Explore the most popular lake 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.

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

hiking
8 days 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
13 days ago

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

hiking
15 days ago

Nice trail with great look outs to Lake McDonald. Climbing the rocks gives great views of the beautiful water with snow-capped mountains behind it. Definitely worth seeing!

hiking
16 days 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
17 days 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.

Nice short hike w some beautiful views of lake McDonald

24 days ago

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

hiking
27 days 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
1 month ago

Compared to other hikes in Glacier, this one is just ok. I mean, it's beautiful, but if you have a capable group of hikers, then I'd look elsewhere for a challenge.

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.

hiking
7 months ago

Great short trail with plenty of great photo opportunities! Hiking or snowshoeing

So many trails, mind blowing sights, definitely try to spend a weekend or long weekend camping to make the most of it.

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

Take the yellow bus tour & enjoy the views without having to concentrate on driving! You get several stops along the way & the driver had a lot of facts (& stories) to tell us.

This is a tough hike as it's a steep uphill all the way. For me, that took three hours (and slightly less on the decent). The views of Bowman Lake and the surrounding area are fantastic, though, and this is a great day hike. We went during the day and were able to talk to the person in the fire lookout and get a quick lesson of his set-up and instruments, which was also cool.

hiking
10 months ago

We reached this trail right from the Fish Creek Campground where we were staying. Easy, quick hike, but we only did the loop/nature trail, which is less mileage. Great hike for a lazy day.

10 months ago

It was a nice, easy hike; very buggy.

hiking
10 months ago

Did this as a day hike with my friend in the second to last week of july. relatively steep switchbacks through older forest lead you up to nice views of lake mcdonald. the grade becomes much more gradual as you go. less shade, and more bushwacking for the middle third of the hike. then you enter a valley/bowl with meadows and towering peaks all around you--for me, this was the pay off. the lake is pretty small, but definitely still beautiful. while we were exploring the lakeside, we saw a grizzly swim across the lake. i had been making a lot of noise throughout our entire hike so i was relatively surprised. we started talking loudly and it swam in the opposite direction. enjoyable hike!

hiking
10 months ago

Easy to get to and moderately trafficked. I hiked it with my daughter and we got to enjoy fantastic swimming in pristine water to we off a hot day. Breathing views and inviting blue waters await.

Beautiful...ferns over your head.

If you have a chance to bike it, do it. It's strenuous but gives you the best views and is exhilarating coming down.

Plan your entire day around it.

hiking
10 months ago

Nothing special about this hike. We did it in around 2 hours RT and it served as a quick hike to waste time. It brings you to a small lake but there's a lot of trees in the way (we did it at dusk so we didn't spend much time exploring the area for a better view)

hiking
10 months ago

This hike was nice and quiet, not many people on this side. Great view of the lake.

Beautiful scenery. Lots of traffic. Super crowded parking lot at Logan Pass.

10 months ago

beautiful!!!

I love this trail. Perfect for kids, not to long and definitely not much vertical if you're only doing the loop. We had an 8, 6, 5, 4, And 3 year old in our group, all did just fine. Views are spectacular and plenty of little beaches at the base to play on if you're willing to walk down. A bonus to this trail is that most people aren't coming to this side of the lake, so you're sure to find parking and no crowds, though just enough people passing along to feel comfortable. great hike!

10 months ago

Only worth it if you have a limited time and have to be based out of Lake McDonald lodge ... can be done in 3 hours.

I walked seven miles (14 mi RT) of a closed-to-vehicles GTTSR in late April (shoulder-season) after discovering the only hiking trail open near the west entrance was socked in with clouds. I parked at McDonald Lodge (worth snooping around, even if off-season -- I felt like I was in the Shining!) and started at the road gates there. This walk was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I essentially had Glacier NP all to myself, outside of two hikers I saw in the first five minutes, two cyclists (awesome idea when the road is closed to vehicles and temps are mild!), and a handful of Rangers patrolling the road in their trucks. SO peaceful; just a brilliant day. I know I didn't get to experience the true Glacier (and I will return during summertime one year to do that), but I feel incredibly lucky to have seen the park like this. I recommend a day visit during late-spring if you're anywhere near Glacier for this unique experience.

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