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Tough hike but amazing time out there. Bring a trash bag for the way down.

This is an unbelievable hike and is an absolute must do in Glacier Park. As all the hikes we did in this park turned out to be: the trail was longer than All Trails told us it would be. Which the mileage on the signs at the beginning of the trail head was actually accurate to what we ended up recording (not what all trails said it would be). So prepare for longer. This one was 10.6 miles for us.
Seriously though, this trail is unbelievable. Did this one on our 6th day in the park and was better than the Highline trail, avalanche lake, and hidden lake. We saw a huge moose and some bears that day.
DO THIS HIKE EARLY!! We started at 7:30 am and by the time we started heading down, there were TONS of people making their way up. And they were honestly very rude. So avoid the music blaring, ignorant jerks that will bump into you on purpose. Because that's what we got on our way down.

hiking
1 day ago

awesome views. we took boat from lodge to save a few miles; you may want to just walk because tough to get return boat (too crowded). if you wait til 5:15 boat guarantees everyone a ride. but beware, we saw bears over the trail. more than 2 hours from boat dock to glacier lake. eat lunch at the lake, not the 'picnic area' below. pit toilet at boat dock and also at top. saw goats and a moose (and bears from boat). this is harder than iceberg lake trail, but not so cold at the top. awesome and doable trail.

We went left which is the what I would consider the easiest way to go up so you can loop down near the sandy river and avoid going uphill as much.

Pictures do not do it justice!!! We hiked from Many Glacier hotel to the Grinnell glacier and back, what a hike!
4 hours there and 2 hours back
Plan for an all day adventure!

We did this hike yesterday with a 9 and 11 year old. It took us 4 hours to hike up and 2 hours to come down. It was quite a hike up but we took our time and the girls did great. There were a few spots that had sharp drop offs but the trail was wide enough to feel safe. We saw moose and goats on the trail and got lots of great pictures. This hike was the best we did in the park. Iceberg Lake was closed due to bear traffic but we heard this one was even better. It was quite impressive and hard to describe. You have gorgeous views the entire time and all I can say is ... wow! This is what you think of when you think of Glacier ... just stunning!

hiking
1 day ago

Had a great 5 hour hike. Beautiful views even with the smoke from the fires. Monday wasn’t so crowded. The wildflowers were awesome.

Hiked it for sunrise and it was amazing. So beautiful and the perfect moderate hike to train at night.

This is a technically easy but steep trail, with rewarding vistas and forest for the entirety. A little hard to stay on the trail as you reach the summit, because the terrain is strewn with boulders, but well worth the effort one you reach the top.
We hadn't planned on doing this hike, we only had intentions of visiting Mirror Lake, but decided to tack on the second part. We arrived at the summit around 10am completely shrouded in mist, so we decided to hold out to see if the cloud cover would clear so we could see Mt. Hood. Waited nearly two hours (many others came and went in the time), but the wait was SO worth it. Stunning views of Hood and much of the Cascade range both North and South.

Great Hike. One of the best.

backpacking
2 days 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.

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.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike - be prepared that it's all up hill going out. The ending is worth it though!

As a follow-up to the review by PhLo S just below...my group went August 10-12. There were some flies and mosquitoes at the lower elevations, but nothing close to plague-level. As a precaution we wore long sleeve shirts and long pants, with the option to wear head nets. While hiking these precautions weren't really needed, but during rest stops the bugs can get annoying. The views at the upper elevations are amazing. This was one of the best hikes I have been on.

One of my first few hikes being out in Oregon and this one did not disappoint. The whole hike is spaced out nicely with mirror lake and then spots of views on the trek from the lake to the top. As other people have mentioned, it appears the most popular end point is this false summit. But the top is amazing. On one side you are right in front of Mt Hood (and I believe you can see Mt St Hellen’s and Adams I’m not sure) and on the other you have a fantastic landscape. The hike to this point is pretty moderate with a little bit of rockiness in a few spots.

After this false summit spot the trail becomes more difficult and less travelled. There were a few times we were walking and realized that we had slightly gotten off the path. We only made it about 10 or so minutes past the false summit because we came to an edge with no clear alternative routes ahead. We weren’t sure if we just followed a wrong path or not so we turned back. This was the only bad thing. But going past the false summit has its own benefits, you can see mirror lake from above which is neat and there are cliffs that you can walk up to the edge.

Overall it was an amazing hike that I’d definitely do again in the spring when Hood has more snow. We got there at 11, parking was difficult but we found some. The trail was busy but for the most part it wasn’t bad. It took roughly 2 hours up and 1 hour or so down.

hiking
3 days ago

Easy to find and mostly well kept trail. Picking through the rock slide was difficult as the trail there wasn’t well marked. Beautiful view and not busy on a Sunday morning! Sure I’ll be hiking it again

Loved this hike! Very pretty waterfalls.

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.

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.

hiking
3 days ago

Love this hike. Came here during the peak of wildflower season & was mesmerized by all the vibrant colors. I’d recommend cutting to Moraine Trail (no crowds & best views) & Panorama Point if you have time.

I did this hike September 2016 and did a sunrise hike. I left the trailhead at about 4 am and made it to the top with about 20 minutes to spare. It was a little scary because I hadn't done this hike before and didn't have enough lighting. I used a headlamp but also should have used a flashlight. Watching the sun rise behind Mt. Hood was a bucket list item for me and I'll never forget it. Once the sun was up I could see about five different mountains in the cascade range. Listening to the forest wake up was surreal. This hike will be tough to beat. I did it on a Wednesday morning and didn't see another person.

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.

hiking
4 days ago

Not very picturesque. Very long and not entirely safe. There is a water crossing that I wouldn't bring kids or animals through.

Logging road 5847 was closed so we had to take an alternate route after having already traveled up the road awhile. It was very time consuming and I felt there wasn’t enough signage. Short hike, nice trail to walk on. The water was a nice break. Will have to go during a different time of year because it looks nothing like some of the pictures posted.

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.

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike! Falls are gorgeous! Took 2.3 hours. total hike from parking up and around the loop. Going “right” at beginning of trail loop starts you on a steady uphill, not too steep, climb. Enjoy the falls while swatting flies, then downhill all the way back to parking lot. MapMyRun said 8.4 mile for me round trip from parking lot. Crossed river on stable logs

easy trailhead to reach with paved roads leading to there. Like others have said its a little steep in the beginning but levels off pretty nicely towards the middle. I went pretty early so the bugs weren't terrible but bring bug spray if your going later in the day. Cool views and a fun drive to do early in the morning.

Great view! Beautiful trail.

ATTN: Road is CLOSED and the trailhead is inaccessible. However, I’d love to come back and hike this when it opens up. The drive from Portland wasn’t too bad.

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