Grinnell Glacier Trail

MODERATE 820 reviews
#2 of 135 trails in

Grinnell Glacier Trail is a 9.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Babb, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September.

Distance: 9.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,040 feet Route Type: Out & Back

fishing

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

no dogs

Please note: Areas of this hike may be closed even into June due to lingering snow. Please consult the park's website before visiting.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 hours ago

Solid trail with excellent views along the way! Moderately difficult to hike, but it’s definitely worth it. Not much shade in the second half and fairly rocky. Saw a moose and a deer, but no bears. Took about 4.5 hours total round trip to complete.

hiking
7 hours ago

One of my favorite hikes in the park. The start of the trail was fairly flat and a good warm up before you started the incline. The views were incredible. I loved the lakes and waterfalls. We went all the way to the glacier, it was cold up there but totally worth it. We saw a couple bears near the beginning of the trail and evidence of them along the trail. We also saw big horned sheep and mountain goats at the top.

hiking
9 hours ago

This trail should be rated as difficult, and I believe it is a little longer than the description. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t very cooperative while we were on the trail, and we were dumb and not dressed for rain. I was a bit bummed as the clouds distorted the views, but I could tell they would have been great. I think next time I will opt for the Grinnel Lake Trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Made it to upper Grinnell glacier, and the view was spectacular! Besides Grinnell lake, there are also swift current lake and lake Josephine for sightseeing along the hike. Still lots of wild flowers at this time of the year, amazing! Lots of crowds and saw some bighorns at the beginning of upper glacier overlook trail. The highlight was encountering a black cub at the end of the trail by Swiftcurrent lake, very adorable.

hiking
1 day ago

Amazing trail, worth all of the hype! Great views the whole way up. Not much shade once you get on the mountain. I saw a family of 4 goats right on the trail and a group of 10 sheep up on one of the slopes. I started at around 10:45 and I would not get there any later than that. It is chilly at the top, being a hat and gloves. It also drizzled for a few minutes at the glacier. A pretty big elevation gain, around 2,600’ on my trek, but the only really steel part is near the end.

recorded Grinnell Glacier Trail

hiking
1 day ago

AMAZING!! The hike was actually 5.7 miles each way, but I didn’t start recording my hike until after a few miles This was probably the best hike I have ever done Trail is very well marked and traveled, with terrain and scenery changing throughout. Stunning views and worth the hike. We started about 8am and it took about 6 hours. The ranger station by the trailhead will “loan” you bear spray, if you bring it back - very nice.

hiking
2 days ago

We hiked the trail on 8/12. Got there at 8:30am and got one of the last spots in the parking lot. We clocked the hike at closer to 11 miles. For us, once in a while hikers, the last mile was challenging. We were soaking wet from the rain, cold, and sore. But the views along the way are incredible! We saw lots of rams. I would suggest dressing in layers and bringing plenty of snacks because you will burn calories like crazy on this one. The waterfalls were amazing! Trekking poles HIGHLY recommended for the descent if you have knee problems. We’re all so glad we pushed ourselves to do this hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Great, hiker-friendly trail with plenty of views and wildlife! The climb is very gradual so the trail doesn’t feel like it covers as much distance or elevation change as it does. It also provides a variety of scenery that keeps thing interesting with breathtaking views along essentially the whole trail. We also ran into a herd of bighorn sheep and a small group of goats along the trail, the latter of which didn’t seem bothered by the traffic jam of hikers it was creating behind it. And of course the glacier is just beautiful.

hiking
3 days ago

We did the hike on 8/13. Beautiful day, started and around 10 and got back around 530/6! Long hike with lots of picture spots. Saw Moose, mountain goats and big horn sheep. Goats and sheep are not afraid and we were within 5 feet of them, so be carful. This hike and Iceberg Lake hike are a must! The pictures people posts don’t lie. Take the hike at all costs!!

hiking
3 days ago

One of our favorite hikes in Glacier. Once you start going up, it just gets better at every corner. The elevation gain was not bad at all for hiking, there were quite a few bear sightings. 1/2 mile in through the flats, a big cow moose was grazing.

hiking
3 days ago

We completed this hike on 8/12. It was beautiful! We arrived shortly after 9am and had to park on the street so go early to get a spot. It rained for 3/4 of the hike and was cold. We had layers and rain coats but were cold at the top by the glacier in the pouring rain. My 8, 10, 11, and 13 year olds did this hike but they have good hiking legs. Not many kids that age on the hike. It was not our most strenuous hike but certainly the most adventurous. We walked through and up several flowing river/creek beds and through one waterfall. I told my kids you HAVE to get wet or the drop off is straight down. We had proper shoes and pants and coats to make it ok. Absolutely amazing glacier views with several icebergs in the lake. The trail is pretty rocky the last half. The views of the Chain of Lakes was magnificent. So happy we completed this hike! It was a little sunny and warmer as we headed down. It started at 63 degrees but must have been 40 at the glacier. Even at that temp when in full sun it was HOT. Be prepared with layers and water.

hiking
3 days ago

We started at the Many Glacier Lodge, and hiked out onto the glacier. Words cannot express the breathtaking views adequately. It's easy to see why this is one of the top hikes in the park, as it should not be missed. The Grinnell Glacier does not disappoint. As a bonus, there were goats, bighorn sheep, and a moose. Wildflowers everywhere in August 2019.

hiking
4 days ago

INCREDIBLE. 4 lakes, turquoise water, and the end will blow you away. DO NOT leave Glacier without knocking this one off.

hiking
4 days ago

I hiked the trail on August 13th. As someone not in the best of shape this was a huge challenge but totally worth it. The views are spectacular with four lakes, dozens of waterfalls, millions of wildflowers, and wildlife galore. I left the trailhead around 8:00am. I immediately spotted two bucks, a doe, and a fawn. Later I saw two cow moose at a distance along lake Josephine and ten bighorn sheep and three goats near the picnic area (a mom w twins): Scattered along the trail on my way down were three additional goats and a grizzly sow with a cub (at a good distance). It was a spectacular day. The last half mile up top is not for the faint of heart but take your time and you’ll get there! This hike was just incredible. I second what others have said about water! If you think you’ve got enough, bring more!

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

Awesome moderate trail with incredible scenery. The bear grass was in bloom and plenty of wildflowers along the entire trail. We started this one late (12:30) and walked to it from our campsite at many glacier so parking was not an issue for us but the lot was definitely full. The trail was moderately busy in the middle of the hike but we pretty much had the glacier to ourselves by the time we made it to the top. I recommend dressing in layers for this hike. At one point on the trail we were in the sun sweating and when we got to the glacier it started storming so a rain jacket is a good idea. Wear ankle supporting boots if you have them. Saw about 8 rams along the way that watched us from above while we hiked, and a family of mountain goats also forced us off the trail for a bit while they passed by, but the babies were cute so no one was upset about it. I definitely recommend staying out of the dad’s way, he’s got a mean side eye

hiking
5 days ago

Excellent hike. Very popular so start early if you want to avoid other hikers. There’s a lake at the top so bring your towel and trunks if you’re feeling inspired!

hiking
no shade
5 days ago

Hiked on 8/6/19. My favorite hike in Glacier NP. Stunning views and spectacular wild flowers. We took the boats over and then hiked to the Many Glacier Hotel on the way back. Trail is not difficult, just long on a hot sunny day. There is one waterfall that you cross that might be tricky in the spring. Bring lots of water as we drank 4 liters

hiking
6 days ago

Get here early or the parking lot will be full, we pulled in at 7:45 and got the last spot. Beautiful hike with amazing views of the lakes and both glaciers. The last .4 miles is the hardest right before you get to Upper Grinnell but still very doable for almost anyone who's semi-in-shape

It is very busy. The trail itself is fun and at times hard to find good footing which is always fun! There are lots of people to pass and to let pass. The glacier and lake at the end are stunning and this trail shouldn't be missed if able

hiking
6 days ago

Best hike in GNP without a doubt!! -but it’s a long round trip. Have done this one a few times & have always seen a ton of wildlife. Today ran into 2 moose, 6 mtn goats, & about 12 big horn sheep. Recommend getting an early start to avoid heat & crowds! Worth the drive & every bit of the hike. Bring lots of water & snacks! We are a fast-hiking group & spent 6 hours round trip including stops to play in the waterfall, take pics, & hang at the top for about an hour. Come prepared & it’ll be the highlight of your trip!

hiking
muddy
no shade
rocky
6 days ago

hiking
muddy
7 days ago

The top was amazing! It was rainy and foggy but still lovely. I was a bit nervous for the last 1/2 mile but was not as bad as I had thought it would be! Saw two big horned sheep in the same spot as the previous poster.

hiking
7 days ago

Not sure why this trail is rated as moderate. It was definitely a hard one. Not for the faint of heart but so worth the climb! It’s beautiful! Trails were well worn so it was easy finding your way up the trail. Saw 10 big horned sheep at the picnic area just before the final climb to the glacier. It was a trying experience but definitely worth it!!

hiking
7 days ago

Very nice trail. Nice views, very heavily trafficked.

hiking
8 days ago

Best hike we did in Glacier NP, you can take the boat to save a couple miles of walking, but does cost a bit and should have reservations. Views are incredible all the way up, but as others have mentioned bring water and sunscreen

hiking
8 days ago

The best hike we did in Glacier NP. Stunning views of Grinnell lake on the way up, past some waterfalls. The other comments emphasise the difficulty of the last .5 mile but it is only a short steep incline and the lake at the top is so worth it. Filled with icebergs at 9 August. Hilariously, there was a tourist who had jumped onto an iceberg and was drifting away, had to be rescued by some hikers who had rope. Sadly didn’t see moose or bears, but saw a grouse (?), marmot and deer. 5 stars!

hiking
no shade
9 days ago

Completed 8/6. Trail itself in good condition. As others have pointed out no shade. BRING WATER lots of it. Lost count of the number of people only carrying an 8oz. Bottle.

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