Grinnell Glacier in Montana

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Grinnell Glacier

Venture onto one of nature's quickly receding wonders, surrounded by enchanting mountain views, when you visit the easily accessible Grinnell Glacier, one of Glacier National Parks few remaining ice forms.  


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  • Sites generally open late-May through late-September (Grinnell Glacier Trail accessible as weather permits)
  • A number of hiking trails provide spectacular views of The Salamander, Mount Gould, Lower Grinnell Lake, and more.
  • Nearby campgrounds, including backcountry; hotel accomodations on Swiftcurrent Lake
  • Visit today as Grinnell Glacier may well be gone by 2030.


Named after the conservationist, George Bird Grinnell, Grinnell Glacier is a remnant of the last ice age. Because of its accessibility, a comprehensive photographic record exists which has allowed scientists to track the glacier's increasingly rapid disappearance.


Grinnel Glacier is located in the Many Glacier area, and can be reached via the Grinnell Glacier Trail. Start your journey at the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead, just a stone’s throw from the Many Glacier Hotel. From here, it is a 6 mile hike, one way.  Or, take a short boat ride across Swiftcurrent Lake and pick up the trail near Lake Josephine.


Generally accessible from late-May through late-September.


Hiking: Pass clear mountain lakes and lush flora, pausing for views of Mount Gould, Upper and Lower Grinnell Lake, The Salamander, and more. For safety reasons, never walk out onto the glacier alone. Grinnell Glacier Trail is very popular - for those seeking a more solitary experience, take one of many intersecting trails.

  • Distance: 6 miles (Grinnell Glacier Trailhead – Grinnell Glacier)
  • Ascent: 1600 feet
  • Rated: easy – moderate
  • Essentials: Bear spray (Grizzlies common in this area)

Camping: A backcountry campground is located near Lower Grinnell Lake. Too rustic? Try the Many Glacier Campground, located at the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead. 

Additional Information

Put a visit to Grinnell Glacier atop your priority list as experts predict that the glacier will have melted completely by 2030.