Hidden Lake Trail

MODERATE 308 reviews
#4 of 120 trails in

Hidden Lake Trail is a 5.3 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
5.3 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 you'll reach the Hidden Lake Overlook where you'll 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 bears lead to periodic closings of the trail. Please check with the park to determine the status of this trail. 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.

6 minutes ago

Wonderful views and a very peaceful hike. I only saw a handful of people when I hiked in September. Is easy and short. Great hike if you need a light day after heavy hikes the day earlier.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike, with spectacular scenery of the mountains. The first part of the trail was heavily trafficked, up to a lookout point that has a view of the lake below. After leaving the lookout point the trail heads down to the lake and the traffic thins out.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike. Very popular in the beginning but head to the lake and it becomes less populated.

4 days ago

The beginning of the trail is a little busy because most people just go to the look out. We went all the way down to the lake. It is slightly strenuous coming up from the lake, but it only takes a few minutes. We saw a ton of hoary marmots just past the lookout.

trail running
10 days ago

This is by far my favorite trail run I have ever done. It starts off with a boardwalk, that goes out to the lookout point, but you have to go down to the lake because it is amazing. The elevation gain is not too bad, once you get to the switchbacks it does get a bit steep, but always safe. There is a mountain goat that hangs out just past the lookout. The lake at the end is not too cold for a swim.

Get there early in the day, because the parking lot is mayhem!

hiking
12 days ago

Planning in Glacier is a bit tricky. With the fires and lots of trails having restrictions for bears, we ended up changing plans around while there last week which included doing the hike up to the overlook. Initially wanted to go all the way down to the lake, but it was unfortunately closed for bears. Overall, it was an easy hike up, with an AMAZING view of the lake at the overlook. Really loved the fields going up with small streams & bunches of flowers too. Saw some big horn sheep along the trail up as well. Bummed we couldn’t make it down to the lake, but I guess we will just have to come back. Also - recommend going earlier in the day as it was pretty crowded coming back down (we left to go up around 9 am)

hiking
12 days ago

The effort to rewards ratio is insane on this one. Beautiful views of the mountains all the way to the overlook and the overlook view is very beautiful. But the lake itself is something out of this world. And all this for very little effort.

hiking
15 days ago

Travelled from Washington State and spent the labor day weekend at Glacier National Park. Went to hike Hidden Valley on 08.31.18.

A beautiful trail, flowers are still in bloom. Prestine lake surrounded by mountains.

hiking
19 days ago

2018.08 amazing rewards for little effort. mountain goats everywhere especially on the trail down to the lake and on the lake shore.

23 days ago

Got as far as the overlook. Great views!

26 days ago

We did the portion to the overlook, turned around early due to sleet!

Trail climbs up through a beautiful alpine meadow on a boardwalk, then levels off and switches to rock/dirt. Nice glimpse of the glaciers, and Hidden Lake is gorgeous! Even in the smoke from this wildfires, this was still very much worth the hike. A couple of hours is more than enough to get to the overlook and back with plenty of stops for pictures!

Also, the night before we did his trail we saw mountain goats just outside the visitor center. Such a treat!

hiking
27 days ago

The first section is crowded but if you continue down to the lake, the crowds thin drastically. Worth all the people for the surroundings. Absolutely beautiful. The lake is freezing!

hiking
27 days ago

If you don't mind the crowds of Logan Pass (best of luck getting a highly coveted parking spot) this trail, despite the large number of people, is where I saw the most wildlife. Just above the visitor center was my first grizzly bear sighting. Then, higher and higher up the mountain you see their most frequent inhabitants, mountain goats, and on the way back down we encountered a large herd of bighorn sheep. This trail is stairs and boardwalk most of the way, and heavily used dirt paths and a snowfield crossing the rest of the way. Very enjoyable hike, and Hidden Lake was beautiful.

hiking
29 days ago

Perfect short easy hike for glacier. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds hit the Reynolds trail for a mile or two near the overlook of Hidden Lake. We did on the way back and went from passing people every 30 seconds to not seeing a soul around us, real quick. Views were obstructed from the smoke but still beautiful 8/15/18

1 month ago

Our family has stopped on this trail at the overlook numerous times over the years; on our last visit we hiked to the lakeshore for the first time, ascending back up the trail was somewhat strenuous, but worth seeing the scenery and serenity lakeside.

hiking
1 month ago

This is an awesome hike! We saw roughly a dozen mountain goats on the trail after the lookout. I'm not one for being around a lot of people when I hike and if you're the same way don't let the mass amount of people at the trailhead intimidate you. I would say 95% of them turn back after the lookout. We hiked it the first week of July and most of the trail to the lookout was still under a lot of snow as well as the descend to the lake. The reason for 4 stars is because of how many people are at the beginning of the trail and the simple fact of having to maneuver around them on the snowy/icy slopes.

hiking
1 month ago

Relatively easy but crowded hike up to the ridge from Logan Pass, followed by what eventually becomes a steep set of switchbacks down to the lake surrounded by beargrass and wildflowers. After you pass the ridge, the crowds gradually thin out. Hidden Lake itself is just as pristine and photogenic as Grinnell. The climb back up is a bit challenging but short-lived. A terrific hike for wildlife viewing - mountain goats are a guarantee, look for grizzlies in the open meadows.

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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!

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

1 month ago

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

1 month 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
1 month 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.

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