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This hike is all about endurance. Once you peel off to the Lake Solitude trail, it definitely becomes more of a mental challenge to push yourself. As other reviewers have posted, the first mile is the hardest in terms of elevation gain. After that, you reach the valley and the views are jaw dropping. A few miles under the blazing sun, broken up by quick jaunts through what looks like an enchanted forest, you reach the Lake Solitude trail on the right. Stop at this spot and have lunch. The views are amazing and the sounds of the river are all around you. Continue pushing on after lunch. The first part of the Lake Solitude trail is in the forest, so you’re in the shade. Then you come out into a valley filled with HUGE boulders. You’re in direct sun from here to the end - about 2 miles. Watch your footing, as the trail here is littered with larger, uneven stones or steps. The last 0.5 mile is the most challenging in terms of pushing yourself. The grade is steep and the path is very rocky. Break often and drink water as much as you can. Turn around often and check out where you’ve come from - you’ll be surprised not only with how much ground you’ve covered, but the amazing views afforded to you. This is definitely a bucket list hike. In terms of timing, allow 8 hours to go at a leisurely pace, take lots of pictures, and allow for break times. We missed the Jenny Lake shuttle on the way back (arrived at 5pm, an hour after they stopped running) and hike to hike ANOTHER 2.7 miles to the car in the parking lot. We knew this was a possibility, but it would have been nice to catch a ride at the end. Either make sure you make the shuttle or mentally prepare for this added mileage. In all, a WONDERFUL hike. Thrilled we did it. I hope this review helps!

An absolute must on the hiker's to do list. Highly recommend to spend extra nights at Berg lake campsite to explore extension hikes, especially the stunning snowbird pass trail alongside the Robson glacier and Alpine Meadows.

Beautiful views the entire trip.

one of my favorite hikes of all time. spectacular views the entire way and the glacier lake and waterfalls are amazing.

Like are you even kidding me with these fall colors gosh DANG Montana

hiking
1 day ago

Moose and epic canyon views!!!

hiking
2 days ago

Outstanding views the entire trail. Gives you nearly everything GNP has to offer including lakes, heights, wildlife, and glaciers.

Consistent, steady incline and sun exposure throughout most of the trail. While you don’t hear much about the sheer cliffs on this path, there are some points that may make those with a fear of heights a bit nervous. Prepare for a somewhat strenuous finish, but they payoff is very much worth it.

Would recommend bringing lunch to eat while overlooking the lake at the farthest point in the trail.

One of the best trails in one of the best parks.

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

hiking
4 days ago

A fabulous trail that can be adjusted to meet your needs and time.

We hiked the full circle today with side trips to Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls. Hidden Falls is a GEM of a waterfall and very easy to get to. You can hike from the south Jenny Ranger Station, or from the north from the String Lake parking or even right a boat to the base of the falls and just hike up the gorge 1/4 mile. Take your pick.

Ok, here is my list.
1. The circle is 7.7 miles but the side routes adds another 1.2 miles
2. Western side of the lake trail has a moderate climb up to the falls. Otherwise the trail is very easy and well maintained
3. The Western side has two trails coming from the Ranger Station. The lower trail is closed for restoration.
4. Get to the parking lot early otherwise you will be doing a hike before you start your hike
5. The Eastern side of the lake trail is virtually flat and dirt with an occasional rock or root. Very easy
6. The only treacherous part of the trail is a rock slide area on the west side before you arrive at the falls. The rocks are loose and sharp.
7. We had deer on the trail with us for over a mile and only left the trail when we arrived at the String Lake creek
8. The burn area on the west side is sun exposed but offers a lot of diversity in plants which are giving good color right now
9. The trail is crowded from the southern parking lot to the falls on the west side
10. Runners use the eastern side

And Hidden Falls is flowing very very very well. It is worth every step of the trip

Started this hike at 7:40 from Jenny Lake parking lot and took the (steep) horse trail to meet up with the Cascade Canyon trail near the boat dock. The first mile-ish and last mile-ish of this hike are the hardest in my opinion since they have the most elevation gain. The rest of the hike is pretty smooth sailing other than the length so endurance is a must. We made it to the lake at noon and stayed for about 30 minutes so we could make it back for the boat shuttle. Took a dip in the lake which was amazing. We saw a fox walking along the trail towards us and a moose laying along the water. Made it back to the boat dock at 3:30 even with taking time for lots of photos. 17 miles in total. The views the entire hike are unmatched. 10/10 would do it again!

Great hike good mix of trees, streams, and Meadows. Saw a bobcat and bull moose right off trail and a mountain goat up higher. We continued around Two Medicine Lake for a total of 8.2 miles. Counting a 20 minute lunch break at Rockwell Falls this hike took us 4.5 hours.

tough. would like to have had mile markers so we knew where we were.

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

The beauty is amazing and I did see a big black bear about 50 yards away.

I’m not sure why they would call this moderate difficulty as it has no vertical movement at all.

The views are a must. Highly recommended.

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!

nature trips
8 days ago

Preface - I’m somewhat sedimentary gentleman from the lowlands of Missouri at around 950 ft elevation, work full time and go to grad school full time so not too active right now.

We took the Jenny lake ferry, saved some time and energy for the trail. When we took it 2 weeks ago the trailhead was in a different location from this map. The first mile or so was somewhat intense for me climbing up from the lake. You are in fairly dense vegetation, which is pretty, but the dividends pay out when you leave that portion and enter the canyon.

The remainder of the trail to the back of the canyon heading to the fork is worth the whole first mile of climb. The gradient is gradual along the canyon and the views are beyond amazing. We didn’t see any bears, we saw a lone moose, a couple of snakes, and bounds of squirrels and chip monks. Wild huckleberry bushes line the trail making adding for a nice delicious snack along the route.

We stopped at the fork and saw the waterfall at the back of the canyon and then turned back.

It took us around 4ish hours all in. We stopped for rest breaks along the way to rest our feet, enjoy the views, and for me catch my breath at altitude (mostly the first mile or so). We were getting passed along the way by others who could handle a faster pace, but it wasn’t a race and a quick hike wasn’t the point of the trail. Make sure to allocate time accordingly to enjoy your presence in the canyon, for a low, flatland Missouri boy these are views you might have never seen before, so you don’t want to rush it.

Other tips - wear proper footwear. I used trail runners with gaiters to keep pebbles out. It’s a very well maintained trail.

Bring plenty of water. I packed a 3 ltr water bladder and a 1 ltr Nalgene for electrolyte drink. My buddy who hikes 14’ers went with me with same rig. We both exhausted our water by the time we got back to the trailhead. For the most part I was sore but good to go at the end. I saw folks without water or with a small water bottle. It is remote up there and you don’t want to be in a situation 4 miles up trail without water. It’s easy to get exhausted up there, and getting dehydrated up there is risk on you and your hiking partners or other folks on the trail. It’s easy to pack a couple of liters of water in a backpack, and I highly suggest it.

Bring/wear sunscreen. We started around 10am, and by midday sun was overhead and beating down. Temperature was fine, but you could feel the the sun on any exposed skin.

Bring a snack. Not 100% necessary but 1) you’ll probably hike 10 miles or so car to car, and that’s not including if you chose to hike around the lake instead of taking the ferry. You might need some fuel along the way. 2) it’s nice to take a break at the back of the canyon and eat your snack. A halftime break off your feet and just enjoying the environment.

Bear spray. It’s bear country folks, and while we didn’t see any and there is plenty of foot traffic you are up in an area where a bear could be around the next turn. 50$ is a cheap insurance policy up there, and I saw plenty without any, but I kept mine ready the whole hike.

Another thing to note is the ferry stops running at 7. We saw folks starting out as we were coming back down thinking they had time to hike the trail.

That being said, stretch out, have a good breakfast, hydrate, and go for it. You won’t be disappointed at all.

Another semi-pro tip. Once you get back to the other side of Jenny lake, pop your shoes off and wade in the lake. It’s quite cold and feels amazzzzzing on your sore feet and legs. 5 minutes of a cold wade about knee deep was immensely better than popping an ibuprofen.

hiking
8 days ago

The view at the lake when you first arrive is spectacular, perhaps the best in the park. Hike around the lake is easy. Total trip from parking lot is 7.5 miles. Moderate for distance, easy otherwise.

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked this trail with my husband today. We left from string lake. Left at 8:45am. Took 4:08 to top and 3:45 back down. We took our time down (I have knee problems). Saw 3 moose a fox and several marmots. Beautiful hike and tons of waterfalls along the way.

Hiked up to the divide of Cascade Canyon and Paintbrush Canyon, gorgeous view on the skyline.

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.

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 was very nearly stairs 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.

Beautiful scenic trail. Can’t get enough of the cascade canyon. Not a very technical trail. Endurance matters.

We took the Southwest route. I’m an advanced hiker but my fiancé is not so I wanted an easy trail. This route was definitely more moderate and challenging for him. We did get to view a bull moose eating at the moose pond which was a neat experience. Thankfully we were able to bring the boat back rather than hike the rest of the loop. Beautiful trail, great weather. Highly recommend it.

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..

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