Hidden Lake Trail

MODERATE 259 reviews
#5 of 119 trails in

Hidden Lake Trail is a 4.9 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 March until October.

DISTANCE
4.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,374 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Uphill hike from the top of Logan Pass to great surprise view of Hidden Lake, with option of hiking down to the lake. The trail to Hidden Lake Overlook begins from the west side of the Logan Pass Visitor Center. Trail starts at the back of the VC, veer right to the Hidden Lake Nature Trail TH. This hike traverses through alpine meadows known as the Hanging Gardens. Expect a lot of sun and wind at this high elevation. Also expect crowds - this is one of the most popular hikes in the park. Parking can also be an issue during peak tourist season, so start early if you can. The trail begins as a paved surface before turning into a raised boardwalk. At this elevation snow tends to linger around well into the summer. The boardwalk helps to keep hikers above the snow, slush, mud and rivulets. Once the snow melts, however, the Hanging Gardens becomes a carpet of wildflowers. Early into the hike, 8760-foot Clements Mountain dominates the view directly in front of you To the north on your right are some outstanding views of the Garden Wall, and to the northwest is 8180-foot Mt. Oberlin. After climbing a series of steps, about a half-mile from the visitor center, is the end of the boardwalk section. From here the trail shifts in the direction of 8684-foot Bearhat Mountain. 9125-foot Mt. Reynolds and 8016-foot Heavy Runner Mountain will be on the left. Even late into the season you most likely will have to cross over a couple of small snowfields as you proceed up to the overlook. You'll reach a small rise, and will then pass a couple of small ponds on your left. Just beyond this section, roughly 1.2 miles from the trailhead, hikers will reach the Continental Divide. At 1.35 miles youll reach the Hidden Lake Overlook where youll find outstanding panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. From this vantage point Bearhat Mountain is the dominating feature above Hidden Lake. Looking towards the south you can even see Gunsight Mountain and Sperry Glacier in the far off distance. Mountain goats are fairly common in the area around the overlook. Also keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, marmots, and even wolverines. Grizzly bears are occasionally seen in this area as well. The trail continues for another 1.5 miles down to the shores of Hidden Lake, which sits at an elevation of 6375 feet. Along the way the trail drops almost 770 feet on a rough and steep decline.

1 hour ago

Amazing views and wildlife—8 year olds had no trouble with this hike. Yes, get there early for parking, but more important, for the sunrise over the peaks.

hiking
4 hours ago

Very very very busy trail. If you're going to do it, I would definitely go early to avoid the people. I'm talking 7:00 am start time. Since the trail starts at Logan Pass, you get a lot of uneducated and unprepared dummies hiking in their pajamas. When we got to the lookout boardwalk (the trail to the lake was closed for bears at the time) there was a ranger snapping at people for getting too close to the mountain goats. People were literally a foot away from a mama and her baby. Unfortunately these animals are extremely habituated to people. The ranger was then happy to tell them of the story of a man being gored to death by a goat in Olympic National Park. Gotta give these animals their space to live in THEIR territory. We are just guests!

hiking
11 hours ago

Hiked the trail at the end of July but the trail to the lake was closed up... so sad to hear it was but the views are absolutely beautiful. Not difficult, at least to me to hike, perhaps the beginning where the ramp/sword stairs are since you’re going up can get a bit tiring.

hiking
13 hours ago

I hiked this trail on 8/13/2018. The first part of the trail was almost moderate traffic, and the second half was fairly empty.
If you hike the second half (to the lake), it is slightly difficult returning due to the steepness. However, the trail is well kept and resting is a pleasure due to the views.
GORGEOUS views.
Animals: ground squirrels, chipmunks, hoary marmots, mountain goats, grizzly bears.
Yes, grizzly bears! A huge grizzly in the distance during the first third of the hike. Stayed in the area several hours as we saw it going and returning.
We also followed a stream once at the lake and saw a smaller grizzly in a pocket of the stream below (and across) from us. It spun and left after seeing us.
Returning to Hidden Lake, we possibly saw the same grizzly (10-15 mins after first spotting; could have run up the hill) or a different grizzly across the stream from us (20 ft?) eating a fish. (Fish in its mouth as it exited the stream; saw us; stopped and began to eat.)
All in all a tremendous hike in a gorgeous Park.

hiking
3 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Like others said it gets crowded so don’t expect to be in the trail alone, unless you hike before sunrise. We hiked with 6 and 9 year old and they did fine. Didn’t quite make it all the way to the lake since we started late, but even hiking to overlook was stunning. We spotted many animals along the way including bear ( in the distance), goats, bighorn sheep, ground squirrels, and chipmunks. Highly recommend for families.

3 days ago

Great, easy trail to the lookout and then a moderate hike to the lake. Trail is very busy and it’s difficult to find parking. Saw 10+ mountain goats on our way to the lake! Lake is beautiful and you can go for a dip if you want too.

hiking
5 days ago

I went beginning of July at the trail was still covered in snow and at very cool temps. definitely not prepared for the weather but the views were great

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked this Aug 3, 2018. Drove up at 4:30 pm so there was parking available at the visitor center. There are bathrooms at the Center as well. Hike was easy, boardwalk a portion of the way to start. We went about 1.5 kms past the lookout which was totally worth it. Beautiful views and we saw three mountain goats, one with her baby. Loved this hike- would do it again!

8 days ago

Easy hike with very beautiful views on mountains and lake. First part untill lake overlook was very crowded . The descend to the lake was harder but much less crowded and worth the effort.

9 days ago

You have to start early if you want to get parking at Logan Pass. We were there at 8 am and got one of the last spots. Behind the visitors center is the start of the trail. At first you climb some stairs and once you get to the top of the hill that's when the fun starts. We probably saw between 10-15 mountain goats and babies. Marmots were everywhere. The overlook is amazing but I would recommend doing the full hike and going down to the lake. I've never seen such clear water in every lake here in Montana. We're experienced hikers and would probably rate this about a 6 on a difficult scale. The only real climb is coming back up from the lake but it only takes about 15 minutes.

11 days ago

Amazing hike! Worth every step along the way!!!

13 days ago

Did this hike this morning and the trail down to the lake was open. Saw marmots, goats, and sheep along the way. Lots of flies and mosquitoes down at the lakeshore. In my opinion the best views were at the top of the lake trail after the overlook, before you reach the first switchback.

It took us about 1 1/2 hours to reach the lake from when we left the visitor’s center. Just under 2 hours for the return trip due to taking some breaks on the ascent back up from the lake as well as several stops to observe the wildlife. We even had to yield the trail to a passing goat on two occasions.

We drove ourselves to Logan Pass, arrived at 7:35 am and the lot was about 2/3 full. By 8:00 am it appeared to be reaching its capacity.

hiking
13 days ago

As mentioned, VERY crowded, but still worth it. We had snow still on the ground, so that was fun. Lots of goats, a bear sighting in the distance, and lots of chipmunks and weasels. The altitude got me on this one, had to keep stopping because I was getting light headed! It was closed at the overlook because of bear traffic further down, so didn't get to do the entire trail.

hiking
14 days ago

This was a very busy trail(we did it twice during our stay at glacier as it is a short hike). Most of it is on board walk. It has a lot of steps but do able for all, many people just rested for a bit and then continue on. We saw lots of mountain goats and rams. There are a couple small ponds that are pretty and then the lake at the end is lovely. There are lots of flowers and great views. We carried a couple children in packs and were fine. The lot is crazy for parking but you can get a spot with patience.

hiking
15 days ago

Did this hike on 7/24. Great little hike, but very crowded. The first part is board walk and stairs but the rest is a dirt path. Part of the trail down to the lake itself is closed because grizzlies are down at the lake fishing. Towards the top there is a trail leading to Reynolds Peak. My boyfriend and I hiked it over to a saddle next to Reynolds (about another 2.5 miles) that lets you see Hidden Lake from another perspective. Best part of the hike for sure because little people take it and there was no board walk at all. We had the saddle to ourselves for a while.
Also saw about 6 mountain goats and one deer on the entire hike. Don't even need to search for them because they are always around the end of the hike.

hiking
15 days ago

3 stars because it was so busy and the bit to the lake was closed due to bears-personal preference and natural world. A great hike for the family or those who like a challenging, short hike.
Beautiful views, snow, animals and chilly!

hiking
17 days ago

Loved it! Aboslutely beautiful! I've fallen in love with Glacier.

20 days ago

Not normally a challenging trail, but snow on a portion of it made it challenging. Great for mountain goat and big horn sheep viewing. Looked like a cool hike down to the lake from the overlook, but was closed due to bear activity 7/17.
Most crowded hike of the week, but worth it.
Stay on the path to preserve the alpine plants!

25 days ago

Beautiful as is everything in the Park.

hiking
28 days ago

Though this hole is not what I personally would call challenging I feel your average how would. I hiked this July 16 2018 and here were still a lot of snow sheets covering a large majority of the upper part of the trail. The trail was closed beyond hidden lake overlook due to frequent bear sitings beyond this point so I technically couldn’t finish it. Despite this inconvenience the overlook is amazing to take in the majesty of hidden lake and I also saw 9 mountain goats 4 of which came within an arms reach of me.

29 days ago

We just went on Friday July 13. Still snow on parts of the trail, a steep incline about halfway to the overlook that was snow covered. We weren’t able to go down to the lake because of bears.

It was amazing.

hiking
30 days ago

This was a really fun trail to do, however when you get down to the lake there seemed to be an avalanche that made it hard for me to find the trail. I turned back because I felt uncomfortable being down there on my own, but it would have been doable. the trail down is very slippery and snowy. I saw people in running sneakers making their way down, but I'd really urge against that. the way up is pretty steep, but the views were so rewarding that it made the crazy weather and terrain all worth it. This trail will probably be cleared up closer to late July, but it's still doable.

hiking
1 month ago

I felt very accomplished after this hike. Was not expecting miles of snow hiking up and down a hill. Fortunately, was prepared with hiking shoes and poles. I was also not expecting to have to scramble on a moderate trail. Did see mountain goats, which was exciting. The view is outstanding once you arrive. Lake was frozen in spots as of July 11th.

hiking
1 month ago

June 28 A lot of people and a lot of snow. Only went half way.
Hope to come back and try this one again with better hiking shoes or better yet, snow shoes.

hiking
1 month ago

Not sure why people haven't mentioned but the trail to the overlook is over an entire uphill of packed snow for over a mile and is super slippery. Wear sturdy boots and bring trekking poles. Saw big horned sheep in parking lot and two mountain goats at the lookout. Hidden Lake is still almost completely frozen and it gets very crowded (we arrived at 7am and already 15 other cars in lot). Trail down to lake is impassable, closed for grizzly activity and also steep snowfields down to lake. Not safe in my opinion but still pretty and good wildlife. Hiked this morning (July 5th).

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! 70% of the hike is tracking through snow. We saw mountain goats and a grizzly was spotted with binoculars.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 7/5. Get up early and head up (rec being in park by 7) as parking fills fast and they close parking lot when full. Little tough for some due to hiking in snow areas. Bring hiking stick! Lot of wildlife. Good for family if prepared.

hiking
1 month ago

A quick storm prevented us from going to lake shore but the scenery is so beautiful, we didn’t mind. Can’t wait to return.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a beautiful hike. We were not able to go beyond the overlook due to Grizzly activity which was disappointing, but that last half mile with the mountain goats and the view of the lake was wonderful. My 1 year old became obsessed with the goats. The area is pretty busy, and that is why I wish we could have gone further knowing most people would stop at the overlook. That image alone on the overlook with the low amount of effort to get there makes this hike a must do when in the area.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked Hidden Lake trail yesterday 6/29/18 and it was mostly slipping and sliding in the snow. Bring warm clothes and proper hiking shoes! It also started to rain and the wind picked up, trail is well marked. May be a trail to hike best in late July or August... loved it though

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