Grinnell Glacier Trail

MODERATE 238 reviews
#2 of 114 trails in

Grinnell Glacier Trail is a 9.8 mile heavily 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 July until September.

DISTANCE
9.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2024 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

camping

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

trail running

lake

river

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

no dogs

hiking
1 month ago

A truly beautiful hike with amazing scenery. It's not a hard hike to do, however towards the end of the hike there is a serious amount of snow that made it basically impossible to make it all the way to the glacier. Still a great hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked: Mid-October 2017
Weather: recent snowfall and VERY windy
Wildlife: goats, elk, grizzly, deer
Boats were not operating at time
Bathrooms and picnic tables at the trailhead

Arrived about 11am. Enjoyed getting the heart pumping with a brisk walk bc boats were done for the season. Lots of canopy coverage at this point. The trail becomes slightly steeper, but definitely manageable. This is about the time you look back and get gorgeous views of the lakes.

At this point in the hike, other hikers pointed out a bear much further walking up the trail. We continued on to warn hikers in front of us about the bear, which we thought was black. We were about 1.5 miles from the end when we viewed the grizzly bear at a safe distance. Waited about an hour before turning around bc the winds were supposed to be even worse that afternoon and the bear was still eating about 100+ yards from us, but about 50 feet off the trail ahead. Hey... a bear’s gotta eat and I can definitely relate! Still sad I didn’t finish a hike I had planned for so long, but the journey was still wonderful.

Will definitely be back to complete this hike in the future!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with amazing views. Did the hike without the boat rides. Did this one Mid June and snow still present towards the end of trail. Lots of beautiful wildflowers. Nearing the glaciers, going around a bend were fresh grizzly tracks. Keep bear spray accessible. Did this one with 2 kids 14 and 12 who were absolutely amazed at the views & not focused on distance.

hiking
2 months ago

ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!❄️ without taking the boat, it’s more like 12 miles round trip.

hiking
2 months ago

one of top trails in Glacier Nat Park - get on the trail EARLY and carry bear spray! can shorten hiking distance by taking boat across 2 lakes. Lots of wildlife!

hiking
2 months ago

This was an amazing hike, the views literally never stopped. When we reached the Glacier I almost cried it was so beautiful. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything that spectacularly beautiful in my life. The hike is not hard, a little over 2k elevation gain spread out over 5.5 miles to the top. It was a little steeper at the end but you're so excited you barely notice. We brought shoe spikes (like yak trax) which was really nice with the fresh fallen snow and ice in the AM but definitely not required. The temp differences from start to finish are pretty staggering so bring layers. We had a winter jacket in our packs and that made our time at Glacier super pleasant compared with others who barely moved due to being frozen. Pack bear spray (don't even consider this hike without it) although we didn't encounter one we did meet a woman who had been followed by a grizzly just moments before we passed her. We were charged by a huge ram on the way up that we accidentally surprised but he only did it for a few seconds and then stopped but the spray would have worked on the ram had we needed it. The rams blocked our path on the way down too but it was all part of the thrill of the hike. We waited about a half hour and then they moved on. We had lunch just over the bridge on the way to Lake Grinnell (a quick detour) on a little sand bar facing the glaciers and mountains and it was breathtakingly beautiful. I highly recommend that. Overall there isn't a hike anywhere that packs in so much beauty and excitement in my humble opinion.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike. Went up early. Last mile or so was snow and ice and very windy at the top. Hat and gloves were appreciated. Not a challenging hike but an amazing one.

3 months ago

Amazing hike.

hiking
3 months ago

We took the first boat ride which was supposed to be a ranger led hike, but that portion ended up being cancelled due to the smoke. I was nervous about running into a grizzly, but there was enough safety in numbers on the way up that it wasn't a problem (plus, we didn't end up seeing any grizzlies after all). We saw lots of big horn sheep, even right along the trail, as well as a ptarmigan. Another couple that we ran into on the trail said they spotted something that sounds like a Canadian lynx about 20 yards from where we were, but we didn't actually see it. The smoke was challenging and obstructed the view of the lake that is usually visible from the trail. Despite the challenges, this was a tough but rewarding hike!

3 months ago

It was fabulous even though there was smoke from nearby fires.

hiking
3 months ago

Busy trail because it is so awesome!!!! Glad to see so many people taking on this hike. Stunning views the entire way to keep you distracted from the 2000+ elevation gain!

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is located in Many Glacier, the most beautiful part of the park (IMO). It features incredible views right from the start and once you're up at the glacier, looking back down is stunning! If you're looking for a camp spot and Many Glacier Campground is full (which is usually is in peak months) try hewing Blackbones Campground. Its about a 10-15 minute drive, is beautiful, and always has spots.

Check out more details here: http://livelifemobile.com/taking-on-grinnell-glacier-trail/

3 months ago

Was completely overwhelmed by the breathtaking sites and sounds on this trail, and surprised by its difficulty but attribute that to problems with adjusting to higher elevation. Bring lots of water, or refill at the falls - the water there is delicious. Trekking polls would have been helpful for the descent.

hiking
3 months ago

Breathtaking views from start to finish, and tons of fun terrain including walking through a little waterfall. Lots of wildlife- don't forget your bear spray, and takes tons of water as you're exposed to the sun the majority of the time. We didn't do the boat ride, which makes the trail longer (around 11 miles), but you can also just take the boat either going or coming back if you want to do all the things :) Grinnell Glacier at the end is AMAZING, take the time to walk around the lake to touch it and listen to the cracking and popping noises- this glacier won't be around for long.

3 months ago

We hiked to the Glacier last weekend and were lucky to have clear skies. The hike is a steady series of short level areas then uphill gains. A lot of sun exposed areas so extra water is a necessity. We saw a moose in Lake Josephine, a nice ram Mt. sheep and two grizzlies all on the hike.
It is well worth the long day. Leave early so you can spend more time at the glacial lake.

hiking
3 months ago

Best hike of my life. Views were incredible!

3 months ago

Highly recommend-boat ride was informative and fun- hike was a great workout with amazing views all the way and experiencing Glacier up
Close was fantastic-bighorn sheep were fun to
see-
Others saw moose and baby by lake- one bear on trail. Totally recommend.

3 months ago

Amazing. Waterfalls, views, lakes, and wildlife. Took my 4 and 5 year old and they both hiked the whole way (with lots of breaks). Bighorn sheep were found at the top as well. Highly recommend this hike and if we are back in Glacier we will be doing this one again.

3 months ago

The whole hike was marvelous. Lots of bears though: we saw two.

3 months ago

great hike, steep at the end but well worth it.

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