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Glacier Lake

MODERATE 103 reviews

Glacier Lake is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Red Lodge, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,492 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

fishing

hiking

walking

bird watching

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful short hike. A steady grade to the lake and very pretty. Fairly crowded. The trail is very well maintained. The last few miles of the road are pretty bumpy and a big camper coming down the road can be a pain if you encounter one in a tight turn.

hiking
3 months ago

The road to the trailhead is close to 8 miles and took 40 - 45 minutes to drive. The first 4 miles are pretty good and the last 4 is a little rougher but not bad. Climbed the trail just after the Labor Day weekend, so not busy. Not real difficult. Just be prepared for a steady uphill grade for 2 miles to the top of the trail, before descending .4 miles down to the lake. Didn't see anyone on the way up. At the lake I had a mountain goat visit for 20 - 30 minutes. Plenty of flowers along the well maintained trail. Came across 6 hikers climbing up as I was climbing down.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful views nice trail but to many people for my taste. It’s like the highway to Mystic. I was glad I crossed the damn to get away from the crowds and got down to Emerald Lake where there was no one.

hiking
4 months ago

First of all, Apple maps (maybe others too) have us wrong directions. Once you turn off of the Beartooth highway you'll drive past a couple campgrounds. It directed is to follow the Hellroaring road, it's the wrong one. The road you want is the nicely graded one just past the last campground, right before you would start up the VERY unmaintained Hellroaring road! The correct road was just graded recently so the first 4 miles are super easy. After that it gets bumpy but not awful. There were a couple of spots I was happy to have 4wd but I think it was doable without. The trail has amazing views the entire way. I've hiked hundreds of miles all over the Rockies this summer and the views from the trail on this one were some of the best. Glacier lake is dammed, so don't be surprised or disappointed by that, it's stunning. We crossed the dam (feet will get wet doing this, I carry sandals for such occasions) and continued to Emerald lake. Very beautiful. Nothing disappointing about this hike, whatsoever!

hiking
4 months ago

Really well maintained and beautiful the whole way. We started at 8am, almost no one when we started, when we finished at 10:45am it was much busier at the trailhead. Great hike!

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Great trail, took my three kids 14, 11, and 8 and had a great time. The trail was really busy but once we got to the lake we didn’t see many people. Beautiful views and a beautiful lake.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Love this hike. Went to the last lake (Emerald). No one was hiking past Glacier lake. We did have to walk over snow banks and ice was in the last lake. You have to get your feet wet at glacier to get to the other lakes and there were no trails to the last lake. Definitely a worth while hike. No one was catching any trout but is was very windy.

hiking
4 months ago

Easy to follow! Small patches of snow as you get closer to the lake. Very pretty!

hiking
bugs
snow
5 months ago

Well maintained trail.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

The drive is rough but go slow and enjoy the scenery. The hike is short but so many great views. The last 1/2 was a choose your own adventure because of snow covering the trail. Went up July 3, 2019 if you don't know the trail or don't want to adventure I would wait until late July

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
5 months ago

Rain,hail,snow! Awesome adventure! Definitely cool view.

hiking
off trail
snow
5 months ago

Lots of snow in late June above the bridge, staying on trail was pointless and in some places not possible. Lots of bear sign up high. The rock chucks at the trail head ate some wiring in my truck as well.

hiking
rocky
snow
6 months ago

I do this hike annually, and have been coming up with my dad since I was a kid so I know it inside and out. Best time to hike is mid July through early August if you want minimal snow and want to be able to fish. Brook Trout and Cutthroat is all I’ve ever caught, walk the damn and keep heading south along the hill until it opens up on your left to get to Emerald Lake, a lot better fishing down there.

hiking
Mon Oct 22 2018

My 9yr old son and I hiked this 10/20/18 and it had some snow, which made it a little slippery and wet. Still made it to the lake! Beautiful hike. Reviews say the 1st half is the steepest, I do agree..however the whole hike it basically up hill. Great views at the top!

hiking
Wed Oct 10 2018

Love this hike to death. So much so that I plan to have my ashes scattered here. I’ve been coming here since I was a little boy. Nice 5 mile out-and-back scramble. Road to get here is doable in a stock Explorer or two wheel drive Ranger. I wouldn’t do this hike before mid June without snow shoes because the snow likes to linger in this sheltered region a little longer. Trout fishing is pretty good.

hiking
Tue Sep 11 2018

Really nice hike! Lots of switchbacks and decently steep, but nothing someone who loves hiking can’t handle.

Tue Sep 11 2018

We went on Sept. 1st and the trail was great. It got quite windy at the lake but a light jacket was fine for that. The trail was short enough that the rapid elevation didn't tire me as much as I'd anticipated. I think it's closer to 5 miles out & back though. Will do this hike again next year! P.S. I was worried about the road driving out there from everything I've read, but my AWD Ford Edge had no problems reaching the trailhead.

hiking
Sat Aug 04 2018

The trail was short, but steep. It’s totally worth the climb! The wildflowers, rushing water and scenic mountain views are beautiful. Start early before the trail becomes busy (and before afternoon thunderstorms!) and definitely carry bear spray.

hiking
Tue Jul 24 2018

Non-stop uphill for the first 1.5 miles, then it levels off and heads down to the lake. The views are awesome. The road in is rough but passible with passenger cars. I would advise that you have heavy tread on your tires as standard auto tires may be damaged by the rocks and such. Off road treads are best.

Fri Jul 20 2018

This is a popular trail for a reason! Views of the lake at the end of the trail are breathtaking. I would note that it is longer than 3.6 miles - closer to 5 miles round trip. It’s a strenuous uphill climb for most of the way, but well worth it. Even though there were lots of people out, we saw a bear on the trail, so remember your bear spray!

hiking
Tue Jul 17 2018

This hike is a butt kicker for sure—worth it. A switch backed climb filled with views all the way to the top. Done the first week in July, but of snow for the last half mile or so covering the trail.

hiking
Wed Sep 27 2017

Fantastic hike with beautiful views. We did it after a large snowfall, so it was a bit tougher as the snow was knee deep in some places, but the views are worth it. Definitely a trail to do again in the spring/summer. Make sure you take bear spray; lots of obviously bear activity in the area (tracks, scratches, & heard one growl thankfully up the mountain a bit).

hiking
Wed Sep 13 2017

This is an amazing hike. They rate it Moderate, but I would lean toward Strenuous because of the high elevation and up hill trek. The distance is about 5 miles round trip, but it is all up hill through craggy terrain. Every switchback has a different, breathtaking view with flourishing flora, pine trees, waterfalls, wild huckleberries, blueberries and raspberries galore. Take lots of water. There are big cuttys in the lake! Don't forget your fly rod.

Sun Sep 03 2017

The "road" is a joke. Basically just a continuous bed of rocks you drive over. We've been on many rough roads before but this takes the cake. Had to turn back. We have a 4wd vehicle, it was just too much of an unpleasant experience.

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