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Great Hike. One of the best.

Hiked to Avalanche Lake.
This hike was tied in with the trail of Cedars hike. The old growth trees all the way to the lake are just incredible. There are three different types as you can see in the photographs. A fairly easy hike that can be used as a recovery day between the tough ones.
If you swim in the lake, check your toes when you get out for leeches. The water is not very active so they can find you very easily

backpacking
20 hours ago

13 hard miles baby!
First hike in Montana. The Grinnell glacier has receded incredibly far. It was basically a thawed out cocktail glass. Incredibly popular hike which can start from the Many Glacier Hotel. There are options to take a boat across the lake shore in the hike. I recommend leaving from the Hotel, walking along the South Shore quietly early morning. You will have to keep your eye out for bear, but if you keep looking to your right you will most likely spot moose. Three moose were spotted in three consecutive lakes on the way to the glacier. The Trail is incredibly popular and crowded. You have to leave early unless you want to be in a parade. I counted 116 people coming up as I was heading down. You will get a good workout out of this. The lunch spot is incredible.

hiking
20 hours ago

great and easy hike. A good amount of people on it but good none the less. Don't bother with the boat unless you absolutely need it. Seemed like a waste of time walking past people waiting for it.

crowded, but beautiful

hiking
1 day 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.

Beautiful Hike! Too crowded later in the day for my taste but stunning, just stunning!

Amazing views on the lakes and the glaciers (What is left....). However the hike is highly crowded making the walk a bit annoying as the path is narrow. It is better to have a early start to avoid flows of’people descending. We arrived at around 09:00 and the parking near the hotel was almost full.

This is such a stunning hike. It climbs through forest along a river with rapids and waterfalls. Eventually you pass an avalanche area and then you come to Avalanche Lake which is a true gem. The water is crystal clear and bright blue. The mountains surrounding it are stunning and there are tons of waterfalls cascading down the cliffs. Truly lovely.

You can continue past the initial viewpoint for another mile or so to see more of the lake. I recommend it. Every angle offers something new.

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

So beautiful. I went around sunset and most of the traffic had subsided. The hike was fun, especially going by a weeping wall and being able to see the glacier in the distance. I saw a mama and baby goat, a moose, a wild chicken thing, and a whole lot of chipmonks and whistlepigs of course! All so charming and cool! I'd say the hike is definitely moderate or easy until you get close to the end and it gets pretty steep. I was walking back in the dark which sort of sucked but overall it was amazing. This is definitely a hike not to miss while you are at Glacier.

This was a very nice hike. Watched a black bear foraging across the lake. Good view at the lake of the falls. Worth the extra hike to the top of the lake for a nice view. Got to the trail head by 7:30am for parking, light traffic on the trail at that time. Very traffic heading to the lake on my return. Returned from the hike at 10:30, and the parking was full.

Did this hike on 7/28/18. We started at the Many Glacier hotel. The total hike mile was 7.5 one way, it’s a a moderate to hike trail, beautiful scenery all the way. Go with plenty of water and food. We thought the trail was going to be closed at 3.5 mike like another hiker mentioned but it wasn’t closed when we went. It took us 4 hours to go up but we stopped to take pics and were not in a hurry until we realized that the trail kept going! It seemed like eternity for us but we were not prepared enough. We still made it to the top, we a snack at the edge of the water stayed for 40 min and then descended it took us 3 hours only because one of us was really tired lol and we had to wait some people rush down and take two hours. I had to stop a few times to take a breather. Some part were a bit to narrow for me but two people fit comfortably, I’ve just never done a hike like that! Absolutely beautiful at the top some people even took a quick dip, you have to get out fast because it’s extremely cold. We didn’t prepare enough so for next time we know to bring plenty of water, fruits if it’s a very hot day, put on bug spray because hose flies were a pain in the butt, i killed so many that landed on me and some were massive. We saw two moose near the lake and a mountain goat, at the beginning of the trail a grizzly family was spotted but we could see it only with binoculars.

Definitely a quick and easy hike, but very, very popular and crowded. I am amazed that the trail is as wide as it is and people still do not understand the concept of treat it like a two lane US Hwy (we are in the US, so keep to your right). If it narrows, yield to the hikers coming UP. This is an easy hike, which means trail runners use it, so be aware and move out of the way. It is about courtesy.

The creek at the beginning of the hike is beautiful. An easy hike with beautiful views at the lake.

hiking
3 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Like others said it gets crowded so don’t expect to be in the trail alone, unless you hike before sunrise. We hiked with 6 and 9 year old and they did fine. Didn’t quite make it all the way to the lake since we started late, but even hiking to overlook was stunning. We spotted many animals along the way including bear ( in the distance), goats, bighorn sheep, ground squirrels, and chipmunks. Highly recommend for families.

Wonderful trail hike beautiful scenery. Trail is heavily trafficked but well worth the effort. Culminates with outstanding lake views. Must do in Glacier.

Great, easy trail to the lookout and then a moderate hike to the lake. Trail is very busy and it’s difficult to find parking. Saw 10+ mountain goats on our way to the lake! Lake is beautiful and you can go for a dip if you want too.

Absolutely beautiful and so worth it! 5.8 miles but our teenagers and 8 & 6 year olds did it. Bring your water shoes and bathing suits so you can get in the water. It's kid friendly since the nearest portion of the lake is really shallow. Looks like paradise!

Parking is way better in the afternoon.

Parking available at trailhead (~200 spaces). Situated near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Many Glacier Hotel, this lot fills up fast. Likely full by 07:45.

My father and I departed on the trail around 06:45, a late start considering the traffic this trail receives. The Upper Grinnell Lake Trail is among, if not the, most popular hikes in Glacier National Park. As such, we passed two groups and overtook a third within the first half mile of hiking. We stopped briefly near the first common photo opportunity. Smoke filtered the morning sunlight into a stunning red/orange hue, illuminating the landscape around Swiftcurrent Lake; this is another perk of leaving early.

Similar to many hikes in Glacier- Siyeh Pass, Swiftcurrent Pass, Hidden Lake, etc.- this trail starts off relatively slowly. True beauty first struck around a mile into the trail. Josephine Lake, which has a little pond residing at 1.1 miles, reflected the mountainous terrain with its still, deep blue hues, while its corresponding pond appeared as glass. The photo I snapped there was among the most serene I've ever taken. This serenity was short-lived, however, as three groups overtook us during a subsequent break. Predisposed towards lightly trafficked trails, this caused some unease within my father and I.

Booking it, we presently caught up to these hikers and proceeded to enjoy the ascent in solitude. Thank the lord we did. Indeed, this ascent was undoubtedly the most objectively beautiful climb I've done. El Capitan (Yosemite), Mount Baldy (Maroon Bells), El Montañon (Channel Islands), Steelhead Lake (Ansel Adams Wilderness) offer a mere fraction of the beauty. Hued morning sunlight contrasted with the seemingly impossibly blue waters of Grinnell Lake- wildflowers too!- molded an inspirational sight. My father and I broke often for pictures. I would imagine every existing hiker would do the same.

If we turned back at 3.5 miles, the hike would've already cracked our top five greatest vistas. It seemed impossible that the eponymous area, Grinnell Glacier, could transcend what we had already seen. I pessimistically prepared myself for disappointment. The final ascent, an 0.3 mile stair-assisted climb up 300 feet of terrain, served as a worthy approach to the lake. A flattening area gives way to the entirety of Upper Grinnell Lake, sitting tranquilly in turquoise glory, with streams of water cascading down sheer cliffs. My father and I looked up at the Garden Wall, where we stood a 23 hours previous, and shared an unspoken moment.

At 08:35, we had Upper Grinnell Lake and surroundings to ourselves. There was a couple who fled shortly after our arrival (it was unclear if they had camped the night). Dad splashed near-freezing glacial water on his face and hands, I snapped countless images, the icebergs rippled slightly in the water. Some trekkers emerged over the hill some ten minutes later, but we made the first footprints of the day on glacial icebergs.

In all honesty, I wish we could've forgone the descent down. Whether it be gondola, magic trolley, helicopter, any (safe) alternative to hiking down would've been preferable. This is because an unprecedented mass of humanity, perceivably eclipsing the population of Montana, met us head-on during the descent. It started with fit people, hikers who likely frequent the area. Couples came next. Families emerged. A guided hike, totaling thirty-seven individuals, forced us off the trail for a minute. We stepped off the trail for ascenders literally every thirty seconds, significantly hindering our descent.

There exist few things in this world that could drag a hike as objectively, scenically impeccable as this trail. This wave of trekkers proved to be one. I would suggest an 05:15 start at 20:00 pace to entirely avoid crowds, or a 06:00 start to enjoy the first half with uninterrupted serenity. Make no mistake, these are nice people- we chatted with several fellow trekkers- but after 75 "good morning; almost there; beautiful, isn't it?" tidbits, you inevitably wish for some isolation.

If in Glacier for multiple hikes, Upper Grinnell Lake should certainly be among them. It slides in seamlessly with the Garden Wall trek, complements Swiftcurrent Pass nicely, and showcases a different shade of blue than Siyeh Pass. Be certain to bring bear spray, as wildlife is prevalent on this trail. Leave early, hike quickly, and enjoy the ascent!

We started this hike around 8:15 and the parking lot was full! The weather was great a bit windy in the morning which kept the bugs away. We ran into tourists doing a ranger hike (about 20 of them!) on the first mile or two. The hike is a gradual incline that does not get strenuous. The views are spectacular the entire trip. Waterfalls, sheep, mountains and lakes! What more could you ask for? Made it to the upper lake (signs call it the Glacier lookout). My boyfriend and I ended up getting engaged as he was scoping out the perfect site!! It sure was amazing! It is heavily trafficked and something that a lot of people could probably do.

We went in the afternoon and the parking was not bad. Great hike , worth the effort.

hiking
4 days ago

I went beginning of July at the trail was still covered in snow and at very cool temps. definitely not prepared for the weather but the views were great

Very easy hike good for all ages. Views of the lake are stunning!

Nice trail with beautiful views of lakes. Lots of uphill and definitely will make you sore. We saw lots of big horn sheep and even had a slightly close encounter with one that came within 5 feet of us. One of the best in Glacier.

most popular hike in the park, it is nice but too crowded

nice hike but too much traffic, we wanted to jump in the glacier but it was freezing so we just soaked our feet :D, come super early because than there is problem to find a parking, we arrived at 7.30 and it was almost full ;)

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.

Classic Glacier National Park out-and-back up a tight ravine to Avalanche Lake. Involves a little rockiness and climbing but manageable for most people in good health. Fairly crowded: get to the trailhead by 8am in peak season if you want a parking space to avoid riding the shuttle. Waterfalls plunging toward Avalanche Lake are nice but in the mountain's shadows in the morning. Overall, one of the "must-do" hikes in Glacier National Park.

Nice hike on a well traveled trail. 95 degree day plus the elevation makes for an interesting day. Flies are normal. They got to live somewhere and they are not really a bother. Take water. Slighty cooler at the top of swiftcurrent lookout. I used trekking poles for return given the switchbacks. This seem to made a big difference in joint and calf strain. Anyway, a great view of many glacier, the garden wall, lookout pass, mount cleverland, heavens peak, etc. Enjoy the day. No complaints whatsoever!!

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