The Loop and Garden Wall

HARD 133 reviews
#23 of 136 trails in

The Loop and Garden Wall is a 14.2 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near West Glacier, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until September.

Distance: 14.2 miles Elevation Gain: 5,177 feet Route Type: Point to Point

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This is a one way hike so you will need to leave a car at each end. Alternatively, the NPS does run shuttles up and down the road.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail to hike. Our group started at Logan Pass. We planned to take a shuttle back when we finished and waited at least a half an hour before only one of us caught a ride back. The others waited while I returned with the car. Overall wait time was 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Unbelievable hike! We were in and out of clouds most of the morning but still had fantastic views. We did the very hard climb to the Grinnell glacier overlook and were in the clouds all the way up but once on top we could see over into the Grinnell valley. It was cold and windy but awesome. We saw several Bighorn sheep, one up close and personal as it wanted to walk on the trail. We also saw a Grizzly eating huckleberries! My wife’s watch recorded almost 17 miles. Whether that’s accurate I’m not sure but it was a long hike I do know. I would absolutely do it again but at 57 I would probably leave out the Grinnell overlook climb.

hiking
2 months ago

Probably one of my favorites! Beautiful scenery! Ran into a small herd of big horned sheep on the trail...also saw mountain goats (up high), a grizzly (way up high), and several marmots. Started at St Mary Visitor Center (parking lot was full, we had to drive around the lot for a while [thank you Michigan guy], so plan accordingly)....hiked to the chalet, then doubled back, as we got a late start and knew by the time we finished the shuttle would no longer be running. Very windy on the vistas, so take appropriate clothing. Face got a little wind-burned, but totally worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

Today, 9/11/19 we did the amazing Highline Trail hike. We loved it. We added on a0.6 one way 1000 ft gain hike to see the Grinnell Glacier. Difficult but Totally Amazing

hiking
2 months ago

Wow what a hike! Did it on 9/3/19 with my husband. Got to Logan pass a little after 7am. There were still a lot of spots open but cars kept pulling in. I bet the lot was full by 8. Started the hike around 7:30. Passed very few people along the way. About 4 miles in saw about 13 mountain goats up on ledge and just before that saw 4 big horned sheep. Also saw deer right around the same area. Because of when we started, we were in the shade a majority of the way right until we got to the grinnell lookout trail. We did that trail and holy smokes, people are not kidding when they say it is TOUGH. I swear I was stopping every 10 steps on the way up. My Garmin also registered 1 mile up, not .6 that the sign says. The view at the top is worth it though so recommend doing it if you have time. We were originally going to head back the way we came but because I was feeling pretty tired we decided to go down the loop. Glad we did. We went on a sunny day and the last 3 miles down on the loop have zero shade. It was brutal. Got to the bottom and waited maybe 7 minutes for a shuttle back to Logan. Took us 6.5 hours including all our breaks, which I’d guess added up to 50 min. Saw no bears, but heard someone say who just stayed at the Chalet for a couple nights that they were all over that area. Definitely a hike I would do again!

This was my 2019 bucket list hike. We started at the visitors center then did the Grinnell overlook add on, it was worth it! The last 4 miles were downhill, but it was still hard at 14 miles. We caught the shuttle but barely. It’s 5 pm on the dot. Do it. It’s gorgeous all the way around !

hiking
2 months ago

The view along the way was spectacular! We started from Logan pass, and completed at the loop. The first half was quite moderate and great view all the time! If time works, I’ll also recommend to do the Grinnell Glacier outlook. The ranger told me this is probably the most steepest park of trial in the park, 0.6 mile gaining 900ft elevation. However the glacier view at the top was so rewarding. The last 5-6 mile was all the way downhill, which did put quite a lot of pressure on my knee and ankle. Because of that, I also see many hikers start from the loop instead. Also the trial has no shade throughout. So I’d definitely recommend to wear a hat, apply sun screen and bring plenty of water!

hiking
2 months ago

Great views and pictures! Saw mountain goats and lots of birds.

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

The trail is amazing! We did this trail from the Logan’s Pass through the Loop and also did the breakaway trail to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook (which was amazing and hard) The trail itself is mostly flat for the first half with absolutely amazing views, and after the Chalet it gets pretty significantly downhill. It will definitely put some strain on the calves and shins. We saw Big Horned Sheep, a deer on the trail, and there was Bear on the trail shortly before we passed and they were scared away by a ranger. I would say that the trail (without overlook) is moderate. But the trail with the overlook is difficult, but very worth while. If you think you are capable, I would absolutely do the overview as well. It’s a very tough climb due to a constant grade upward, and then downward afterwards. I pushed my leg muscles to the point of failure and I had to rest several times on the way up to make it. (But I also had two horrible blisters, and I am 40 and not in the beat shape) Once up at the top of the overlook, you have a couple more options to go all the way up to see the entire valley and it’s breathtaking. Also very very cold and windy the day we were there. All in all, took us 6 1/2 hours. I would plan for 8. One of the beat trails I have been on!

hiking
2 months ago

Incredible views! Definitely lives up to the hype. The hike up to the overlook for Grinnell Glacier and the Garden Wall is brutal but worth it. Otherwise the hike is pretty steady and not too challenging. We saw goats, big horn sheep and other little rodents that are really cute. Luckily, no bears. Check out this hike it doesn’t disappoint!

hiking
2 months ago

Highly recommend doing this trail backwards! Park your car at the Loop trailhead and shuttle to Logan Pass to start. Not sure the timing of the shuttles but we ended up hitching a ride with another hiker who passed the shuttle stop since we were 20th in line and hadn’t seen a shuttle in 30 minutes at the start of service - people in the park are great and many passing you are headed to Logan anyways! Others around us said they’d waited over an hour for a shuttle before - and when we saw most people on the trail later in the day from the shuttle line we found out they hitched rides as well. Trails are more narrow but totally doable! Definitely do the trek up to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook - very steep but so worth it. The Chalet was underwhelming but there are bathrooms there. The trail down to the Loop is pretty sunny - bring a hat/sunscreen. Enjoy!!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Take the detour and climb up to Grinnell Glacier overlook - 300m incline in 1km but totally worth it! Otherwise the hike was quite easy. We parked at the loop (at 8:15 and it was almost full) and got a lift up to Logan pass. Then took the loop trail back down to our waiting car from the chalet (rather than have to shuttle back to our car after a long hike!) Saw a mama bear with a cub up at the glacier overlook, and six piles of bear poop so make sure you bring your bear spray!

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely incredible trail. We parked at the loop and took the shuttle to Logan Pass first thing in the morning, which I definitely recommend because most of the traffic seems to be from Logan pass to the loop and catching a shuttle in the afternoon seems like a real headache. The views from the trail near Logan Pass are unparalleled. Things are a little dicey for someone who doesn’t love being close to the ledge, but the views are well worth the stress and there were children who made it, so it’s nothing crazy. I will say the jaunt up to the Grinnell Glacier overlook was not worth it for me. Don’t get me wrong, the view was very good but the wet rock and narrow trail was a bridge too far for someone who was satisfied with the better views to be had elsewhere on the trail. It’s certainly not an extension for the faint of heart. But all in all, the trail is an amazing hike.

hiking
3 months ago

This is one of the most rewarding hikes I have been on, and that is saying something, after hiking the Sierras for 20 summers. I think it would be fun to stay a night at Granite chalet and hike back the next day. The last 4 miles down the hill is a killer, (if you don’t return the way you came) is Full sun- no shade EVER- no water- nothing! And you better make sure your feet don’t slip forward in your boots. I went the second week of July and indeed the animals & wildflowers & vistas we’re SPECTACULAR!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing trail with panoramic views the whole hike! The glacier lookout is tough but definitely worth it with one of the best views I’ve ever seen! You definitely need to get there (Logan pass) before 8 am for a parking spot and so you can hike in the shade for a big section of the hike. Trail does get very hot in the afternoon with little shade towards the end. But overall, this was one of the best hikes I’ve ever been on!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! My family has been taking this hike for a while now; a couple years back we saw a Wolverine on the trail, so that was pretty cool! The only thing is that if you’re at all afraid of heights, this isn’t really the trail for you. It’s very pretty though!

hiking
3 months ago

so pretty! many panoramic views. logan pass to the loop is ideal so that you descent 4 miles instead of climb them. honestly by the last 4 miles I was exhausted. loop plus the grinnell glacier overlook took me just under 8 hours without any extended breaks. flowers were fabulous especially the blooming beargrass. Seeing Grinnell glacier was worth the treacherous side jaunt. saw lots of goats and marmots and of course those little squirrels/chipmunk/? Pika looking things

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Trail was amazing definitely worth it!! Logan pass parking lot fills up very early also not a bad idea to park at heavens peak and shuttle up so that way when you end at the loop You’re at your car. The last 4 miles of this trail is what makes it hard !! Loved this hike for my last day in the park

Fantastic trail, however it is definitely difficult. Part of it included walking along the edge of cliffs. We also walked up the garden wall and got an incredible view of Grinnell Lake and Glacier. Absolutely worth doing at least once!

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely a top 10 day hike. Do some planning before you go. Research how you will do transport to and from trailhead and take into account parking availability and/or shuttle times. Go early! Bring lots of water because the last 4 miles downhill are in unshaded burn scar. This is also where most bear activity occurs. Bear spray. Views are unsurpassed. Flowers are in full bloom and wildlife is to be enjoyed. We saw a bear from a distance and mountain goats. No big horn this time. We took the spur trail up to the Grinnell overlook and it was breathtaking. Literally and figuratively. Worth it. Take your time. This is why you get there early. Every minute of taking in the scenery is special. Enjoy.

This trail is a new top favorite. We started out planning to do 3 miles of the Highline Trail, but once we got to the snowy pass...we (3 thirty-something’s and my 13yr old nephew) decided to see the rest. After making sure we had enough provisions in our packs, we continued on and I let this recorder continue even through our breaks. We started at Logan’s pass, which was a fairly easy hike . We added on the Grinnell Glacier Spur, which was difficult (1000 ft climb in .6 miles)...but the views of Grinnell are spectacular. The nephew almost didn’t make it up, but after ample rests, he pushed on and said the views was worth it. He was happy he pushed on and we are all proud of him sticking with us. The rest of the trail was a steep downhill, but the views were wonderful. There were tons of marmots, ground squirrels, a mountain goat, and deer along the whole trail...and wild flowers everywhere. An awesome hike whether you go 1 mile or the whole length!

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this 07/13. Parked at The Loop and took the shuttle to Logan's Pass first thing in the morning. Be prepared to wait for a shuttle even if you get there right at 8 am. It's worth it to shuttle to your starting point as the wait for a shuttle will be even worse in the afternoon no matter where you end the hike. The hike itself is busy, which is expected during the tourist season, but gorgeous from start to finish. Several mountain goats were on the trail, along with some deer. Quintessential Glacier day hike; it will not disappoint!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful trail with awesome views for the entire hike! We parked at the “Loop” parking lot and started at Logan’s Point...definitely the way to do it. Saw lots of wildlife too.

hiking
no shade
rocky
snow
4 months ago

stunning vistas and squeaky ground squirrels. spotted a herd of big horned sheep right off the bat and we saw some mountain goats as well. The end had a steep downhill for about 5 miles in the sun. also I saw these birds in the 12 miles I was hiking: Rufous Hummingbird; Golden Eagle, Cordilleran Flycatcher; Canada Jay; Common Raven; Tree Swallow; American Dipper; Townsend's Solitaire; American Robin; Chipping Sparrow; Dark-eyed Junco; White-crowned Sparrow ; MacGillivray's Warbler; Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  not great for birding but still an enjoyable pastime.

hiking
rocky
snow
5 months ago

I would definitely recommend this trail for anyone who likes an adventurous trail. I thought that the actual hiking was not too bad but the hardest part was hiking along sheer drops. Ive never hiked something with two-way traffic, and 5-foot wide trail with a sheer drop on one side an a wall of rock on the other, in other words if you have a really bad fear of heights then this may not be the trail for you. I hiked the trail with my brother and sister in about 4 hours but we were really hauling it because we had to make it back to Helena before nightfall so we did not take any breaks; i believe the normal time for this hike would take5-6 hours. Beautiful views and lots of wildlife (we ran into a goat, two deer, and a marmot on the trail). Overall a great experience.

hiking
Mon Aug 16 2010

I last did this hike in 2010. It was a great hike but I did it differently. Normally, you start at Logan Pass and go to the Garden Park Chalet. From there, you can go down the Granite Park Trail too the parking area, or just go back the way you came, which is easier on your knees. Not nearly as much down hill and very little climbing. The climb to the Garden Wall give an excelent view but is a very hard limb up 900 ft in .8 mi.

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