Danny on Memorial National Recreation Trail

MODERATE 61 reviews
#6 of 35 trails in

Danny on Memorial National Recreation Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Whitefish, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

7.2 miles
2,034 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips



wild flowers



8 days ago

Fantastic summer trail run from the mountain village. Some steeps, and some nice, varied terrain. Saw a black bear on the way back down.

trail running
9 days ago

Loved it. Wanted a challenging trail run and I got it. It was a grind going up and coming down was fast... stopped a few times to take in the beautiful scenery. What an awesome hike/trail run. Weather was great!! If you are looking for a great hike with some amazing views this is a good trail to do.

11 days ago

We hiked this hike on 7/1/18. I agree with the posted signs at the trail head, rather than the AllTrails rating, that this is a difficult hike. It is, at least, for those of us not used hiking at elevation. The hike starts at 4,733 feet and gains over 2k feet if you get all the way to the Summit House Restaurant at 6,817 feet. The tail head is actually in the Village of the Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly called Big Mountain Resort), though the directions here and in Google will take you to the Base Lodge of the resort. From the base lodge (elev. 4,464 feet), you need to head up to the village/lift plaza, about .2 miles(?) to get to the trail head. Or you can take the base lodge chair lift up (free), if it is operating. Or you can drive and park directly at the trail head by navigating to Hellroaring Saloon and Eatery; parking is available here in this "village" area. The trail distance posted by the resort is 3.8 miles one way. If you add the .2 miles to get to the trail head from the base lodge, and believe the posted signs, the round trip for this hike is actually 8 miles.

Check the weather and be prepared for it to change. On July 1, the temperature at the Summit was 47 degrees and we hiked through light rain for almost the entire hike. This made for slippery conditions though the pine needle blanket on the trail alone means that you should wear real hiking shoes to make it up and down this mountain without falling. Parts of the trail were still covered in snow and there was plenty of snow on the edges of the trail near the top of the mountain. We encountered maybe 10 other groups of hikers during our time on the trail. Like us, many of them had lunch at the Summit House Restaurant after hiking up and then paid $9 each to take the chairlift back down the mountain.

They have improved the trail markings, at least as of our visit. When the trail seems to end near chairlift 5, they've added orange flags to direct you across the ski run to the continuation of the trail. At the top of the trail though, at the summit, it is not clear how to get to the restaurant. We walked up a very steep service road to get there, though there is apparently another path that we never found.

The views of Flathead Valley, Flathead Lake (from the summit), Whitefish Lake, and the surrounding forest are amazing!

12 days ago

A hike I would defiantly do again!
I would have given a 5, but I think charging for the lift, one direction, is a bit much! If you do the hike in one direction, as we did, it cost $9! Many other places don’t charge for one direction!
The hike took us 2 hrs and we stopped for pics many times, as there are great scenic views which make it a 5!

13 days ago

Oh, this is a beautiful trail! Couldn’t finish it because some of the hiking party was out of shape. If you’ve hiked semi-regularly, it’ll be no problem though!! And definitely worth it! First you go through woods and over creeks, then along the mountainside with outstanding views :) Though not an ideal hike for your grandma, it’s worth checking out if you’re in the area!

16 days ago

This trail is easily accessible to all ages. I took kids aged 10, 13 and 14. Dogs are welcome on leash on this trail. We did the entire length of the trail to the summit. The views of the Flathead Valley from the trail are amazing. Lots of photo opportunities!
Trail is moderate difficulty in the beginning, but I would say hard the last mile or so. Summit house was open to grab a quick bite to eat, use the bathrooms and refill water bottles. We didn’t see any signs of wildlife, but were greeted by a beautiful marmot on the way down.
The only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is because the trail signage was confusing at times, and few and far between. It would be nice to have better markers on the trail.

26 days ago

Did this yesterday. Great hike even in the rain. Rated difficult at the location so be aware this is more than a moderate hike if you’re not in shape. Steady elevation going up and a bit hard on the joints on the way down, but better than taking the faster route down, which is very steep. Great views and the restaurant at the top is a nice stop to refuel before hiking back down.

27 days ago

Did this hike today. Nice trail with great views. Close to the top we ran into a lot of packed snow/slush/mud, but fine as long as you’ve got hiking shoes/boots. Lots of other hikers. No bear signs. Restaurant at the summit smelled delicious. You can take a faster route down which we did but it was pretty steep...our friend slipped and fell 4 times just due to the rocky/steep terrain. Going down the way we came up would have been easier on our knees and easier on our friend...

1 month ago

Did it with my dog this morning, still some snow and was definitely worried about waking any bears up from their winter slumber but we didn’t see any. Gets a little chilly but if you’re moving at a good pace you won’t feel it. Views are really nice; the flowers aren’t out yet and the markers are mostly down but it’s pretty hard to lose track of the trail - sometimes you can interchange it with the access road but it was very enjoyable. My dog could have done it 4x! But not me

9 months ago

Great trail, however due to winter storms, the trail was closed to the peak. We went as far as we could and then ran into some snow pack and downed trees. This is a great climb with no bouldering or rock scrambles. It is a beautiful hike that will get your heart and blood pumping. CARRY BEAR SPRAY and be aware and alert to wildlife. We ran into a very large (mama) brown bear and her two cubs that wanted to come up the same trail we were trying to descend. We ended up heading back UP the trail and scrambling down through some trees and brush to access a logging road that (thankfully) ran parallel to the Danny On Trail. Great for a quick(ish) hike - didn't take very long for us to complete. Maybe a couple hours.

9 months ago

Well kept and marked trails. Great views.

10 months ago

Great trail with awesome views of the valley but super hard elevation in the last mile!

10 months ago

Gorgeous trail through huckleberries and wildflowers. I recommend taking the lift to the top and hiking down.

11 months ago

Beautiful trail. Difficult to climb up. Recommend taking the ski lift up and hiking down. 1.5-2 hour hike.

11 months ago

Very narrow steep trail along dry dirt and rock. Lovely wild flowers and huckleberries this time of year but short on views.

11 months ago

Scenic trail- great hike, beautiful wildflowers!

11 months ago

Beautiful trail! Outrageous wildflowers, good work out. A must trek while in Whitefish.

11 months ago

Gorgeous hike hidden in the mountain!

11 months ago

Love this hike!

11 months ago

Great trail. Birded two miles up and back. Trail was well marked and easy to follow at least to that point. Should have started earlier in day to beat the heat

11 months ago

I loved this hike great reward st the top of now costs to go up or down the lift

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beautiful views of the valley from this trail and right now the beargrass is in full bloom. Huckleberries later in season. Part of the trail is closed up top right now and you have to go straight up the keep trail instead. Love that you can hike up and ride the chairlift down (or the other way around).

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

beautiful, good length!

Saturday, August 06, 2016

We really enjoyed this mountain trail. Gorgeous wildlowers and also berry bushes.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Great views throughout. Thoroughly enjoyed this hike, especially the ice cold beer that was served at the top.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hike was beautiful

Saturday, June 11, 2016

I haven't hiked this in several years, but enjoyed it when I lived in Whitefish. There are huckleberries to pick in season, there's the possibility to see a bear or moose and you can take the lift down and enjoy the view of the Flathead valley. Yes, the trail is poorly marked near the top. Just head for the restaurant at the summit. Also, there could be deep snow early in the year - even in early June if it was a good winter. Check the Web cams.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

This is a better Idea of the Danny On trail On Big Mountain Montana. http://www.summitpost.org/big-mountain-mt/522116 They do need better trail markers though.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My best friend lives in Whitefish Montana, one summer we hiked the Avalanche Lake trail and did the Danny On trail two days later. We took the Ski lift up and we intended to hike the trial down. However the trail is so poorly marked that we missed the trial where it crosses a bike path and ended up taking the bike path down, big mistake. Very hard way to go down . Also this map has it marked wrong it's trail head is at the Ski Resort and you can hike it round trip. or pay for the ski lift up or if you hike up you can ride down for free on the lift. I would like to do it again but hike it round trip.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Poorly marked train lead to the end of, well, the top of a chairlift. Was tough to find the trailhead. You'll end up walking back on a fire road.

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