Explore the most popular Backpacking trails in Montana with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
over grown
rocky
1 day ago

Awesome hike to what many consider the falls. About 1.5 miles in. Great spot to camp and relax or take the dog for a run. Haven’t completed the full trail yet. Will make for an awesome summer pack trip.

backpacking
5 days ago

This was a totally amazing backpacking trip! (only a couple of caveats). We hiked up in the rain for about 4 hours to stay in the lookout at the top. Once the clouds cleared, the views were absolutely stunning. Biggest issue was someone wandering into the lookout while we were out on a day hike in the middle of our two night stay. Check out the video of our trip here! https://youtu.be/two_RpVPED8

hiking
muddy
snow
5 days ago

Great hike, there is still a lot of snow so the trail can be a little tough to follow. We camped at the front of heart lake instead of continuing around the left side. Couldn't find a clean route with all the snow. Probably 6-10 feet in spots. It was cold but definitely a good time.

Beautiful trail, we got about 9 miles in, but we had several thigh deep creeks to cross, had to carry our dogs. theres a few really awesome camp site along the way though.

hiking
muddy
snow
9 days ago

beautiful trail!! only trekked half of the trail due to excessive snow.

I did this trip late april 2017 be prepared for good snowcover and cold night on the snow. Beautiful first trail I hiked in glacier.

hiking
off trail
scramble
snow
11 days ago

Beautiful hike! Although, I would probably wait a few more weeks until attempting it again. There is still a large amount of the trail that is covered in snow and we spent 3/4 of the hike postholing. Sometimes up to mid thigh. Additionally, a few hikers have gone off trail, creating steep and not so safe inclines. It is doeable but not smart towards the end unless you know the true trail or are confident in your skills. I’ve hiked for years and a few places towards the end made me pucker a little bit. Haha. I would have definitely felt more comfortable with crampons and an ice axe at a section towards the end. In way of the hike, there is a steep incline about 1 mile before the lake that someone graciously left a rope tied to a tree to help make it up the hill. When you start getting to exposed part of the trail, many people have gone off trail, so watch you footing. At one point, my leg got loosely wedges between two large rocks when I fell through the snow. We even found ourselves on a loose gravel hill at one point. Additionally, mileage the is off. We hiked about 6.3 miles round trip today (started tracking late). Don’t let me turn you away! I will absolutely be doing this again! I just won’t attempt it with the same amount of snow. Just be smart and safe! It really is beautiful!

hiking
snow
13 days ago

As of 5/12/19 -Snow starts around a quarter mile in. Not too bad until you get to where the switch backs normally are. From there you are climbing up and falling occasionally in soft pockets of snow. We made it most of the way but turned around due to needing a rope (thanks whoever left this) to climb up a steep/icy section. If we didn't have a kid strapped on and another one on the way we may have attempted it.

hiking
14 days ago

Would have given 5 stars, but bugs are INSANE. Pretty flat, nice breeze coming from the river.

Full exposure to sun-great for spring hike. Road to trailhead still closed. Add approx 1.5 miles walking to get to trailhead.

hiking
muddy
over grown
16 days ago

Beautiful hike with spectacular views along the climb. Needed snowshoes from the trailhead. Start early- we hit the trail at 8:30 am and ended at 12:30 pm and the hike out was getting very slushy.

hiking
19 days ago

One of the most incredible hikes I have ever been on. We did this hike at the end of July 2016. The flowers were amazing along the Garden Wall. We ended up doing the spur trail up to Grinnell glacier and taking the loop trail back down to the road. The ascent to the glacier was intense, but totally worth every step! We did come in relatively close contact with a sow and her cubs near the chalet. Thankfully we didn’t need to use our bear spray. We ended up going down the loop back to the road to head in the opposite direction of them. We were thankful to go down the loop instead of climbing that section up to the chalet. Definitely recommend!

Beautiful hike. You walk along the creek the majority of the trail. Great cliff and rock face views. We only went about 3 miles in, so we did not see the lake. No bugs when we went, and a good mixture of sun and shade along the trail.

Nice hike on a perfect fall day! creek is pretty high.

hiking
snow
20 days ago

I did this trail 5/5/19. I do not suggest this trail at this time in the season. The last mile or so is in several feet of soft snow that you sink into (picture attached of the snow on a bridge at the lake). I think this would be a good trip later in the season once the snow melts.

hiking
bugs
rocky
20 days ago

Fun trail. Be careful of all the Rocky Mountain Wood Ticks. They are out in full force. It is still partially snowy starting about 1 mile in. A very peaceful trail.

hiking
snow
23 days ago

This is a good morning or afternoon trail and wasn't very difficult at all. GPS says I made it to within .7 miles of the lake when deep snow made me turn back (3 May, 2019). There are not a ton of sweeping vistas on this hike like many others in the Park but it's a very pretty trail and fun to explore.

hiking
23 days ago

So beautiful, but I would not recommend for un experienced hikers the summit is very scary with shattered rock but worth it once you get to the top.

Hiked about 4 miles down the trail on Saturday and conditions were great! Lovely walk along the river with plenty of places for my dog to swim. Nice for a casual outing.

The hike is basically a Ricola commercial. It’s so pretty with many wild flowers and great Mountain View’s.

mountain biking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Made it in to 10.9 miles today 4500' and hit snows. beautiful out there today as the river was raging down the valley.

Recent deer kill at trailhead. Smelled bad. Hiked about 2 miles in. So beautiful. Lots of butterflies. Kootenai creek so pretty!

hiking
snow
1 month ago

snow shoes!!!!

Be bear aware as there is an active bear in this area right now..... beautiful hike

Definitely need snow shoes or skis! Beautiful trail.

hiking
1 month ago

First time going and couldn’t have been more pleased. Great trail conditions. Didn’t run into many muddy spots. There was an animal carcass about .5 miles up. Wish I would have seen it before my dog did...other than that I loved the hike itself.

hiking
1 month ago

First time going and couldn’t have been more pleased. Great trail conditions. Didn’t run into many muddy spots. There was an animal carcass about .5 miles up. Wish I would have seen it before my dog did...other than that I loved the hike itself.

I have hiked and run the D/P loop at least 20 times going both ways. I was the backcountry ranger for 12 years and cg host for 10 years. I know the debate about which direction to go and definitely know from experience starting with Dawson is the better route. Going the North Shore to Dawson gives 3 miles of warm-up, 3 miles of up hill and the rest of the 18 miles is basically level or gradual downhill. If the wind is blowing it is mostly out of the sw so at your back from Dawson to Pitamakin and out the Dry Fork. Personally, I feel looking straight ahead toward Canada and the upper end of the park is more striking than the view the other direction. I also prefer a gradual hike out the Dry Fork at the end of the day to pounding down from Dawson to Two Med.If you start early morning you can be mostly in the shade until the last mile to Dawson. After that you stay fairly cool. This is opposed to hiking Pitamakin first which is very much in the open and 8 miles of gradual to steep uphill with a brutal downhill at the end. Either way it is breathtaking. Point of interest: on Pitamakin Pass, in a very small space, you can see portions of 6 lakes. Cautions: 1. Take plenty of water 2. Winds can exceed 80 mph 3. The weather can change remarkably quickly so be prepared

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Trail became tough to follow due to blowing and drifting snow. I lost it completely a couple of times, but used the AllTrails track/map to keep me on course. It was evident due to the lack of tracks that no one had reached the lake in a few days at least. A couple of the switchback areas were treacherous due to crusted snow near the edge - one slip could cause serous injury. I was using Yaktrax for extra grip in the snow/ice. The view from the top was as gorgeous as advertised — maybe more so due to the snow cover and lack of people. (Other than a group of four people near the trailhead, I saw no one during my hike.) All in all it was a great experience. If you don’t like battling through snow (several feet in some places) wait another month to tackle this hike.

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