Cracker Lake Trail

MODERATE 51 reviews
#7 of 114 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.

DISTANCE
13.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1669 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

no dogs

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I've done and favorite that we did in Glacier. It's a fairly long hike and the scenery is great. You truly get to experience everything from crossing creeks on log bridges, trekking through the woods and then the final approach to cracker lake is a breeze. Make sure to plan accordingly and you MUST go the extra ~1 mile down to the lake shore. Gorgeous blue that I've never seen before nestled below the Glacier and surrounded by mountains on all sides.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike, long, but worth it. The views are spectacular and the water is a color I've never seen before! Great spot for an engagement! ;)

hiking
5 months ago

This is the prettiest lake on the planet. DO THIS HIKE. I'd say it's mostly moderate, with a few moments of hard. There are a few steep inclines, but they are all short and don't last long. They require quick bursts of energy and can be a little draining. I also woke up a little tired the day I did this one, so maybe that's why those hit me a little harder than they might normally. (I do 20 mile day hikes, and this was a "rest" day for me, so when I was expecting this to be moderate, those few moments of uphill threw me off a bit.) Oh yeah, there's also tons of horse poop along the trail, so breathing heavy and inhaling that fine aroma is kind of off putting. Regardless, this hike is an absolute must if you're visiting Glacier. Horse poop and all.

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

Great trail, beautiful view at the end. However.... tons of horse poop. The whole way. (And the flies that go with it). I consider it a fair price to pay for an otherwise glorious hike, but i think it's worth mentioning to other hikers. Also.... lots of blind turns and overgrown bush right off trail- do NOT hike this without bear spray. There is a lake overlook just over 5.7 miles in, and a pit toilet another .75 miles or so further down by the back country lake camping area.

horseback riding
7 months ago

The most beautiful ride I have been on.

hiking
7 months ago

The only downside to this trail is that it is shared with horses. Other than that, the views at the lake are well worth the hike. It is some of the bluest water I've ever seen!

7 months ago

This trail although long, 13.5 miles round trip, is a must.
The downside is in the beginning and end of the hike where the trail is for both horses and hikers.
The upside is the last third of the trail. It will blow you away. Highly recommended!

7 months ago

After Grinnell Glacier and The 3 falls trail from Sun Point, this was more of a destination hike. The lake was beautiful surrounded by a massive stone bowl with glaciers and snow melt streams. Not as much to see until the end. Overall, a gradual incline most of the way with a couple of snow crossings.

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely stunning! The color of the lake is truly spectacular.

backpacking
8 months 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.

hiking
11 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyi0NYV4qUM
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.

hiking
Friday, September 02, 2016

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
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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.

hiking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

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.

Monday, July 11, 2016

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

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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

hiking
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.

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