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

hiking
4 days ago

This would be a great option if you're looking for a workout and not much more. The initial climb is pretty grueling with no real scenery. There are some huckleberry patches beyond that which might attract some bears, although we didn't see any. The lake at the end of the trail makes for a nice spot to break for lunch before turning back.

Couldn't get to Bowman or Kintla since the parking lots were full, so we settled on Logging Lake. We only hiked for a total of 5 miles before we needed to go get ready for our elopement in the evening, but the 5 miles we did had nice views for what we did see.
This hike was super buggy though.
We didn't see anyone else on the trail the entire time either.

hiking
11 days ago

Parking available at Logan Pass. Highline Trail shares a parking lot with Hidden Lake Trailhead, so lot generally fills prior to 08:00.

Climbing up the Garden Wall was previously a bucket list item of mine. Almost a year ago, researching the Highline Trail prompted my father and I to spawn a trip to Montana. Twelve months and thousands of miles later, we clipped our packs and proceeded past the Highline Trailhead. The trail begins somewhat intimidatingly, carved into a mountainside with sheer cliffs to your left, metal handrail to your right. This marks the most unsettling portion of the trail. Gradually separating from Going to the Sun Road, the hike gradually increases in both serenity and enjoyability.

Arguably Glacier's most recognizable image- Reynolds Mountain behind Oberlin Bend- presents itself around 2.5 miles into the hike. The Highline Trail encounters dramatic scenery shortly thereafter. Haystack Butte sits behind a 180-degree view of Glacier National Park, a welcome backrest to the breathtaking vistas of Mount Cannon, Mount Gould, Reynolds Mountain, and Mount Oberlin bathed in sunlight. This vista could surely knock you off your feet. Presently, views of McDonald Creek Valley with sporadic forest occupy the mind until the Garden Wall junction.

Devoid of switchbacks, deceivingly steep, and rocky, the Garden Wall spur demands respect. This 0.6-mile cut shoots up over 800 feet in elevation over the western drainage basin. In return, however, this magnificent venture yields perhaps the greatest views in Montana. Indeed, even before the glacial overlook, the western views of Heavens Peak and waterfalls are- for lack of better term- unforgettable. Yet the climax of the Garden Wall is undoubtedly Glacial Overlook. A steep trail suddenly turns flat, dotted with four trees, and you emerge on a saddle between Peak 7980 and Peak 8479.

The view's reveal is unrivaled by anything I've ever done. Ralston Peak in Tahoe, Eagle Peak in Yosemite, Frigid Air Pass in Colorado; these falter in comparison to the dramatic uncovering of Upper Grinnell Lake. Three steps mark the difference between rock obstruction and complete vista. It's impossible to take in everything at once: indeed, the insurmountable slopes of Mount Gould giving way to Grinnell Glacier is stunning enough. Throw in the crystalline waters of Upper Grinnell Lake, the distant Lake Josephine, Allen Mountain, and you're overwhelmed by beauty.

Upon emerging at the Glacial Overlook, I thought the view couldn't possibly get better. Then, heeding the advice of fellow hikers, I trekked an additional 200 feet towards point 7980. The vista expanded. Almost the entirety of Grinnell Drainage Basin was visible, ranging from Salamander Glacier to Lake Sherburne. This additional trip, even after 800 feet of grueling ascent, marked the complete climax of this hike.

Everything thereafter is simply dispensable gravy. Admittedly, the descent down to The Loop is decent at best; surely my expectations were inflated by Heaven spilling onto the Garden Wall. Granite Chalet is little more than a historic tourist trap, the Granite Park Trail weaves through the remnants of a devastated forest, and the 3,500 feet of descent don't lift spirits. However, if we were to walk through a mosquito-infested hellhole laced with the occasional muddy leech, this hike still would've commanded five stars. The experience of the Garden Wall is simply that powerful.

My father and I begun hiking at 06:45, passed two groups of hikers, and escaped a swiftly-moving third. We had the Highline Trail to ourselves thereafter. I would recommend hiking by 06:15 if you desire serenity; even if you don't mind crowds, an early start is integral to sunrise views. Our two-man crew was the second group up the Garden Wall (summit 09:15). After a 25-minute experience of ripping winds and scintillating vistas, we passed some 25-35 people on the descent.

If you have a single day to spend in Glacier, this is your trail. Don't overthink it. This is perhaps Montana's most remarkable view, on Montana's most acclaimed trail, in Montana's renowned national park. Above all, it was worth waiting an entire year for.

Bring bug spray on this trail with a lot of deet.

hiking
23 days ago

Fantastic trail with awesome views the entire way. Steep for the last 0.6 miles before the turn around but worth the view.

*when you get to Garden Wall overlooking the valley at the turn around walk up the other side of the pass another 0.1 miles as it make the view much more breathtaking.

trail running
24 days ago

Another great run/hike in Glacier! Lots of wildflowers, gradual grade until the last .80 miles then it got very steep. But worth the views! A lot of people but not overly crowded. week day run for us.

hiking
30 days ago

I would definitely recommend this hike to anyone who wants to see great views of Glacier! Wake up early and park at Logan’s pass and start hiking on the Highline Trail. We Started around 7:30 and the trail was very busy already with groups of people. My fiancé and I just took our time and took a lot of pictures on our way. Just about 2-3 hours later the rush of hikers calmed down as they all got ahead of us. The trail was more enjoyable once they all passed. I would definitely recommend hiking up to Grinnell Glacier Overlook. It is very difficult as you gain 1000 feet of elevation in .6 miles, but the views are jaw dropping! Make sure to go all the way to the top in order to see everything. After that we hiked to the chalet for a bathroom break and down to the loop. From the loop we got a shuttle back to Logan’s Pass. Besides the overlook, the trail is relatively easy and mostly downhill, unless distance is an issue for you.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

All I have to say is wow! Steep ascent with gusty winds at times make this not just challenging but extremely rewarding. I would not attempt this without being in great shape. This trail is only .6 miles long itself but shares the trail with high line making it the distance listed on this app. The view of Grinnell Glacier is unreal but make sure you go all the way to he top for the best views. Mid July and we experienced hard hail at our ascent. Be prepared!

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice trail condition. Beautiful cirque around the lake. Quite a few brown pine trees around lake and surrounding area, maybe 30%. Beetle kill? Or, residual damage from the fire that swept through the valley years ago? Not sure. From hikers coming down, we were told there was a mama grizzly and her 3 cubs walking casually on the trail toward the lake. Most hikers turned back. We forged ahead, but carefully! Bummed we missed (from a distance) the bears but we took all precautions to ensure we were heard and that we would not surprise them. On a Saturday, we were surprised by the number of available parking spots at the McDonald Lake hotel. After your hike grab dinner in the hotel (lodge). It was really good, the lamb shank was great!

hiking
1 month ago

Still very beautiful in the burned woods. First 1.5 miles were a bit hard on the lungs with the switchbacks but it eventually evens out. Wear sunscreen and a hat and bring lots of water!

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked on 7/5/2018. This is the greatest hike for day hikers in the park!
1. Route: I started from the Logan pass, took the garden trail/ highline trail, detoured at the 7 mile to Grinnell glacier overlook (out & back), passed by the Granite Park Chalet, and ended up at the trail head of the loop. (I did not take highline trail back to Logan pass. )
2.Great view: you will pass snow, bushes, water falls, pine forest, meadows and creeks.
3. Location of the detour to Grinnell Glacier overlook: The overlook is 7 miles from Logan pass down and 4 miles with 2k elevation gain from the trail head of the loop. The trail to the overlook is 0.6 mile one-way with elevation gain of 1000ft, very strenuous.
4. Gears: We did not use hiking poles but it is recommended if you want to go to the overlook. The road up to the overlook is steep and narrow.
5. Road conditions: some part of the trail was covered by snow and water.
6. Wear: most people end up short sleeves w/ long sleeves carried w them.
7. Water: bring at least 2L water per person.
8. Commute: if you take the shuttle from Apgar Village, you have to get off the shuttle at Avalanche Creek Shuttle Stop to transfer to small size shuttle to get to Logan pass. It took us TWO hours to commute by shuttle bus from Apgar village to Logan pass. The large shuttle takes about 23-24 people (leave 4 seats for people from other stops) and small shuttle takes 14-15 persons from Avalanche. I had to wait for the second shuttle for both locations.

hiking
1 month ago

The first couple miles you follow the ridge above The creek and have some nice vistas. Then, you enter a very boggy, muddy area ( it probably had more muddy spots than usual due to previous rains - we couldn’t have done this without pants, ankle boots and bug spray) with tall growth . We missed scratched in arrow to picnic area on sign and ended up at. Camp ground. Lake is beautiful and we heard elk bugling. Didn’t see one person until heading back. Definite ID of a fresh huge pile of bear shit had us a bit nervous and bear spray in hand! Total trip to was more than 5 Miles for sure. We had 12 Miles rdtrip but had to sidestep mud a lot!

Beautiful hike along a creek the whole way. Steep at first but then just a gradual climb. Burned areas coming back nicely. Snyder lake and waterfall well worth the climb. Encountered a young black bear on the return about 7:30 in the evening.

1 month ago

6/20/2018 This trial taught me the importance of always double checking with the ranger station on trail status. We hiked the brutal uphill and got about 4.5 miles in when we found a posting stating the remainder of the trail was closed due to high bear activity. Always check! The beginning of the trail was brutal for about the first 2-2.5 miles. HIGHLY suggest you have hiking poles. Some of the trail is overgrown, but it is pretty easy to spot the trail for the most part. After about 2 miles you hit a burnt forest, so make sure you bring sunscreen and a hat. The trail is pretty isolated so you will definitely want to bring your bear spray along. I hope I can get back one day and finish the hike, of course checking with the rangers this time!

2 months ago

Harder hike for sure. Some of the trail is over grown but has berries to eat along the way. Take the bear spray on this one. The lake and waterfall are beautiful. Worth the hike.

Great day hike! Good views and wildlife sightings, saw deer and a bear with her 2 cubs.

hiking
2 months ago

The first mile and change was a lot of switchbacks, maybe 1000 feet gain in that distance. Be ready. The remainder was less consistently uphill, through burned areas, a scree field, and over lots of little creeks (little bit of mud). We did the whole hike - it’s 8.5 m round trip - in three and a half hours. Beautiful at the end. A good day hike. Bring bug spray.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s a good trail with switchbacks. Some decent views

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trail for a late May hike when other trails are closed. The lake is not huge but it’s surrounded by mountains which form a small valley. Makes for great views. The sound of the stream while hiking is also very nice. We saw chipmunks and deer during the hike. They are not afraid of humans. A bear was spotted by other hikers in the morning.

hiking
2 months ago

Great day hike with a little challenge. It was a wet cold day but worth every step. First 1.5miles is the steepest. 2.6 miles from Sperry Chalet turn, this part kind of drags on but you have amazing mountains on each side as you walk into the bowl. Fire from 2017 burned out that portion too but it helps for views. Did this with our 3 year old. Plan on 1.5-2hrs one way. Bring a jacket and hat for the lake cause it’s much colder there. Only saw a few other people. Would do this again.

2 months ago

Great trail except for the first 2 miles or so. You start off straight up the mountain, after that not too bad.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty hike. The first 2 miles are the steepest but once you get halfway through you start to go through the Sprague Fire burn area from last fall, so bring lots of sunscreen and water as you’re pretty exposed. Beautiful towering peaks once you get into the basin. Still about 2 feet of snow for the last 1/4 mile and the lake was still mostly frozen. Completed 5/21/18.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is a must do in Glacier - unless big exposure is a no-no. The views are just amazing. We hit a cold pouring-down rain from the Granite Park Chalet to The Loop. If we are in Glacier again this is a re-do for sure but we will hope for a clear sky. I would not classify this trail as hard unless the elevation or distance is a problem for you.

It's pretty once you get to the lake but there is not a lot to see along the way. You may be lucky enough to pick a few huckleberries but it's another hike you want to be sure to have bear spray on you.

Went in mid October ran into one couple a long the way. Very remote lake that makes you feel really close to the mountains.

11 months ago

Definitely take the trail from Logan Pass and go up to the wall (it's worth the difficult incline), then down past the chalet to the loop. My only reason for four stars instead of five is the sheer amount of traffic on the trail and having to pause to pass.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Very remote and lots of burned areas but worth it to get away from everyone

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Tough jaunt up to the window, but once there you are greeted with some amazing views of both sides of the divide!

Saturday, August 05, 2017

It was a nice, easy hike; very buggy.

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