Sperry Chalet Trail

HARD 25 reviews
#24 of 113 trails in

Sperry Chalet Trail is a 12.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Essex, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
12.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3595 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Glacier Park Inc. P.O. Box 2025, Columbia Falls, Montana 59912 406-8922525

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great Trail - is definitely a challenge. Many switchbacks. We did it on a fairly warm day - 80+ degrees. Started at Going to the Sun Road and made it to the Chalet. Took a few hours with multiple 3-5 min breaks along the way. Gorgeous waterfall on your right on the way up that you can hear the majority of your climb. Snow pack about half a mile from the chalet but many people had packed down a footpath through it. Trail opened back up for a little way, then more deep snow all the way to the Chalet and beyond. Wanted to do the Gunsight pass but were strongly advised not to unless we had an ice pick. This is a day hike and not for the faint of heart. The bugs (May Flies/Chiggers?) were pretty atrocious at the Chalet. Bug spray def a must - not failproof tho. Walked away with a few bites. Ran into three mountain goats at the Chalet. Workers at the Chalet were awesome - friendly and knowledgeable. The trek down was FAST. Took maybe a third of the time it took us to go up. Make sure you have some snacks, ample water, bug spray and sunscreen if you tend to burn.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

My most strenuous hike so far: steep ascend in the beginning, lots of snow at the top (late June) - map is advised. Varied terrain, little views except from the very top. Was lucky enough to meet a mountain goat near the chalet.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Wild flowers, beautiful views all the way up, couldn't have asked for a better hike at GNP.

backpacking
10 months ago

backpacking
Friday, July 22, 2016

Climbed to the top to camp at sperry campground. We then hiked 16 miles to the gun sight trailhead. We went over two passes, both had snow and ice. Very beautiful views.

Friday, July 15, 2016

backpacking
Friday, July 15, 2016

hiking
Friday, July 15, 2016

hiking
Wednesday, July 06, 2016

A lot of work but worth it!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I am in excellent physical shape and did this trail out and back the same day. The trail is indeed challenging but rewarding with the stunning views from the top. Even in June there was quite a bit of snow up top, making the last 0.2 miles of the trail slippery and difficult to see. One of the best hikes from lake McDonald.

hiking
Friday, March 25, 2016

Fantastic hike and camping. My girlfriend and I did this as our last backpacking trip of the season (late October), and spent a total of 3 days, 2 nights on the trip. By this time in the year there was no horse traffic, however with less traffic comes more activity from bears and other predators so make lots of noise if you go late in the season. (We saw a fresh, large cat print in the newly fallen snow on our way out).

The trail itself is taxing. The switchbacks seem unending for the last few miles, but once you get to the chalet, you're well rewarded with views. The view of Lake McDonald is spectacular. Although sperry lake is right next to the campground, we chose to get our water from the running stream the trail crosses north of the chalets.

All in all, one of my favorite hikes in a while. We planned on making the extra push to Lake Ellen Wilson, but decided to stay at Sperry because we were exhausted and had already fallen in love with the view.

As a final point, the mountain goats in the area in late autumn are very comfortable around humans. Although it's fun to have the goats get close to you, there are a few things to think about when you're planning your trip. For one, they love the salt from your sweat or urine. They tried to eat the strap on my trekking pole as we were setting up the tent, and they will follow you and watch you while you pee (however this can be avoided by using the camp toilet south of the campsites). Also, if you are a light sleeper, I would bring ear plugs. The goats tend to circle your tent at night which makes a lot of noise. Finally, although their friendliness is fun and makes for great pictures, it's easy to forget they're wild animals. My girlfriend felt very uncomfortable when one got slightly aggressive around her, so make sure you're not getting too comfortable and complacent.

hiking
Friday, January 29, 2016

Wonderful backcountry experience

Saturday, November 28, 2015

hiking
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Great hike. But you should be in moderately good physical condition to complete the hike. My wife and I stayed at the chalet for 3 days. It was well worth the hike.
As mentioned it is a horse trail so start early and you won't have to deal with the fresh droppings. Day old doesn't smell as bad ; )
Once your up at the top you have plenty of day hiking to do and the view is incredible with Sperry Glacier and Lake Ellen Wilson.
Absolutely beautiful area. But if you want to see Sperry glacier you better go soon it's melting fast. Current prediction at the current rate of regression 2 years. But just remember "there is no global warming", '' / ''