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

Columbia Falls, Montana Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Long, steep climb up the summit of this mountain, with beautiful views along the way of the Flathead River valley. On the top, there are beautiful views of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.

Gorgeous views of Glacier. Tough climb up to the summit but worth it. If you’re hiking during fire season, do your research. If there’s a fire in the park, most likely it will be a smoky hike. Plan accordingly.

There are many incredible day hikes better than this one

im a flatlander, this was tough at the end. Inclined hike the whole way up. Narrow trail once you are past the parking lot. don't count on getting any shade until you reach the top.

Views at the top are good but not really breathtaking.

Steep trail that doesn’t overlook much until the top of the mountain.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked a portion of this trail with my 2 sons as many of the West Glacier trails were not open. It was a decent hike and only a little challenging although we did not complete the entire hike. There was nothing to "ooh" and "aah" about along the way, but it was still a nice hike on a narrow path. We saw a handful of other hikers on the way. The path is shared with horseback riders although we were hiking late in the day and didn't see any riders. In order to hit the trail head you must first drive a mile or so on a gravel road.

Smokey and can hardly see the West shoreline of Macdonald lake. Not much to see with the smoke. Relatively easy trail. My 62 year old mother made it up with many breaks and minimal complaints. Not much shade so much more enjoyable earlier in the morning.

hiking
1 month ago

Not sure how this trail ended up being labeled as a “hard” trail - I would say it’s more on the easy/moderate end. Trail is clearly marked, flat, no scree, no scrambling, relatively moderate incline with a little bit of a more steep ending but by no means should this trail be considered “hard.” Could do it without proper hiking shoes even! No poles needed. Made it up 1:30, down in 1:05. Views are okay at the top but not as incredible as other hikes in GNP.

The trail offers little shade, but my friend and I did the trail super early in the morning so it was a nice cool hike up. That part of the forest actually burned down about 15 years ago and all the trees are now the same height (around 7-8 feet tall). Some really awesome views even though it's pretty smoky this time of year. It only takes about two hours to hike up, but I would definitely recommend getting an early start to avoid the heat.

So hot trail. No shadow all The trail.

horseback riding
2 months ago

Very narrow. Not that enjoyable. My husband very experienced and he did not enjoy.

I felt bad for the hikers always having to off the trail to get out of our way.

4th major trail we have attempted in the past ~7 yrs. Avalanche/ Danny On nearing 10X each. Birch Lake 1x. Apgar was easy to rank at the bottom of this grouping. No shade, payoff at the summit was solid but not what you get at Avalanche or Birch. Great workout and a good climb for sure. Parking was excellent. Horse poop was plentiful

A mostly steep, strenuous hike and we had to dodge horse poop all the way up (guess I shouldn't have picked a trail frequented by horses, huh?). We hiked on a day that started off overcast and never cleared up until much later than anticipated so I can't say what the view is like at the top. However we did hike up to the tower. Lots of mosquitoes so bring your big spray. We made it up in 1hr 24min, down in an hour but it definitely was an exhausting hike. Parking lot full by 10:30am so get there early.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike. The views are pretty most of the way, quite a few wildflowers near the start of the trail. Took just under 2 hours to get to the lookout with a lot of stops could probably do it in under 1.5 hours with no stops.

Make sure to drive all the way up to the trailhead, about 2 miles PAST the Apgar Corral (road on the left). It’s a fairly challenging hike with beautiful views. Take a hat and bug spray! Fun fact, you get full service at the top! :)

horseback riding
3 months ago

We did this trail on horseback which made it seem really steep but the horses are so familiar with the trail it was a lot of fun! Beautiful view at the top Did it early June , no snow. Seemed like plenty of people on the trail

hiking
3 months ago

Great place to hike, far from the madding crowd! Excellent views as you start the long zig-zags up the mountain. But the real goal is to persevere to the top to get superb views N-S-E-W. p
Parking at trailhead somewhat limited approx 24 cars, no RVs or 5th wheels allowed. Approach road rough and narrow in stretches with few pull overs.

Nice hike on this side of the park. The first part of the hike is through forest. Once you get to the base of the mountain there is no tree coverage. The switchbacks are steep - we had to take breaks along the way, and the view is the same the entire way up. Once you get to the ridge and make it to the top you have excellent 180 degree + views of the mountains. We packed a lunch and ate at the top. It took us 2 hours up (with breaks along the way) and 1.5 hours down. The descent is steep and was hard on my knees, so if you have hiking poles you’ll want to bring them.

Nice hike if you’re spending time on the West side of the park, relatively easy trail that’s a consistent uphill. Lovely views at the top. Not super crowded even in August.

hiking
3 months ago

Good hike. Hardly anyone on this yesterday. Trail is in good condition. Once you start up the incline stays constant until the top.

Great trail, uphill, but dirt, gravel grade (smooth), so manageable. Can’t beat the view from the top! Remember your bug spray. We saw about 13 varieties of wild flowers.

We didn’t make it far on this very isolated and tight trail. Brush and bugs were too much and the possibility of running into wildlife seemed high. We heard the lake is beautiful from our host family. A good trip for those who like real back country hiking!

hiking
4 months ago

Still some snow on trail . Be ready with your waterproof /snow shoes . Lot of logs on the trail also . Had to park just before the bridge due to blocked road . So add additional 1.9 mile from parking lot to trail start point .
Views are amazing ! No animals noticed on the trail .

hiking
9 months ago

Gorgeous hike, seemed like a well maintained trail. It got snowy in the afternoon which made the trail a little harder on the way down. Be aware there's a decent distance between the parking lot and the start of the trail so it will probably take a little longer than expected. The switchbacks were long with a relatively constant small incline, which made going up challenging, but the view at the top was so worth it. Breathtaking spot.

hiking
10 months ago

Got a late start and had to turn around, spur of the moment thing. I will try again in spring and get a much earlier start.

The steeper part of the trail has long grades between switchbacks and although altitude is not a problem for me, the constant climb was had on my knees.

hiking
10 months ago

FYI In route you will travel on an unpaved road with a one lane bridge. No bathroom at the trailhead.

Went in the afternoon. The start of the hike is in a once burned forest in recovery not steep at all. Spots of shade. Lots of horse poop. I mean LOTS! The majority of the trail is exposed so be prepared for lots of sun and/or exposure to other elements.
Long distances between switchbacks on the steepest part of the trail. Decent sights along the way. View at the top of course made it worth it. Bring plenty of water and a snack for the summit.

hiking
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

It was steeper than I expected. Definitely worth the view at the top. Take plenty of water.

hiking
Monday, August 21, 2017

Not a bad trail overall though it is pretty much uphill the entire way up....sooo that means downhill the entire way down....on the bright side this is one of those trails that will give you buns of steel ;D The top is quite nice and relaxing sitting on the lookout post chatting with other hikers.

Side note: my track is pretty accurate minus that very weird line...lol

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Made this hike in early August. Start early! 6:00 am. It is mostly exposed new growth area. The hike is moderate. Nice and easily elevated and shaded early on. The sun will be behind Apgar most of the early morning. Dusty trail. Nice views at the top of Lake McDonald.
The tower makes for a nice place to eat and relax a bit. Please don't feed the wildlife. They were becoming pretty aggressive at the tower.

Load More