Hidden Lake Trail

MODERATE 175 reviews
#5 of 114 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
1374 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.

hiking
3 months ago

Hike to lookout deck is busy and crowded but nice vistas. Was there end of August so air wis a bit thick with smoke . Trail after lookout is nice with long gradual descent until final 1/4 mile which is steep with many switchbacks . Nice hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Views had my jaw dropping the whole time. Within the fist 20 minutes a Grizzly was spotted and we got to see him playing in the water with binoculars. We were unable to go to lake shore as it was closed due to high Grizzly activity. Mountain goats were all over the place unphased by humans and licking the handrails for the salt. waterfalls from the gorgeous glaciers everywhere.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this in mid/late June, by far my favorite hike of the trip. Parking wasn't bad - we got there early. Lots of people milling about, only about 1/2 actually seemed to climb through the snow to the lookout point.
Then you're fairly alone on the trail once you start heading down from the lookout. We saw about 5 other people at the bottom by the lake. The weather was warm, we ended up shedding layers after the hike. Definitely glad we brought poles through the snowy trek to the bottom.

hiking
6 months ago

I hiked this trail years ago when I lived there. it was beautiful!

hiking
6 months ago

Hoards of people on the first 1/4-1/2 of the trail. Most won't make it or past the overlook. Practice trail etiquette! Stay on the trail and off the fragile vegetation! Don't feed the ground squirrels! Give the goats and sheep 25 yards of space!

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely amazing. Great hike down to the lake, full of spectacular views of the lake. The lake is so beautiful. Many nice places to sit by the shore of the lake.

hiking
7 months ago

Very crowded. Beautiful hike, saw bighorn sheep, goats, marmots... hike to the lake, its worth it!

hiking
7 months ago

fantastic family hike, excellent views. lots of plants and animals!!!

7 months ago

Five stars for the view once you get part the large crowds, but be prepared to deal with a lot of people. The hike down to the lake is quite steep when you come back up, but not too taxing.

hiking
7 months ago

Not the trail for the hiker that enjoys the peaceful type trails in the park. Too much people pollution with no trail manners! After seeing many different views and lakes from the trails that away from the road, this just did not add up!

7 months ago

Great hike with excellent views and wildlife sighting (big horn sheep, mountain goats and marmots). Going back up from lake is pretty steep but going down was worth it. My kids (4 yrs and 5 yrs) did the entire hike and had a good time.

hiking
7 months ago

Did this after the highline in the AM, super busy by then but if you park your car at Logan's it makes sense to do this 6 mile round trip to the lake. Water was warm enough to stand a few minutes and probably real nice in late June/July rather than mid August. It's steeper and more difficult than one would think, seeing as it's behind the visitor center, but it's a good way to end a day in the Park

hiking
7 months ago

Extremely heavily trafficked trail, but with beautiful views overlooking Hidden Lake. I recommend taking the shuttle to Logans Pass (parking spots not available after 8 AM). Once you pass the overlook (where the majority of people stop), the traffic dies down and you're able to hike in peace. It's quite the decline (and then eventually incline on the way back) down to the lake but really worth it. There's even a port a pot down by the lake for bathroom! We sat by the lake and had lunch (wow!). We saw wildlife (mountain goat, ram) but have heard of grizzly activity on this trail lately so bring your bear spray!!!

hiking
7 months ago

Very popular trail, but for good reason. We walked up about halfway (1.5 miles in) to the overlook and back, but you can keep going down to the lake. The trail is mostly uphill on the way in (to the overlook) but it is not strenuous, and half of it is boardwalk. We saw a bear who minded its own business but crossed the trail at one point (literally 100 people in eyesight at that point, so it wasn't scary), plus bighorn sheep and lots of mountain goats. Beautiful wildflowers, mountain views, and waterfalls. If you want an easier hike and/or don't have a lot of time in the park I'd go for this trail!

hiking
7 months ago

Pretty awesome out and back trail though you can stop at the overlook I kept going all the way down to the lake and geez coming back up was killer....

though the trail was great and you got to meet a lot of wildlife anyway, every moment is very picturesque

8 months ago

I only went to the overlook, but it was an impressive view of Hidden Lake. The vibrant fields were full of flowers, even in August. I heard marmots whistling and saw a mountain goat and a waterfall. That makes for a very interesting trail!

hiking
8 months ago

Busy as expected being in such a popular national park. The Trail was extremely well maintained. The ranger indicated it was "strenuous" past the Overlook but my 4 year old completed the trek without issue and I was able to do it in my Teva flippies. Beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing scenery all along the trail

hiking
8 months ago

breath taking view and a great hike.

8 months ago

Beautiful trail but very crowded; fun for families and an explosion of wild flowers...

8 months ago

Amazing wildlife

8 months ago

Did this one for sunrise. Great spot to see goats and rams.

8 months ago

Very worth the hike. . The scenery was amazing. I brought my kids along 10, 8, & 6. All finished with ease! We saw a lot of mtn goats and bighorn sheep.

negatives
It was quite crowded and parking was tough.

8 months ago

Amazing views and lots of mountain goats on the way too

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing alpine meadows full of wildflowers, large snow patches, and waterfalls. Saw more than a dozen mountain goats that would come right up close. Saw marmots and ground squirrels. Part of trail closed due to bear activity, but we didn't spot any. Felt like Swiss alps. View in all directions is spectacular.

8 months ago

Great awesome trail! Still have to go through a fair amount of snow. The trail going down to the lake was closed.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike mostly through the snow. The trail to hidden lake was closed at the lookout. Near the lookout we saw about 10 mountain goats, 4 of which were on the trail and within 5 feet at times. The views and scenery from the top were amazing. We went in the afternoon around 6pm and a lot of the crowd had died down. 3 miles out and back but it will take longer due to snow and hills, bring a walking stick or poles and hiking boots, its slick!

9 months ago

Awesome trail with snow on it.

9 months ago

Great hike in the snow. A little steep and slow going once you pass the overlook without the trail being exposed but well worth it for the views and solitude. One of the only hikes in the park we did where we only saw one other hiker.

hiking
9 months ago

Short and easy, but one of my favorites!!!
Great photo ops. Bring a lunch and dine near the grazing Mnt goats. They were everywhere.

Load More