Grinnell Overlook via Granite Park Trail

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Glacier National Park

Grinnell Overlook via Granite Park Trail is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Mc Donald, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October.

Length11.4 miElevation gain3,710 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (3)

Glacier National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle (Winter: $25) or $30 per motorcycle (Winter: $20). If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person (Winter: $15). You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. Winter rates are in place 11/1-4/30. Note: Parts and all of this trail can be closed due to Grizzly bear activity during the summer months. Please exercise caution and visit the park page before planning your trip. This trail seriously has everything - gorgeous wooded areas, steep and narrow climbs, huge meadows with wildflowers and deer and friendly marmots, ridiculously incredible views the entire way. Turn right at the granite park chalet when you see the closed sign if you want to get to the actual overlook! Please climb carefully to the top of the rocks if you want an almost 360 degree view! Hike through a mostly unshaded and sparse water trail. Great views though especially if you go all the way to the glacier overlook. Definitely worth the work.

Weather
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Reviews (347)
Photos (948)
Recordings (253)
Completed (1,309)
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Tyler Walkenshaw
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HikingGreat!

Completed in August* Some of the best views the entire hike! Definitely challenging but the beauty the entire way out and back are well worth it, the last mile is intense but doable! All other hikes will pale in the comparison to this. Bring lots of water, filters and snacks! Highly recommend and will complete whenever in the area!

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Ryan Delis
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HikingGreat!

most rewarding experience! the last mile is brutal but totally worth it!

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Margaret Rushing
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Hiking

Fantastic views of the glacier once you get to the end of the trail! Slippery rocks on the way to the top. We started from the Loop trail head around 9am on Friday 09-Oct and it wasn’t crowded. On the way down we ran into a lot of people heading to the ridge / end of trail. It’s extremely windy on the ridge but once you step down into the protected area off the ridge, it’s not windy at all.

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Mark Wildman
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HikingGreat!

Best hike I have been on in Glacier. Trails groomed and views undiscernible. Smokey day but still cool anyway. Trail from chalet to overlook was brutal but worth the views at the top....

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Kevin Buchinski
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Brian Elkins
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HikingGreat!Rocky

I started from the Loop trailhead around 7am on Friday 09-Oct —I was one of two cars in the parking lot. The hike up to the Chalet was pleasant and warmer than I expected. Layered back up and went to Swiftcurrent mountain peak. Fantastic views and one of the highest peaks in the area. I did get socked in cloud cover and 40+ mph winds for about 30min —cold, hood, gloves, etc, and cold. Only met 1 other making the hike on the way down. Marched back down to the Chalet and was feeling rather good considering the 4300 ft elevation gain (perhaps the adrenaline from almost freezing on top of Swiftcurrent), and decided to go see Grinnell and Gem glaciers off the Garden Wall trail. The trail was well-trafficked, had slippery rocks near the top, and was very windy 30-40 mph. On the way down I ran into a lot of people heading to the ridge with little/no warm gear. It’s extremely windy and cold at the top of the ridge. Most people stepped down into the protected area off the ridge behind the rocks where it’s not windy at all. Great views of the glaciers!

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Keith DSouza
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HikingGreat!

Picturesque hike with a steady incline. Good workout. The view at the summit was breathtaking.

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Sean Dunlop
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Hiking

Tough trail with full backpacking gear, but worth the hike, especially with the east side of the park closed for COVID. Great view from the top! Lots of people start, not too many finish the last stretch

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Ken Bowden
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HikingGreat!

Stunning views the entire way. This is a pretty amazing hike. We moved pretty quickly up the mountain for the first three miles then you come to a flatter section once you reach the pine trees. There’s a lot of wildlife in this section so make sure to keep you eyes open. Take it easy during this section for about a mile because the final mile to the summit is a doozy. It’s a mile straight up. It’s breathtaking at the top but really windy so make sure you put on your jacket just before the summit. Also, the final quarter mile or so was pretty slippery and wet rocks so make sure you have solid shoes on. We made it to the summit in about 3 hours. On the way back, we came across a grizzly and two cubs which was pretty scary so no joke, take a bell and bear mace.

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Morgan Spoelstra
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RunningGreat!

One of the better day-hikes in Glacier. Awesome view of Heaven’s Peak from start to finish. The trail kicks your butt going up and up to the Chalet. Then gives you about a 0.7 mile break to catch your breath before the real fun begins. To get up to the Grinnell Glacier Outlook there’s about a 0.6 mile of a very steep and very difficult incline. I was on a time crunch and ran/jogged the majority of this trail. But for this portion I was reduced to what felt like a crawl. Had to stop multiple times to catch my breath and enjoy the scenery. It can seem very daunting to some but I can confidently say that the view is worth it. You get an awesome view on both sides of the divide and are able to see for miles on end. Awesome hike, highly recommend.

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Geoff Howard
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Hiking

Yeah Oct 4, 2020. Started at Trailhead at 10:30. Parking lots were full so I parked at the turnout just down the hill. Fall colors are amazing and temperature was great for short sleeve or light long sleeve. Wasn’t crowded until the top saddle. Recommend you scramble a little farther up past the saddle for the best views. Hike is not for casual hikers - not terribly difficult until the last mile - then it’s a suffer-fest - but worth it when you see the views at the top. Absolutely stunning hike throughout. Highly recommend.

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Anil Kumar Saini
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HikingRocky

Awesome views throughout especially at the top. Was able to go till Granite Park Chalet only. The trail goes through different ecosystems: open prairies, forests, etc. spotted some birds also. Fall colors were quite evident.

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Seth Eisenberg
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HikingGreat!RockyScramble

One of the most challenging and rewarding day hikes I’ve ever done! Quite popular even during the week. No water sources along the trail. My buddy and I hiked really fast and made it to the top in 2h15m. Chalet is closed for the season so don’t get your hopes up for a tasty beverage.

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Katherine Dietrich
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Hiking

Great views everywhere!!! Make sure to go to the very end of the trail and you can see 5 lakes in the distance. Absolutely stunning! FYI the overlook trail to the top says 0.6 miles but it’s actually 1 mile basically straight uphill. Plan for a very long time to both ascend and descend as it’s single track, well traveled and definitely tough terrain both up and downhill.

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Alfie Previti
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Hiking

Fantastic trail!

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Kavya Shankar
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Hiking

09/28 The hike up to the top has some gorgeous views of the mountains. We saw 3 deers on the way to the chalet. We continued to the glacier trail and it was in slightly dangerous conditions as the snow was melting pretty fast making the trail slippery. Rocks were falling over onto the trail cos of ice falling. But the view of the glacier from the top is well worth it. It was very windy at the top. Found a spot behind rocks to see the views for a longer time.

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Saurabh Gupta
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Daniel Kaseumsouk
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HikingGreat!

Trail is turning to fall colors. Saw a fearless deer before the chalet and a goat by the chalet. The climb to grinnel is a beast. No shade for about 90% of the way. There isn’t any snow on the trail anymore. Looks like the sun melted it out. I didn’t need to use my microspikes. Amazing view up top but pretty windy!

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Jess Vaughn-Jansen
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Bill Tompkins
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HikingGreat!IcyRockyScrambleSnow

It was beautiful! We weren't able to make it much past the Chateau because the snow starting coming down pretty hard and the mountains were totally obscured. Still worth the trip.

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John Chapman
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Hiking

Fantastic trail. Not redundant in view. A definitely challenging climb, but doable as long as you do some training in advance. Walk on a treadmill at max elevation, and do some calf raises for a couple weeks before the trip and you’ll be good to go for leg fitness. But some extra cardio will be needed to have you ready for the elevation change. The final hike to Grinnell is a bit of a beast. Take your time, rest frequently, and it’s manageable. The view is spectacular. Don’t miss it.

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Chris Britt
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Lean Cuisine
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