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

great hike, we took shuttle to Logan pass and ended at the Loop and went with shuttle to Apgar, it took us around 5 hours

hiking
19 hours ago

My group thought this hike was great. On the drive to trailhead, we saw a momma black bear and two young cubs foraging in a field along the way. Perfect way to start the day!

Gang of Coloradans here, so elevation didn’t impact us. Started at 10am thinking we would run into hoards of people, but saw probably 8 groups total, maybe 20 people throughout the entire hike (not including 2 horse trail groups). First bit is wooded and covered, people are right about the horse waste; not the best but also not the worst (like, get over it, share the trail). We were excited to see some different scat at about mile 2, looked like black bear had a great lunch. Steady incline, but manageable. Some steep areas, we brought hiking poles for the day hike but found they weren’t necessary. Saw a snake along the switchbacks, small and harmless. Pretty stream in the middle of the hike, another group mentioned seeing a moose in that area. Up and up included some open areas where coverage was sparse. When you’re about a mile from lake, coverage is gone — bring a hat! Sun was brutal. As it opened up, it was really beautiful and still ascending gradually. Lake itself is surreal, so turquoise and opaque. There’s a healthy shoreline along lake, for many groups to chill and enjoy.

We’ve been a lot of places and done many hikes, and this was one of our top purely for the lake experience. Don’t listen to the party poopers saying majority of it’s boring #takeahike — Bring bear spray and enjoy! Happy trails!

My husband and I did this as part of a 3 day 2 night backpacking trip. We started the trail from two medicine and hiked counterclockwise (100% recommend starting this way). Starts out with a gradual incline and is very dense forest. Be aware of bears & make a lot of noise. About 3 miles In we turned a counter and saw a grizzly with 2 cubs. We backed off and waited a half mile down the trail for a few more groups of hikers then proceeded through the area making a lot of noise and they were gone. A couple other groups said they saw some bears on that side of the trail too. Once out of the tree line the incline increases until you reach the top. It was windy but the views are beautiful! Not a lot of people up there. We hiked down to no name lake where we camped for the night. There was a moose that was walking around the creek by our campsite. It’s a very beautiful lake about 0.2 miles off the trail to take a break or even a swim. Our last day we finished the last ~5 miles back to the campground. There are a lot of streams and beautiful scenery the entire loop. A lot of hikers do the loop in one day. We enjoyed breaking it up but carrying our packs was strenuous. Definitely recommend doing this trail, but definitely be in a group to avoid any run ins with bears.

This is an unbelievable hike and is an absolute must do in Glacier Park. As all the hikes we did in this park turned out to be: the trail was longer than All Trails told us it would be. Which the mileage on the signs at the beginning of the trail head was actually accurate to what we ended up recording (not what all trails said it would be). So prepare for longer. This one was 10.6 miles for us.
Seriously though, this trail is unbelievable. Did this one on our 6th day in the park and was better than the Highline trail, avalanche lake, and hidden lake. We saw a huge moose and some bears that day.
DO THIS HIKE EARLY!! We started at 7:30 am and by the time we started heading down, there were TONS of people making their way up. And they were honestly very rude. So avoid the music blaring, ignorant jerks that will bump into you on purpose. Because that's what we got on our way down.

hiking
2 days ago

awesome views. we took boat from lodge to save a few miles; you may want to just walk because tough to get return boat (too crowded). if you wait til 5:15 boat guarantees everyone a ride. but beware, we saw bears over the trail. more than 2 hours from boat dock to glacier lake. eat lunch at the lake, not the 'picnic area' below. pit toilet at boat dock and also at top. saw goats and a moose (and bears from boat). this is harder than iceberg lake trail, but not so cold at the top. awesome and doable trail.

Pictures do not do it justice!!! We hiked from Many Glacier hotel to the Grinnell glacier and back, what a hike!
4 hours there and 2 hours back
Plan for an all day adventure!

We did this hike yesterday with a 9 and 11 year old. It took us 4 hours to hike up and 2 hours to come down. It was quite a hike up but we took our time and the girls did great. There were a few spots that had sharp drop offs but the trail was wide enough to feel safe. We saw moose and goats on the trail and got lots of great pictures. This hike was the best we did in the park. Iceberg Lake was closed due to bear traffic but we heard this one was even better. It was quite impressive and hard to describe. You have gorgeous views the entire time and all I can say is ... wow! This is what you think of when you think of Glacier ... just stunning!

Great Hike. One of the best.

A great hike! If I re-did it id come back in September to hike again. In the summer this trail can get hot if you aren't used to high temps. Coming from the SW I am used to it. This trail gives you a bit of everything and is a much less crowded trail if that is what you are looking for. I recommend doing the loop counterclockwise so after all the elevation changes you can stop in at no name lake and take a dip. Bring bug and bear spray!

backpacking
3 days ago

13 hard miles baby!
First hike in Montana. The Grinnell glacier has receded incredibly far. It was basically a thawed out cocktail glass. Incredibly popular hike which can start from the Many Glacier Hotel. There are options to take a boat across the lake shore in the hike. I recommend leaving from the Hotel, walking along the South Shore quietly early morning. You will have to keep your eye out for bear, but if you keep looking to your right you will most likely spot moose. Three moose were spotted in three consecutive lakes on the way to the glacier. The Trail is incredibly popular and crowded. You have to leave early unless you want to be in a parade. I counted 116 people coming up as I was heading down. You will get a good workout out of this. The lunch spot is incredible.

great and easy hike. A good amount of people on it but good none the less. Don't bother with the boat unless you absolutely need it. Seemed like a waste of time walking past people waiting for it.

backpacking
3 days ago

Hiked hard . Swim in the lake baby. Started this hike behind Many Glacier Hotel. Lots of solitude. Not one of the more popular hikes. But let me tell you it is tough. You will have solitude. And you will be so glad that you chose this hike. Most folks choose Grinnell Glacier and miss this one.

Amazing views on the lakes and the glaciers (What is left....). However the hike is highly crowded making the walk a bit annoying as the path is narrow. It is better to have a early start to avoid flows of’people descending. We arrived at around 09:00 and the parking near the hotel was almost full.

Great hike! It's got the views of Going to the Sun road but you are outside and right along a mountain, immersed in nature. Spectacular views the whole way. I was surprised to see this was rated difficult! It wasn't too steep until you are going down which is a bit rough on the knees. Overall a good choice in hikes while you are in Glacier.

hiking
4 days ago

Not a bad hike at all! Beautiful valleys teeming with wildflowers and cool bridges along the way. The lake itself is a great view but certainly isn't the prettiest lake I've seen. Lots of dead trees due to the fire. The hike felt pretty long to me so make sure to pack enough water and just give your day to the trail and enjoy being outside.

So beautiful. I went around sunset and most of the traffic had subsided. The hike was fun, especially going by a weeping wall and being able to see the glacier in the distance. I saw a mama and baby goat, a moose, a wild chicken thing, and a whole lot of chipmonks and whistlepigs of course! All so charming and cool! I'd say the hike is definitely moderate or easy until you get close to the end and it gets pretty steep. I was walking back in the dark which sort of sucked but overall it was amazing. This is definitely a hike not to miss while you are at Glacier.

Did this hike on 7/28/18. We started at the Many Glacier hotel. The total hike mile was 7.5 one way, it’s a a moderate to hike trail, beautiful scenery all the way. Go with plenty of water and food. We thought the trail was going to be closed at 3.5 mike like another hiker mentioned but it wasn’t closed when we went. It took us 4 hours to go up but we stopped to take pics and were not in a hurry until we realized that the trail kept going! It seemed like eternity for us but we were not prepared enough. We still made it to the top, we a snack at the edge of the water stayed for 40 min and then descended it took us 3 hours only because one of us was really tired lol and we had to wait some people rush down and take two hours. I had to stop a few times to take a breather. Some part were a bit to narrow for me but two people fit comfortably, I’ve just never done a hike like that! Absolutely beautiful at the top some people even took a quick dip, you have to get out fast because it’s extremely cold. We didn’t prepare enough so for next time we know to bring plenty of water, fruits if it’s a very hot day, put on bug spray because hose flies were a pain in the butt, i killed so many that landed on me and some were massive. We saw two moose near the lake and a mountain goat, at the beginning of the trail a grizzly family was spotted but we could see it only with binoculars.

Absolutely hands down my favourite hike. It’s going to be hard to beat. The hike up to Grinnell is crazy intense but the view

pretty cool not many people on it. the views don't get good till the ranger station so it also gets hot

Parking available at trailhead (~200 spaces). Situated near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Many Glacier Hotel, this lot fills up fast. Likely full by 07:45.

My father and I departed on the trail around 06:45, a late start considering the traffic this trail receives. The Upper Grinnell Lake Trail is among, if not the, most popular hikes in Glacier National Park. As such, we passed two groups and overtook a third within the first half mile of hiking. We stopped briefly near the first common photo opportunity. Smoke filtered the morning sunlight into a stunning red/orange hue, illuminating the landscape around Swiftcurrent Lake; this is another perk of leaving early.

Similar to many hikes in Glacier- Siyeh Pass, Swiftcurrent Pass, Hidden Lake, etc.- this trail starts off relatively slowly. True beauty first struck around a mile into the trail. Josephine Lake, which has a little pond residing at 1.1 miles, reflected the mountainous terrain with its still, deep blue hues, while its corresponding pond appeared as glass. The photo I snapped there was among the most serene I've ever taken. This serenity was short-lived, however, as three groups overtook us during a subsequent break. Predisposed towards lightly trafficked trails, this caused some unease within my father and I.

Booking it, we presently caught up to these hikers and proceeded to enjoy the ascent in solitude. Thank the lord we did. Indeed, this ascent was undoubtedly the most objectively beautiful climb I've done. El Capitan (Yosemite), Mount Baldy (Maroon Bells), El Montañon (Channel Islands), Steelhead Lake (Ansel Adams Wilderness) offer a mere fraction of the beauty. Hued morning sunlight contrasted with the seemingly impossibly blue waters of Grinnell Lake- wildflowers too!- molded an inspirational sight. My father and I broke often for pictures. I would imagine every existing hiker would do the same.

If we turned back at 3.5 miles, the hike would've already cracked our top five greatest vistas. It seemed impossible that the eponymous area, Grinnell Glacier, could transcend what we had already seen. I pessimistically prepared myself for disappointment. The final ascent, an 0.3 mile stair-assisted climb up 300 feet of terrain, served as a worthy approach to the lake. A flattening area gives way to the entirety of Upper Grinnell Lake, sitting tranquilly in turquoise glory, with streams of water cascading down sheer cliffs. My father and I looked up at the Garden Wall, where we stood a 23 hours previous, and shared an unspoken moment.

At 08:35, we had Upper Grinnell Lake and surroundings to ourselves. There was a couple who fled shortly after our arrival (it was unclear if they had camped the night). Dad splashed near-freezing glacial water on his face and hands, I snapped countless images, the icebergs rippled slightly in the water. Some trekkers emerged over the hill some ten minutes later, but we made the first footprints of the day on glacial icebergs.

In all honesty, I wish we could've forgone the descent down. Whether it be gondola, magic trolley, helicopter, any (safe) alternative to hiking down would've been preferable. This is because an unprecedented mass of humanity, perceivably eclipsing the population of Montana, met us head-on during the descent. It started with fit people, hikers who likely frequent the area. Couples came next. Families emerged. A guided hike, totaling thirty-seven individuals, forced us off the trail for a minute. We stepped off the trail for ascenders literally every thirty seconds, significantly hindering our descent.

There exist few things in this world that could drag a hike as objectively, scenically impeccable as this trail. This wave of trekkers proved to be one. I would suggest an 05:15 start at 20:00 pace to entirely avoid crowds, or a 06:00 start to enjoy the first half with uninterrupted serenity. Make no mistake, these are nice people- we chatted with several fellow trekkers- but after 75 "good morning; almost there; beautiful, isn't it?" tidbits, you inevitably wish for some isolation.

If in Glacier for multiple hikes, Upper Grinnell Lake should certainly be among them. It slides in seamlessly with the Garden Wall trek, complements Swiftcurrent Pass nicely, and showcases a different shade of blue than Siyeh Pass. Be certain to bring bear spray, as wildlife is prevalent on this trail. Leave early, hike quickly, and enjoy the ascent!

We started this hike around 8:15 and the parking lot was full! The weather was great a bit windy in the morning which kept the bugs away. We ran into tourists doing a ranger hike (about 20 of them!) on the first mile or two. The hike is a gradual incline that does not get strenuous. The views are spectacular the entire trip. Waterfalls, sheep, mountains and lakes! What more could you ask for? Made it to the upper lake (signs call it the Glacier lookout). My boyfriend and I ended up getting engaged as he was scoping out the perfect site!! It sure was amazing! It is heavily trafficked and something that a lot of people could probably do.

hiking
6 days ago

Horse Ford, about 1.3 miles in, is absolutely beautiful. That’s a gradual downhill for about 1.3 miles until you get to Gunsight Trail. Gunsight is slightly overgrown but follows St. Mary river and is nice. The Florence falls 0.6 mike (1.2 our and back) Trail is VERY overgrown, so much so that it was tough to see my own feet at times. The falls are beautiful though.

Nice trail with beautiful views of lakes. Lots of uphill and definitely will make you sore. We saw lots of big horn sheep and even had a slightly close encounter with one that came within 5 feet of us. One of the best in Glacier.

nice hike but too much traffic, we wanted to jump in the glacier but it was freezing so we just soaked our feet :D, come super early because than there is problem to find a parking, we arrived at 7.30 and it was almost full ;)

best hike in the park for me so far, we did it in 2 day and camped at Lake Elen Wilson

on Grinnell Glacier Trail

9 days ago

Aug 4, 2018 Beautiful hike! We did it with our kids 10 and 13 and they loved it as well. The last 700 meters was a tough climb but so worth it. We left the lodge about 9:00 and got back about 3:00 however we had a number of stops along the way and a late lunch up at the glacier. We skipped the boat back- from that point it’s a pretty flat walk home so we were fine to do it. Take lots of water, especially if it’s sunny as there wasn’t a ton of shade.

Great hike! Outstanding views the whole way. I took the boat ride so my hike was about 8 miles. If you plan on taking the boat ride, make your reservation ahead of time. I did this hike on 8/1/18. Whole trail was open.

We did the loop. The loop was fantastic and the views are amazing the entire way to the Chalet. When the weather is hot, the descent from the Chalet is a little rough due to constant exposure to the sun. Bring 3-4 liters of water.

Some info on the boat option to cross Swiftcurrent and Josephine Lakes.

It’s in high demand. The online tickets for the early morning boats usually sell out weeks or months in advance. Half the boat tickets are only sold at the ticket booth at the dock, and they can be purchased up to 3 days in advance.

We went to the ticket booth on a Tuesday afternoon hoping to get tickets for either the 830 or 900 am boat for Wednesday or Thursday. They were all sold out but we put our names on the waitlist for all four boats.

We ended up trying for the 830 boat on Thursday with the Ranger-led hike. We were the 10th name on the waitlist. Only 2-3 of the 9 names ahead of us showed up so we managed to get on the boat. I’d estimate there were about 10 total seats left for those on the waitlist.

It cut our hike down to 7.5ish miles round trip. The ranger was very nice and knowledgeable, however he stopped the group very frequently to take breaks and talk about vegetation and the formation of the mountains and glaciers. It actually felt like we spent more time standing and talking than hiking. So after about an hour my wife and I decided to move on ahead of the group and finish the hike by ourselves.

If you plan to take the boat back on your return trip to the hotel dock, be warned it’s quite a circus:

1) You can purchase a one way return ticket from the captain even if you did not depart on the boat from the hotel; however, everyone that DID purchase a round trip ticket at the hotel dock will be given boarding priority ahead of you.
2) There will be many many more people wanting to board the return boats than there are seats available, and there is no check in or queue - everyone just finds a rock or log to sit on in the shade, then there’s a mad rush to line up when the boat arrives. You may be the 10th person to arrive and wait at the dock, but 20-30 people may jump ahead of you when the boat comes and you don’t get to board (because there may be people already on the boat that are just going for the tour and do not disembark).
3) If you ride out on the 830am boat, you will be given a special green ticket that guarantees you a spot on the 415pm return boat (priority boarding above all other prospective passengers, even those that purchased a round trip ticket departing at a different time).
4) For the 1145am and 515pm return boats only, they will make as many trips as needed to transport everyone that wants a ride. However, it takes 30 or more minutes to complete one trip, and the boat crew said there can be hundreds of people waiting at 515 for a boat that can hold a max of 49 people, so you may be waiting a very long time.

hiking
11 days ago

Planned to do ptarmigan lake today, but it was closed to bear activity. Cracker lake ended up being a great hike. The first half is pretty boring though

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