Cracker Lake Trail

MODERATE 18 reviews
#9 of 105 trails in

Cracker Lake Trail is a 13.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near East Glacier Park, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

13.5 miles
2086 feet
Out & Back




nature trips


horseback riding






wild flowers





1 day ago

18 days ago

We went in late May and snow was still covering the majority of the last bit of the trail making it extremely difficult but the views could not be beat! We didn't see any grizzlies and our campsite had lots of cute marmots.

3 months ago

3 months ago

If you prefer a quiet hike this is the trail for you. During the 14 mi hike in late July we probably ran into 10 people. It is also an equestrian trail so it might be a little stinky and hard to walk at the beginning of the trail depending on the weather. Most part of the trail is in the woods, until the end when the vista opens up for the valley behind and the lake ahead. Saw a moose, and the ground squirrels by Cracker Lake were adorable. There is an abandoned mine at the end of the lake. I watched a video after coming back from this hike - apparently there is a side trail that leads to the summits surrounding Cracker Lake:
It seems pretty dangerous though - but you learn not to pee out in the open in this area even if you seem to be the only hikers around. They might be 1000 ft right above you, eating crackers and watching you for entertainment.

9 months ago

An easy hike for a couple in their mid 20's. Some scenery on the hike to the lake but it is definitely worth the trip for the views of the lake.

horseback riding
10 months ago

The most gorgeous trail ride ever! Well maintained. Busy horse trail. If you are a private stock owner, check in with Swan Mtn Outfitters so that you can plan your ride around theirs. Park above Many Glacier Hotel. We went on a super windy day and the wind by the lake was fierce and cold. Hitching rails for stock at the lake. I highly recommend you add the Cracker Flats Loop to your trip. It's worth it.

10 months ago

The color of water was unlike any place I've ever experienced--truly unique and breathtaking. Not as popular of a trail in our experience so the solitude was refreshing. The only downside was quite a bit of horse poop the first couple miles where they do rides---not a huge deal just wish I wore my hiking boots instead of trail runners.

11 months ago

Long hike. Beautiful views! The color of the lake is breathtaking when the sun hits it.

Friday, June 24, 2016

This is an absolutely beautiful hike. Although it is pretty long, it's worth it. Great scenery, may not be the hike for those who are deathly afraid of bears, but overall a great experience.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cracker lake is a popular backcountry camp site. The scenery is beautiful and lots of wide life around the lake. Sunrise is the most amazing at the lake so definitely stay overnight if you can make it happen. There are only limited 3 campsites and permits are required.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Beautiful scenery throughout the trail, however, be prepared to yield to horses.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Great moderate-long hike. Lots of bear area once you clear the ravine side. Perfect walk around a mountain and into a valley cul de sac with sheer cliffs framing a beautiful lake. Not one of those hikes which could be good even in bad weather, you need good weather. Start early and enjoy the day.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A great two-day, one-night backpacking trip. Just like any hike in Glacier, it's a beautiful trek through Rocky Mountain wilderness -- although you aren't very far from the park road. Cracker Lake, the final point of the trip, is baby blue from the mountain silt. It almost glows when you top the lake's horizon line. When I was there, the lake was full of trout which seemed to be feeding on insects landing on the water during the evening, so we sat and watched the millions of expanding blue rings ripple across the blanket of blue. The best part is the camp sites. On a grassy ledge held up by ruby red granite above the lake, the campsites offer a gorgeous morning view when you wake up and unzip your tent. It's also where mountain goats hang out, so you might share your coffee with a white-furred friend. The campsite has a flag pole away from the sleep sites for hanging food. (Don't forget you're in bear country.) The only reason I don't give this trail a 5-star rating is because of the horses. I believe the first section (1/4 or 1/3 or so) allows horses, so once you pass that section, you're equine free. My group passed a group of riders on our way back. Yes, passed them. Aside from the horses, it's a scenic, moderately challenging one-night backcountry trip through northern Montana's Rocky Mountains.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Love this hike. Be prepared to share the trail with horses for the first little stretch. Being old shoes because its very muddy the first 1-2 miles. This hike is long and drags out but I thought it was totally worth it. There's not too much traffic but heavy foliage in the first couple miles may make bear worried hikers anxious. Just bring bear spray. The woods are beautiful, the small canyon you reach halfway in is cool, the river is awesome, and the lake at the end is gorgeous. It has a unique color to it. Make this hike a day hike- it can take awhile. In my opinion it's not a bad hike at all in terms of difficulty. Just come prepared! Also bring a jacket for the lake- it can get chilly there with the wind.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I just finished hiking this trail... I thought it was long but worth it! I don't feel this hike was hard at all it was easy!! So beautiful!! I did get stuck behind the horses, but they let us pass after a ways.. Lots of horse poop!! But still worth it!! Loved it!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This is an amazing hike. It's uphill on the way in -- 6 miles w/ 1400 feet of elevation gain -- right though bear country. There is heavy foliage most of the first 4-5 miles. That foliage provides some nice shade, but also creates a situation where hikers could potentially surprise a grizzly or black bear. The trail follows Canyon Creek most of the six miles. Once you reach Cracker Lake, the terrain changes. The landscape opens up, there are few trees, and the views are spectacular. The lake is turquoise blue, because of the suspended glacial silt, and sits in a beautiful glacial cirque. The elevation of the lake is roughly 6000 feet above sea level. The rim of the cirque rises to over 10,000 feet. There was a big bull moose that moved around the side of the lake opposite the trail and the backcountry campsites. There were also two beautiful white mountain goats that walked among the tents and trails during our entire stay.