Danny On 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 difficult. 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.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,034 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

2 months ago

Great hike if you’re looking for something close to Whitefish.

2 months ago

Beautiful scenery with the option to take a lift down.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing scenery and views in mid-September. Be prepared for weather changes. Would definitely recommend this beautiful trail.

2 months ago

Took our dog on the hike and had a nice early evening hike ! Was beautiful scenery! Definitely would recommend this hike !

2 months ago

Great hike! It’s 3.8 to the end point and another .5 to the gondola. If I did it again, I would have had two IPAs at the bar and taken the gondola down. :) Enjoy.

2 months ago

as a flatlander this was a little tough. decent views throughout. lots of huckleberries to be picked. the last stretch up to the summit was the hardest part. gondola ride back down was well worth the $9 ticket.

3 months ago

Beautiful views but very challenging... technical for running in many spots.

hiking
3 months ago

We decided to do this one from top to bottom... took the chair up, grabbed a beer at the summit and made our way down. Very well-maintained trail with plenty of signage. The declines were very steep in spots which made me second guess our choice to start at the top, but we took the Flower Point loop which added about 1.5 miles to the hike and also provided some inclines to give our knees a break. This side loop also provides incredible views over the canyon at the resort's eastern boundary.

Tons of wildflowers and whitebark pine. Tons of birds, including one female ptarmigan.

Fun trail!

hiking
3 months ago

Very solid hike up Big Mountain. Huck picking along the way. Lots of bear scat but no bears today. Saw some eagles. Last stretch to the summit is worth it. As good as advertised a must do hike!

3 months ago

We didn’t think we were going to hike today because it was supposed to be a pretty hot day, but we got up to the Mountain and it was beautiful, so we grabbed some water and hit the trail. It meanders in out of tree cover and has lots of areas of shade with great views. We picked huckleberries and thimbleberries along the way. We turned around at about the 2 mile mark and headed back down. Would love to do this again when we’re more prepared!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail. Great views. Can opt to take the gondolas up and hike down. We hiked up and rode back down the mountain for a new view. Cost is a or $9 a person for the lift.
The top is worth going for. Some great views of Glacier. The last mile up, the elevation rises by over 800 ft.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail had clear markers and a lot of the hike you have views of Whitefish lake. When you are at the top you can get a good view of the mountains surrounding. I found the hike a little underwhelming, but still enjoyed it.

4 months 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
4 months 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.

hiking
4 months 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!

4 months 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!

hiking
4 months 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!

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
4 months 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.

5 months 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...

hiking
6 months 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

hiking
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Well kept and marked trails. Great views.

hiking
Sunday, August 27, 2017

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

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

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

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

Saturday, August 05, 2017

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Scenic trail- great hike, beautiful wildflowers!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Gorgeous hike hidden in the mountain!

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