When we finally got up to the glacier, it was definitely a bit chilly but beautiful. Saw some big horn sheep around the pit toilets enjoying some lunch, but watch out for the chipmunks! One tried to jump right in my bag when we were at the glacier trying to get to our trail mix. We took our time coming back down & caught the 1:45 boat back. Overall, it was by far the best hike of our trip. Trail did seem a bit more crowded on the way back, but nothing too crazy.

12 days ago

Best hike I have every done. Period. And I have done a lot of hikes. This would be my absolutely fav hike except that it gets really crowded. And people play loud music on their Bluetooth speakers on the trail. Honestly folks, you are free to listen to music on the hike if you want to but please use earphones. Playing on speakers is just plain rude!

Great hike and amazing views. We did it on Aug 26/18. Saw some Big Horn Sheep grazing. . Would of been a lot nicer if not for the smoke from the forest fires.Part of trail around Josephine Lake was closed due to bear activity. We did not take the boats across the 2 lakes and we stopped at the picnic area about 7/10 of kilometre from the Grinnell Glacier on way down for 30 mins. Some benches located here and pit toilets. Ate our lunch and did the hike round trip in 5 hours 40 mins. Parking lot gets full quick. Stayed at the Swift Current Lodge,and in the parking lot were people with spotting scopes and BIg Binoculars watching Grizzlies on the mountain slopes up high behind the lodge.

This is one of the prettiest trails I've done in Glacier. It's an easy trail with lots of views of the surrounding mountains and two beautiful lakes and a great waterfall. You also walk through a lovely Aspen forest. I would recommend this hike!!

My husband and I hiked to Grinnell glacier on August 28th. It rained the day before so there was no smoke. Beautiful hike. We did not take the boat so it was around 12 miles. We started at 7 am and we were one of the firsts to reach the top. On the way down it was a train of people so start early. Took us 5 hours.

We parked at 9:30 and were one of the last cars to get a real parking space in Swiftcurrent. Trail is challenging and beautiful at every turn, even with all the smoke from the wild fires. We saw grizzlies in the distance, deer and birds on the trail. Took the boat back and saw bears on the north shore of Lake Josephine (north side trail was closed when we were there so the bears can eat their fill without humans interrupting).

17 days ago

We’ve hiked this in the winter and summer. Winter was just as incredible as the summer, without the crowds.

This is by far one of the most spectacular hikes in Glacier National park in my opinion

18 days ago

2018.08 icebergs on lake and you get to walk through a small waterfall. next time I'll bring more water, 3L was not enough.

Amazing hike! We started around 9:30 AM and didn't encounter too many crowds until we caught up with the ranger-led hike that leaves from the lodge around 8:30. However, I'm guessing crowds were impacted by the fire/smoke. On August 26th, the trail on the north side of Josephine was closed for bear activity so everyone was forced to the south side. I think this added about a half mile to the total distance.

After passing that big group (which took a while...) there weren't too many people at the top. Didn't see any wildlife, but the views were great! GPS tracked us at 11.6 miles and around 5.5 hours. We got lucky with our timing and took the one boat across lake Josephine to trim off a little distance on the way back to the car. It was ~$13. If it had been a long wait for it, it probably wouldn't have been worth it.

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