Explore the most popular lake 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
18 hours ago

very overgrown, hard to follow and 2 miles in becomes mucky as well

The hike itself was okay. All forest. The lake at the end was more pond like and no views of the mountains. Kind of disappointing for how far it was.

Wooded trail. No Mountain View on the trail. Lake at the end is more pond like and no where to sit and enjoy for a few minutes once you get there. View was okay of the mountains far off but extremely buggy. The meadow was pretty, but if you are looking for more views, this may not be your hike.

Beautiful as is everything in the Park.

Definetly moderate...not easy.

I was hesitant to take my three young kids ages 9, 6, and 5, on this hike due to other reviewers opinions of this trail. True to what most people have said about this hike, it starts out with pretty steep incline, but I wouldn't say it lasts for more than a quarter of a mile. I let the kids know right off the bat that it could be a little tough at first, but we'd take breaks whenever they needed to drink water and only keep moving when they were ready. It seemed to really help them along, as everybody got up past the hard inclines, and just as I read, it evened out, and from there on was a fairly mild hike. It's true you decline back down tword the lake, but the incline up from it isn't much at all when you're heading back. Truly the hike back to the trailhead is pretty easy, nobody complained. If you have kids and youre thinking about doing this hike, I say go for it! Just be patient with kiddos at the base of the Steep inclines, give their little legs a break, let them drink water whenever they need, and I'm certain you can get through it! It's not long before it flattens out! I posted pictures to prove it! Go for it, I promise it's worth it! good luck! Also, keep your eyes open for huckleberries along the way!!

Beautiful hike with about 80 or so switchbacks that is moderately shaded and has plenty of nice views. A few easy water crossings and a gorgeous view of the lake and cirque once you make it to the top. Take binoculars if you want to check out any wildlife across the lake up on the mountainside. We saw a beautiful bald eagle and a large mountain goat from a distance. Only saw one other person up at the lake, but otherwise had the entire place to ourselves (Thursday 7/19/18 mid morning-early afternoon) The last couple of miles to the trailhead are a pretty rough and rocky so a 4WD vehicle with good ground clearance is recommended but it may be doable with a 2WD when conditions are really good. Also be sure to pack the bug spray, those dang horse flies bite hard! Overall, one of our all-time favorite hikes!

Hiked July 16th. Absolutely beautiful! Really wish we had hiked Iceberg before Grinnell though, instead of the other way around. Grinnell raised expectations that were hard to meet. As you'll read, the only steep part is at the beginning, and the rest is a gradual climb. As one would expect, the water is cold, but not as cold as Grinnell, so take the plunge! Water shoes tho! We didn't have water shoes to navigate over the rocks when getting in and the soles of my feet were bruised the next day. Other than a moose occupying the trail on our way down, we didn't encounter much wildlife (12pm-5:30).

Hiked July 15th. If you also intend to hike Iceberg Lake while in Glacier, I recommend doing Iceberg before Grinnell. We did Grinnell first, and I feel as though it lessened the Iceberg Lake experience. Grinnell Lake is easily the best hike we have done. The experience is worth every drop of sweat shed along the way. Signage at trailhead states 5.7 miles to the glacier, making this more like 11.4 miles round trip. Sunscreen and bug spray are highly recommended, as most of this trail is exposed. The trail is not closed at 3.5 miles, but instead a barrier is present warning of the snow hazard ahead. My 15 y.o. chose not to continue beyond the first snow pack and waited for our return in a populated rest spot along the trail (that's 2+ hours of waiting without shade and only rocks to sit on).
There are 3 or 4 snow packs to cross still in mid-July. Besides deer and a bull moose, only one grizzly bear was viewable from the trail, and only with binoculars, so don't forget the binos. We jumped in the glacier lake at the top, but 15 seconds is about all one can bear. I will return at least once more before my hiking years are over!

Hiked July 14th. This trail came recommended by a classmate who had done it in recent years. If you're staying on the west end of the park, it's a must hike. Yes, it's quite populated, and too many people feel as though they have to walk shoulder-to-shoulder when passing instead of single-file, but it's to be expected with this type of trail. It's gorgeous from the beginning of the trail to the end! This was our introductory hike for Glacier, and we were not disappointed. If you wish to hike to just the first beach access, it's just over 2 miles in, making this hike only 4.3 round trip. As many recommend, once you've snapped a few initial pics, it's best to explore the further beaches where the crowds thin out.

backpacking
1 day ago

Hiked this trail about four years ago, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Great scenery and stunning views.

Looking forward to going again at the end of July. I'm looking for a key exchange on July 31st at the Clarks Fork Trailhead. Email Pete at peter.s.weber@ndus.edu. Thanks!

This was one of the most beautiful hikes I've done. Living in Washington, I am spoiled with beautiful hiking - but Glacier is one of the countries most incredible sights to see. I hiked with 12 of my friends and everyone could handle this hike. It's a gradual incline so it doesn't feel extremely difficult. The trail was blocked off at about 3.5 miles. Some of us kept going and walked over the snow patches. It wasn't difficult to get across and the glacier lake at the top was well worth it! We also saw a few mountain goats on the way. No bears though! Would highly recommend this hike!

Today was the first day when it was officially open all the way to the Glacier. Only small patches of snow. Unbelievable views. A must do.

Holy moly, this trail is a workout! We hiked to the top, aka when you see the sign for Alpine Trail #7. You can keep going on that trail if you wish, all the way to Jewel Basin. If you want a shorter hike, you can hike to the waterfalls that are approximately 2.2 miles from the trail head. Once you cross the logs, you have to hike up the hill to the left to get all the way to the waterfalls. The top has some of the most amazing views of the valley and of GNP. Bring bear spray for sure and know that this trail is not very populated. Lots of bugs too. Great, challenging hike!

Although the beginning of the hike is just another "up the canyon" hike, the real fun (and work!) starts about 3.5 miles in where you suddenly start a quite steep, exhilerating ascent (about 1,500 ft within about a mile), followed by a slight descent down to the drop-dead-gorgeous Canyon Lake. Although you hear Canyon Creek for most of the way, you don't actually get to see it, except at 0.5, 1, 2,, 3.5, and (at the lake) 5 miles in. Most of way is actually in shade. The trail seems to have been rerouted since the recording of the website track, since there are periodic deviations from this track, which may account for the fact that the round trip is closer to 10 miles than the 8.4 miles mentioned in the description.

hiking
2 days ago

We began our hike at 1:30 pm when the sun was high - it was warm but worked to our advantage on the return as there was shade our entire descent (5:30-8:00pm). The trail was quite busy on our ascent but quiet on the return. Several springs and Ptarmigan Falls offered relief along the way. The lake is stunning - well worth the effort with our 8 & 11 year olds! Many icebergs were in the water and we even witnessed a chunk fall into the water while there. Stunning views all along the trail - if you’re in East Glacier do not miss! Also, bring your bug spray, bear spray and sunscreen! The bugs were really thick in the afternoon.

hiking
2 days ago

Lake was nothing special, barely even visible really. The part of the trail on the south of GTTSR (which is where the lake was) was pretty boring, just a bunch of felled trees, and that is where the majority of the incline on this trail was. I would just do the north portion, which is also the beginning of McDonald Creek Trail. Very pretty hike along the rushing water. Horses also use portions of the trail. Make sure to have bug spray! There is a sign for the trail head on the south side of GTTSR, with room for about 6 cars to park, or you can turn north just to the east of that trailhead for more parking (and the better part of the trail). Got there around 0830 and we got the next to last spot on the southside, I assume there were still plenty on the north side. The 13 and 15 year old were pretty bored with this one.

At some points the path was so over grown you couldn't see the path. For moderately hiked I saw no other people for 6 miles so I made sure to make some noise. The lake was okay, I wanted to go further to the upper lake but felt like I was being watched so I turned around at the lower lake. Saw some bear fur and poop but didn't see any wildlife except for a deer that thought it would be funny to scare the shit out of me. Going up Sperry Trail was the hardest part, the rest was relatively easy. It was a decent hike.

Not sure what causes all the excitement about this trail. It's nice and the first couple of miles are a good cardio workout, but it's not all that great. Strawberry Lake itself also is nice, but not in the same class as nearby Birch Lake and Crater Lake. On the plus side, there are plenty of huckleberry patches along the trail, although unfortunately most of them weren't ripe yet,

Classifying this trail as "hard" is also a bit questionable. Yes, there's a fairly unrelenting climb for the first 2 miles, but it's not ever excessively steep. My guess is that the (confusing) trail description is part of the problem, since the trail continues on to Strawberry Mtn from the lake, which, if you took that, would clearly make for a truly hard climb.

By the way, at the parking area, there are 2 possible trails, and it's not obvious which to take. It turns out that they both meet again very quickly, with the difference being that the left fork uses a bridge to cross the creek, whereas, if you choose the right fork, you have to make your way through the water.

Beautiful! Keep going to the beaches and see the most beautiful lake of cold water! Nice and shady the whole way.

hiking
3 days ago

Keep going, it's beautiful all the way... don't rob yourself by cutting it short. Next trip we're making the connection from Bass Lake to Kootenai and heading back via Kootenai Creek!

hiking
3 days ago

Hard Hike up but amazing when you get up there like you are in a different world. The hike back down is the worse though. Best hike ever!

The most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. My favorite trip was at sunrise.

hiking
3 days ago

For your very beginner or family with kids or older adult with decreased endurance or activity level.

Going to this hike Friday 7/19 or Saturday 7/20! Female solo hiker if anyone else would like company or dosent mind one more to add to a group feel free to text or call 9188431335.

Nice trail, plenty of parking

Awesome lake in a bowl at the end.

Did this one 2 weeks ago. Loved this one. Great scenery. Only thing I didn’t enjoy was that it had rained the day before and the 1st km or so was walking through a mixture of mud and horse droppings.

MUCH better hike than Highline/Grinnell Overlook and half the distance if you utilize the shuttle to start from Siyeh Bend and end at Sunrift Gorge The view from the pass out to the plains is the equal of the extra bonus part of Grinnell. The downhill and switchbacks from the pass to St Mary is terrific. Skip the Highline, do this instead and have half your day open to hike elsewhere.

It’s a hard hike up to the top but it is very much worth the effort.

As other reviewers have stated, this is a gradual steady climb to the top (meaning completely downhill on the way out). The trail was moderately crowded with hikers and dogs. The bugs were insane--flies and mosquitos all over the shore of Emerald Lake. Fishing was great, lots of grayling and cutthroat. We camped near the lake and were disappointed to have multiple groups walk through our camp between 8 and 9 PM. There were probably close to 10 different groups camping that night (Saturday 7/14) and one camp stayed up drinking and yelling until after midnight. The only plus to that was that because I was awake, I left the tent to use the bathroom and caught an amazing star show around 1 AM. Would not camp here again, but I would likely hike the trail up and back for some good exercise.

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