Johns Lake Loop [CLOSED]

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Glacier National Park

Johns Lake Loop is a 1.9 mile loop trail located near Essex, Montana that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, bird watching, and horses and is best used from April until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 1.9 miles Elevation Gain: 183 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

walking

bird watching

lake

river

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

closed

no dogs

This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

We snowshoed this a few days ago and it was great! Trail was well marked, even after a lot of fresh snow. Saw no wildlife.

hiking
7 months ago

Peaceful and easy hike. Great views of waterfall and cascades. Great for families.

hiking
7 months ago

Easy hike!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike ! Beautiful forest with lots of conifers and pine straw paths . Prettiest part was along the river - beautiful waterfalls and rapids !

hiking
bridge out
8 months ago

We began the hike at Going To The Sun Road. There was a young buck that greeted us at the very beginning of our journey. The trail was easy going and the views were plenty. We traversed the McDonald Creek, viewed the Sacred Dancing Cascades, and our day was filled with offerings from the Crown of the Continent.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail. Up and down in very quite woods for the first half. Second half AMAZING. You cross over the MacDonald Creek and walk along the creek the remainder of the hike. Beautiful view of creek and MacDonald Falls

hiking
8 months ago

First hike of our trip. It was a simple, well manicured, high traffic loop. Worth doing as a first hike.

hiking
9 months ago

The trail isn't very interesting and the lake isn't really accessible, but we met some relaxed deer on the way so I've got that going for me, which is nice

hiking
9 months ago

Perfect loop, with lots of forest, John's Lake (a pond), walking along the river, and 2 different waterfalls. Very peaceful and not too much incline. I went at 7:30am on Thursday and encountered 3 other parties. I was doing it alone but there was a family of 4 close behind me. Encountered a black bear by the lake.

hiking
9 months ago

This hike was very relaxing, we went about 830/9 in the morning and only saw one couple on the John’s Lake side. Easy to do, the river & falls were gorgeous to see from the side the trail was on.

hiking
10 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike! Had a big group of 8, two of which were under the age of four and they did well. We saw a black bear near John's Lake which was awesome and the rest of the views were amazing as well.

hiking
muddy
10 months ago

Easy trail, limited lake views. Started around 10:15am on July 22, incredibly quiet and peaceful. Only saw 6 other people on the trail. Had a horsefly or the equivalent buzzing around my hat but never got bit by any bugs. Nicely shaded.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a pretty easy trail with limited lake view and very mucky lake edge. Pretty cool, very tall cedars. I needed to stretch my legs and it was good enough for that.

hiking
10 months ago

Section of the loop is no linger maintained. It is visible, but lots of branches in the way to go around.

hiking
10 months ago

Easy trail to hike with beautiful forest views and a pretty lake at the end.

hiking
10 months ago

5-star hike for families with littles. Some incredible views without difficult trails. Sacred Dancing Cascade and McDonald Falls are the obvious highlights, but don't miss the little side trail off the west side of McDonald Road bridge. It leads to a beach where McDonald Creek feeds into the lake and some really spectacular lake views.

hiking
10 months ago

Perfect early morning hike, nobody around and very quiet... great way to experience the feel of the area without a huge commitment in time or energy. Walk slowly and enjoy the show.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice trail through the woods; when you get to John’s lake, it isn’t easily accessible with a lot of muck and fallen trees in the way. No place to really sit at the lake and enjoy the view...at least when we were there. Continue on across the ‘Sun Road and loop around along the river. Nice views of the river and rapids when you cross it again before you finish

hiking
11 months ago

Nice trail through the woods, saw multiple deer, & enjoyed the river falls & river cascades. Beautiful, easy hike.

hiking
11 months ago

Great family trail. The lake is hard to see but the river steals the show. Nice bridge over the river and waterfall views. Plenty of great photo ops. The stroll through the woods is very pleasant.

hiking
11 months ago

nice short trail. John's Lake is hard to see, but the loop shows a lot of different things in a short span. Great for families!

hiking
11 months ago

Great and easy hike!

hiking
11 months ago

easy hike. great views of the creek!

hiking
11 months ago

Really nice trail for all levels. Kids and seniors can easily do it and it's just long enough to feel like you've done a hike. Great river views.

11 months ago

Beautiful hike through a lovely pine forest. Part of the hike goes over McDonald Falls and along the river. Great hike for all ages. A couple of steep areas which don’t last long. Our 3yr old made the hike with us. We carried him in a pack when along the river since it was a steep drop off and fast rushing water. Otherwise he hiked the whole thing. The trail was soft in most places due to pine needles. There were a few rocky areas.

11 months ago

fun hike! Easy for all ages.

hiking
Tue May 28 2019

An easy 2 mile hike in glacier with beautiful views of the river. Lots of places to stop and see the river.

hiking
Tue May 28 2019

There were no clear views of the lake... other then that it’s a decent trail. The trail is the same one horses use so you’ll definitely encounter some poop.

hiking
over grown
Tue May 21 2019

Surprisingly, this was a great hike for the end of the day. The lake itself is overgrown and takes a little off exploring to get down to the water. The return along the McDonald Creek was excellent with fantastic views of the water and McDonald Falls. Didn’t see any wildlife aside from fowl, but did come across some bear scat.

Fri Oct 26 2018

Beautiful hike through the woods and picturesque riverside scenery. No wildlife sightings, and nps had a portion of the loop closed for Maintenance but still well worth the trip. Moderately easy, relatively low elevation change.

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