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Grinnell Glacier Trail [CLOSED] is a 11.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Babb, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and fly fishing and is best used from June until October.

Length 11.2 mi Elevation gain 2,181 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Forest Lake River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Rocky Closed No dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

Note: As of August 2020, visitors cannot access this route via the trailhead shown on this page. Access to the eastern side of Glacier National Park is closed due to COVID-19 precautions. Users have reported that Grinnell Glacier can still be accessed from the western side of Glacier National Park. Areas of this hike may be closed even into June due to lingering snow. Please consult the park's website before visiting.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1345)
Photos (1640)
Recordings (850)
Completed (2965)
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Clisby White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2020

Hiked this back in 2018 and it was amazing. The trail still had ice and snow on it which made it a bit sketchy in some parts but it was 100% worth it. The water is so blue in the lakes and seeing Upper Grinell covered in ice with the blue water coming through was like nothing I'd ever seen before. The views also make this hike seem a lot shorter than it is. A few days after this I hiked up to the saddle on the ridge from the Highline Trail behind Upper Grinnell lake to take in the view from above. Unbelievable!

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Maddie Kertson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Backpacking

Hardest and best trail I have hiked. Stunning views. Hard hike. Very worth it!

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Marshal Gillen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
HikingGreat!

This hike is not closed! Just entrance from East Glacier. Go in thru West Glacier and take the 30 mile trip up Going-To-The-Sun road! This was my first time on this hike. It was a long, tough hike. And when you get to the last mile of this hike, and you start your ascent up to Grinnell... You WILL want to quit. Multiple times. Just take as many breaks as you need and keep going! Because at the top is one of THEE most majestic views I’ve seen in nature. It’ll absolutely take your breath away. Then the mile descent back down will suck as well, and the almost 8 mile hike back out will be exhausting. But when it’s all said and done, it’s one of the best and most beautiful trails I’ve hiked in this country. Pack plenty of water, high energy food/snacks, and sun screen and hat. You’ll be grateful you did. All in all... I turned the day into a 7 hour, 19.1 mile hike that I won’t be doing again soon, but only because there’s SO many trails to explore yet! Again, this trail is NOT CLOSED... yoi just have to enter thru West Glacier!

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Rob Gordon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2020
HikingClosed

Returned from GNP on 8/9. True, all trails that are accessed through the east entrance to the park are closed (including Grinnell... bummer, I know first hand). However, contrary to other comments, the closure is being driven from the Blackfeet Tribe Reservation which has closed it's lands/roads (only way to east entrance) to all non-tribe members as a COVID precaution - not a NPS conspiracy. I'm not so selfish as to think my hiking opportunities should be more important than the health and well-being of an entire community with limited resources. We did hike Highline and did the Garden Wall spur trail to get to the Grinnell Glacier overlook. A wonderful experience in itself (but the climb to the overlook is no joke). Happy trails...

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Hannah Christianson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking

Can you access this trail now? Summer 2020?

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Robert McGuffie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
HikingClosedGreat!

This a amazing hike to an ever shrinking natural wonder. The trail has some difficult spots but the beauty of the hike more than makes up for the tough bits. I’d like to thank the forest service for putting peoples well being first by closing the eastern side of the park during this global pandemic. Though it is an inconvenience. Glacier is a very heavily populated park during the summer with crowded visitor centers, campgrounds , and trails. Anyone who thinks this virus is inconsequential should consider the over hundred thousand dead American citizens and their families. Then they should choose there words more intelligently. A flat out denial of scientific fact is not what sent men to the moon and anyone who engages in this denial should be ashamed of themselves. Land management is not the same as servicing visitors. This is a wonderful trail enjoy it when it is open and safe to use.

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Jordan Cook
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingClosed

Incomprehensibly stupid and irresponsible that our Park Service has seen fit to keep the entire East side of Glacier closed this summer in the name of...wait for it, COVID. Like you, I can’t see what COVID could possibly have to do with having an outdoor space open, but that’s their reason. This trail, Ptarmigan Tunnel, and plenty others won’t open this summer. Evidently packing the crowds into a smaller space is how you keep people safe. Just one of the litany of stupid decisions made surrounding this largely inconsequential virus. Even Going to the Sun road isn’t fully open. Apparently driving farther in your car makes you susceptible to catching a virus. I’m sure we can expect to see that big refund on our taxes from all the money we sent to the Department of the Interior since they aren’t bothering to do anything to manage our lands this year.

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Kala DeFrancesco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Is this route open?

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Ryan Cleland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 15, 2020
Hiking

There is no place more picturesque in all of America than the Grinnell Glacier hike. While the photos are amazing, they do not full capture the true blue of the water or enormity of the mountains. You can expect a good amount of traffic even in early July. In early July of 2018 there was still snowpack covering the trail making it difficult to traverse. Those things aside, make the time to take this hike. You will be rewarded for years to come.

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Victoria Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Completed on sept 14, 2018. This hike might be my favorite hike of all time. You start off by going past a few lakes before starting the climbs/switch backs. Honestly they weren’t difficult as the entire time you’re exposed to panoramic views. Spent a decent amount of time at the summit due to how beautiful it is and how blue the water is. Truly nothing like it.

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Yasmin Karimi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 17, 2020

Completed this trial last year when we did a road trip through Banff, Jasper and Glacier NP. Stunning views of the lake and glacier. Tip: if you don't want to do the full hike, once you get 75% through, the views remain the same. Don't get FOMO if you turn around before the end of the trail.

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hunter smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 2, 2020

View trail guide video for this hike in 4k on YouTube, search 'grinnell glacier shotbyhunter'. Alltrails cover picture for this trail is taken from the video. Recommend starting from Many Glacier hotel as shown in video.

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Anna Frye
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 27, 2020
Hiking

Best hike of my entire life. Glacier is incredible and this hike showed me everything it has to offer! This is a must do! Go the whole way back to the glacier. Watch out for bears and moose of course :)

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Michael Buckles
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 12, 2020
Hiking

Did this 2 summers ago. Probably my favorite hike ever. Must do!!

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Matthew Wetesnik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 29, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely perfect hike. Starts off hiking past multiple lakes that remind you of Switzerland followed by some hiking through the forest. Then you hike by the side of a very large lake with incredible mountains all around. The entire time, you can see where the end point is, as there’s a waterfall coming out from the glacier. As you continue to go up, you can start to see a smaller turquoise lake with the most perfect scenery all around. The end gets slightly narrower but a couple of friends and I (23-24 years old and in shape) decided to jog the last mile or two up and felt safe (I’m very scared of heights and was okay but my dad who did it a year later thought it was too narrow for him.) But the end is what’s worth it. You show up right next to a massive glacier. My friends and I actually swam out a few feet to stand on the floating ice and while my entire body went numb, we thought it was well worth it. One of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done.

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Ben den Engelsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 21, 2020
HikingIcyMuddyRockyScrambleSnow

it was a pretty good hike. bit of a scramble in the first 5 km up to the peak especially the last 500m. the last 9 km are nice down hill.

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Carter Wale
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 7, 2020
Rocky

This trail is incredibly stunning and is perhaps the best trail I've done, even though it is usually packed with people. My group was very lucky with wildlife and saw a bull moose(which was shockingly located at the tree line), bighorn sheep, and mountain goats. The Grinnell Glacier is inaccessible from the trail and the hard rating is accurate.

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Zac Charlton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 13, 2020
Snow

I hiked this trail back in spring of 2016. Hands down the most visually stunning place I have ever seen. A great trail too.

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Ash Cibz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 4, 2020
Hiking

Stunning views. Plan to spend at least an hour enjoying the glacier.

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Joe Carlson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 2, 2019
Hiking

This was definitely a challenging hike. The views are amazing, making a great payoff for the hard work getting up the trail. Block out some time to linger at the top and explore the rock formations. It was crowded when we were there, so plan to get there early!

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Scott Campbell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 12, 2019

My favorite hike I've done so far. it gets a little tough as you're getting closer to the glacier. Did this hike solo but there was plenty of traffic on the trail so I felt relatively safe. There was a black bear that made its way onto the trail at one point about 50 feet away from where I was at. Backed up into the forest and the bear went on its way. Absolutely beautiful though. Totally worthwhile.

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Jazmyne Reinke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 11, 2019

Beautiful trail! Started early in the morning (6:30) in August and parking was already packed. A lot of splendid views and scenes, and saw a moose, goats, and other animals.

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Melody Walkup
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 10, 2019
Hiking

This was an awesome trail! Much change in terrain and beautiful sights as you start the steeper hike up the side of the mountain. The glacier lake at the top was breath taking! (July)

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Alex Kuhlmann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2019
Hiking

One of the best hikes we’ve ever done! And we’ve done some of the best hikes in the world. The views are incredible for the entire hike and you’re likely to see wildlife. We ran into some mountain goats on the trail but didn’t see any bears. The glacial lake at the top is super cool and was much more chilly than the rest of the trail so bring a light jacket.

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Leslie W.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 28, 2019
Hiking

Absolutely loved this hike! My favorite so far. Stunning views from start to finish. We ran into 4 goats a few miles into the hike.

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