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The Garden Wall [CLOSED]

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Glacier National Park

The Garden Wall is a 14.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near West Glacier, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 14.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,507 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

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
9 months ago

This is a long hike, the last mile going up to the wall is pretty much straight up. It is a great hike with lots to see. The view from the top was very pretty but windy. Ran into a few grizzlies on the hike . If your planning on hiking this one , just know it is rated hard and I totally agree with the rating , long and lots of up on it. All and all a good hike just be ready for a full day.

hiking
9 months ago

As advertised!!

hiking
9 months ago

Hard to have anything in this park be less than 5 stars. It was a tough hike but absolutely worth it. Had to do a little scrambling to get where I wanted to be but the photos turned out better than I could have expected. Amazing views!

hiking
9 months ago

The whole point to this hike is the payoff of the view at the end, which is the most challenging part of the hike. Everyone who makes it up there says it’s worth it, and you will wonder how that can be true the entire way up. It’s a super steep, super rocky ascent that requires frequent breaks. The trail up here is not maintained. You can actually lose sight of it on your way if you’re not careful, or without people ahead of you to follow. Despite this, it doesn’t feel dangerous...just tedious. I’m torn between a 3-4 star review here because, honestly, the Highline trail that gets you here offers specialty views and we really enjoyed that part of the hike. The Garden Wall was a demanding slog that I question to this day. Was it worth it? We got a few cool pics, I suppose. And the view is a unique one. But if you want to see the glacier, the Grinnell Glacier Trail gets you a lot closer and is more rewarding from start to finish. I hiked the Grand Canyon a couple years ago, and the climb up to the top here was nearly as demanding as anything I encountered there. But this trail was in exceptionally poor condition, making it feel a lot more challenging than it should have been. I guess it all depends on what kind of adventure you’re looking for. Some people live for these kinds of side-trail scrambles where the conditions add to the thrill and sense of accomplishment at the end. If this is you, I’d recommend it. If you’re a casual hiker who appreciates nature and just likes to stay active outdoors, this one will frustrate and disappoint.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful on a slightly cloudy day. Did the Grinnell overlook, more like 0.8 miles and very challenging/treacherous - a real leg burner! The down sucks on your knees. We saw a grizzly at mile 3.1 from Logan Pass, enjoying his huckleberries and ignoring us. Also a passel of marmots at about mile 5.5. Pika all over, listen for them. Stunning views, and an awesome experience!

hiking
9 months ago

No matter how many people tell you it’s worth it on the way down, it’s not. It’s a miserable hike up to a nice view, but not one that’s worth adding distance and elevation onto an already 12 mile hike. Don’t do it. Don’t.

no shade
rocky
10 months ago

Great fun!

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
10 months ago

Long hike - started at Logan’s Pass and ended up at the Loop to take the free shuttle back to our vehicle. Definitely recommend seeing the glacier!

The highline trail is a must do ! The trail offers many spectacular views,and is in very good condition!

hiking
10 months ago

One of the best trails I have ever done.The views are breathtaking, especially after a downpour once the skies begin to clear. A must do for anyone interested in experiencing the most beautiful vistas this park has to offer.

hiking
10 months ago

Might be the best view in the entire park. If you're able to do it, do it. Get all the way up, not to just the first overlook where all you can see is the glacier. Scrambling up to the very top give a view like nowhere else in the park. Phenomenal.

hiking
10 months ago

Started at Logan Pass and ended at the Loop. Was about 14.2 miles took about 6 hours. The last 4 miles which I heard were ALL downhill was not bad at all.. there were flat sections. Started busy, but half way through, we could not see another group. We went on a cloudy day so sun was not a factor. MUST go to the garden wall, views are amazing!

Amazing hike and a MUST see if you come to Glacier National Park! We continued to the Grinnell Glacier Lookout which was spectacular but that 0.6 mile part of the hike has a very steep ascend. We saw three bighorn sheep, marmots, plenty of chipmunks and ground squirrels. There were sightings of a mother grizzly bear with a cub on Grinnell Glacier Lookout.

hiking
no shade
rocky
11 months ago

Grueling mile up with very rocky areas (not .6 as advertised but closer to .8 and another .2 for the best vantage point). But the work is worth some of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen—the glacier, the bright blue waters and icebergs of Upper Grinnell Lake, turquoise-colored Grinnell Lake and Swiftcurrent Lake in the distance. I think we may have been able to see as far as Duck Lake. I still can’t believe my eyeballs.

Great trail if you’re looking to experience the worst and best time of your life. My feet might fall off. Definitely start early! We started at 1p and ended at 8pm. Saw two grizzlies yards away off trail. It is definitely bear country, and if you’re trying to spot one on your trip here at glacier this is the trail to do it on! Low traffic after about 5 miles in. Granelle glacier is amazing and there are 3 more lakes visible from the top.

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

Wow, cannot day enough good things about this hike, but I’ll try to sum it up. Know in advance: bring layers, it can get chilly. But also if you start at Logan and end at the loop it gets really hot on the way down. Go early! We arrived at 8 am and got one of the last spots. If you see parking already parking in the lower lot, go ahead and park there, the upper is likely already full. You are exposed to the sun almost the entire time, so bring coverage and SPF. Pros: the views are outstanding the entire time and never get old. Cons: heavily trafficked and didn’t really separate like most popular trails. Garden wall: just do it! It adds a couple hours, but that’s what it’s all about. You’ll have a crazy view at the top. When you get to the top, go all the way up to the right for even better than you’re already seeing. We do suggest starting at Logan, going to the loop and taking the shuttle.

hiking
snow
11 months ago

hiking
bugs
snow
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Loved it. Be prepared for all weather.

hiking
rocky
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Best view in the park and the hardest .6 miles I’ve done for the last part but soo worth it.

hiking
Fri Aug 10 2018

Parking available at Logan Pass. Highline Trail shares a parking lot with Hidden Lake Trailhead, so lot generally fills prior to 08:00. Climbing up the Garden Wall was previously a bucket list item of mine. Almost a year ago, researching the Highline Trail prompted my father and I to spawn a trip to Montana. Twelve months and thousands of miles later, we clipped our packs and proceeded past the Highline Trailhead. The trail begins somewhat intimidatingly, carved into a mountainside with sheer cliffs to your left, metal handrail to your right. This marks the most unsettling portion of the trail. Gradually separating from Going to the Sun Road, the hike gradually increases in both serenity and enjoyability. Arguably Glacier's most recognizable image- Reynolds Mountain behind Oberlin Bend- presents itself around 2.5 miles into the hike. The Highline Trail encounters dramatic scenery shortly thereafter. Haystack Butte sits behind a 180-degree view of Glacier National Park, a welcome backrest to the breathtaking vistas of Mount Cannon, Mount Gould, Reynolds Mountain, and Mount Oberlin bathed in sunlight. This vista could surely knock you off your feet. Presently, views of McDonald Creek Valley with sporadic forest occupy the mind until the Garden Wall junction. Devoid of switchbacks, deceivingly steep, and rocky, the Garden Wall spur demands respect. This 0.6-mile cut shoots up over 800 feet in elevation over the western drainage basin. In return, however, this magnificent venture yields perhaps the greatest views in Montana. Indeed, even before the glacial overlook, the western views of Heavens Peak and waterfalls are- for lack of better term- unforgettable. Yet the climax of the Garden Wall is undoubtedly Glacial Overlook. A steep trail suddenly turns flat, dotted with four trees, and you emerge on a saddle between Peak 7980 and Peak 8479. The view's reveal is unrivaled by anything I've ever done. Ralston Peak in Tahoe, Eagle Peak in Yosemite, Frigid Air Pass in Colorado; these falter in comparison to the dramatic uncovering of Upper Grinnell Lake. Three steps mark the difference between rock obstruction and complete vista. It's impossible to take in everything at once: indeed, the insurmountable slopes of Mount Gould giving way to Grinnell Glacier is stunning enough. Throw in the crystalline waters of Upper Grinnell Lake, the distant Lake Josephine, Allen Mountain, and you're overwhelmed by beauty. Upon emerging at the Glacial Overlook, I thought the view couldn't possibly get better. Then, heeding the advice of fellow hikers, I trekked an additional 200 feet towards point 7980. The vista expanded. Almost the entirety of Grinnell Drainage Basin was visible, ranging from Salamander Glacier to Lake Sherburne. This additional trip, even after 800 feet of grueling ascent, marked the complete climax of this hike. Everything thereafter is simply dispensable gravy. Admittedly, the descent down to The Loop is decent at best; surely my expectations were inflated by Heaven spilling onto the Garden Wall. Granite Chalet is little more than a historic tourist trap, the Granite Park Trail weaves through the remnants of a devastated forest, and the 3,500 feet of descent don't lift spirits. However, if we were to walk through a mosquito-infested hellhole laced with the occasional muddy leech, this hike still would've commanded five stars. The experience of the Garden Wall is simply that powerful. My father and I begun hiking at 06:45, passed two groups of hikers, and escaped a swiftly-moving third. We had the Highline Trail to ourselves thereafter. I would recommend hiking by 06:15 if you desire serenity; even if you don't mind crowds, an early start is integral to sunrise views. Our two-man crew was the second group up the Garden Wall (summit 09:15). After a 25-minute experience of ripping winds and scintillating vistas, we passed some 25-35 people on the descent. If you have a single day to spend in Glacier, this is your trail. Don't overthink it. This is perhaps Montana's most remarkable view, on Montana's most acclaimed trail, in Montana's renowned national park. Above all, it was worth waiting an entire year for.

running
Wed Aug 08 2018

Awesome trail! A large group of us wrapped a week long trip with this trail run. Lots of up and down with killer views. The last half mile up to the peak is painful but totally worth the view on top! Busy, but as expected for early August. We started early to avoid the crowds and to get a parking spot at the Logan Pass visitor center. Very runner friendly, but watch the sharp drop offs! Wildlife everywhere and plenty of shaded areas for a quick water break. Will do it again if I get the chance!

hiking
Sat Jul 28 2018

Fantastic trail with awesome views the entire way. Steep for the last 0.6 miles before the turn around but worth the view. *when you get to Garden Wall overlooking the valley at the turn around walk up the other side of the pass another 0.1 miles as it make the view much more breathtaking.

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