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Beautiful. Lots of traffic. For a short hike this has exceptional views. I love the entire journey through the forest not just the view at the end :).

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.

Perfect family hike— 8 year olds enjoyed. The waterfalls are beautiful.

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.

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!

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
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.

crowded, but beautiful

hiking
3 days ago

Absolutely stunning hike with a Great Lake at the end to take a dip. Only downsides were the bear sightings that caused the trail to become closed and a little too many people for my liking.

A fun hike. A bit of everything for everyone. I would rate this as easy to low intermediate. The ladder, tunnel and little climb after are cool but very short and extremely easy to handle. We took our time and made it up in 2.5 hours, stayed 2 hours on top then took the alternate route down and still made it back within 2.5 hours

backpacking
3 days ago

Up to this point, this is the toughest hike I have ever done. I would rate this hike closer to difficult than to moderate. The terrain is very rocky and requires a bit more than average stamina. The ladder climb, cave traverse, and cable climb are not for the faint of heart. Loved it all! The descent is tough but is rewarded with multiple waterfalls. Recommend extra water or filter system. Went thru 6 liters

hiking
3 days 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.

Best trail ever! We took the earliest 8:30 water taxi and returned at 5:30 making it a full day of adventures. Do yourself a favor and bring a bathing suit and beers, we had the best time walking/swimming around the lake. Tip: put your beers in the water, it will be nice and chilly:) It took us the same amount of time to go back as to hike up.

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.

We hiked this trail on 8-3-2018 and found it challenging but doable. You feel pushed because you are not sure how much time you will need to meet up with the boat time. We picked a steady pace and made it in 2 hours and 45 minutes which we were told is better than the average. Stayed at the top had lunch and headed back. Still made it and had to wait an hour and half for the 4 pm boat. We took the early boat also which allowed us extra time. We did not have a lot of people on this day total maybe 60 .
Wonderful hike with a unique trail! If you don’t like heights don’t do this hike.
This was a wonderful day spent in Canada!

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked this trail on 08/09 and it was on day 2 of being open after being closed due to bear activity. It was a beautiful hike up to the lake but keep in mind that on a sunny day, it can be kind of brutal because there is very little shade along the way. On our return, we ran into a pretty decent sized Grizzly right off the side of the trail so make sure to bring bear spray & make some noise! Worth it!

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

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!

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