Glacier Hiking Trails, National Park Hikes

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Hiking

Hundreds of miles of trails invite you to take part in some Glacier National Park hiking on your vacation to this area of glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains and lovely forests.

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  • Glacier Park hiking offers a wide choice of easy to strenuous trails to explore
  • Trail of the Cedars is an easy hike of less than a mile
  • The Fish Creek Bike Path can be traveled on bike or by foot
  • Hike five miles to No Name Lake for spectacular scenery

Hiking in Glacier National Park is one of the favorite outdoor recreational options within the wilderness areas of this amazing park. The whole family can go on a short hike, or the experienced hiker can embark on a backcountry adventure to beat all others. The glaciers, mountain peaks and alpine meadows are like nothing you’ve seen anywhere else.

Trail of the Cedars
When Glacier hiking is the best, you will find this self-guided nature trail starting you out on a boardwalk and then winding through the forest to Avalanche Gorge, carved out by the Avalanche Creek.

Trailhead:
Accessed at the Avalanche Picnic Area.

  • Distance: Little over half a mile
  • Average Time of Hike: 1 hour
  • Elevation Gain: accessible
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Loop

Rocky Point
When you reach Rocky Point on this easy trek, you will find lovely views of Lake McDonald as you come out of the forest.

Trailhead:
Find this trailhead .2 miles north of the Fish Creek Campground.

  • Distance: 1.1 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 1 hour
  • Elevation Gain: 85 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: One-way

Fish Creek Bike Path
You can travel this trail by foot or bike, through dense forest and foliage. The kids love this path through Glacier.

Trailhead:
To get to this trailhead, turn right after you cross McDonald Creek Bridge on Camas Road.

  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: .5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 25 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: One-way

Hidden Lake Overlook
This easy hike of one hour one-way begins with paved trail and then continues with steps and a boardwalk, protecting the land over which it wanders. Enjoy the alpine flowers blooming if you are there in the spring and summer.

Trailhead:
This trailhead begins at the Logan Pass Visitor Center.

  • Distance: 1.5 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 1 hour
  • Elevation Gain: loss of 460 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: One-way

Avalanche Lake Trail
See the beautiful colors within this glacier-fed lake on an easy hike through Glacier, and see five waterfalls cascading down the mountains into the lake.

Trailhead:
On the east side of Glacier National Park, the trailhead is located at the Avalanche Gorge Bridge on the Trail of the Cedars.

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 500 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: One-way

Howe Lake
The sounds of the wildlife will amaze you if you stop and listen on this easy hike to Howe Lake. You’ll hear woodpeckers and see loons flying above. To get to Upper Howe Lake, you’ll need to hike through the surrounding marshland.

Trailhead:
The trailhead is marked as you travel on the Inside North Fork Road.

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 1 hour
  • Elevation Gain: 240 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: One-way

Fish Lake
You’ll enjoy this easy hike through dense cedar forests, with the white pines and Douglas firs becoming more prevalent as you reach the higher elevations.

Trailhead:
Starts at the Sperry Trailhead across from Lake McDonald Lodge.

  • Distance: 2.9 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1000 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: One-way

Johns Lake Loop
This is a nice easy hike where the whole family can enjoy some quality time in Glacier National Park. Hike through gorgeous forests to Johns Lake.

Trailhead:
Reach Johns Lake Trailhead on the Going to the Sun Road, about one and a half miles past the Lake McDonald Lodge.

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 160 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: One-way

Apgar Lookout Trail
From the top of Apgar Mountain you get an incredible view of high snow-capped peaks and Lake McDonald. This moderate hike is a great one for all ages.

Trailhead:
To get to this trailhead, take the first left past the west entrance and follow the road for 1.5 miles past the Quarter Circle Bridge.

  • Distance: 3.3 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 2.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1850 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: One-way

Trout Lake Trail
This interesting trail starts close to the shore of Lake McDonald and goes on up to the top of Howe Ridge. Then you begin the steep descent to Trout Lake and Camas Creek.

Trailhead:
Marked as Trout Lake Trailhead, 1.5 miles west on the North Lake McDonald Road.

  • Distance: 4.2 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 2.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: gains and drops 2100 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
  • Trail Type: One-way

Snyder Lake
Although you often can’t see Synder Creek while the trail parallels it, you will get some lovely views of Lake McDonald on this hike. The lower lake lies below a band of cliffs in the canyon wall.

Trailhead:
Starts at the Sperry Trailhead across from Lake McDonald Lodge.

  • Distance: 4.4 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 2 to 3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 2147 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: One-way

No Name Lake
When you reach No Name Lake you’ll see the awesome rock cliffs of Pumpelly Pillar. Great hike for some spectacular scenery.

Trailhead:
Start out at the Two Medicine Lake North Shore Trailhead.

  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 800 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: One-way

Otokomi Lake
This hike is on the east side of the park off Going to the Sun Road and offers plenty of shady hiking with lovely places to stop to see a waterfall or pool. Cross a wooden bridge over a creek before you get to the gorgeous blue-green Otokomi Lake.

Trailhead:
This trailhead is located next to the Rising Sun Campstore near St. Mary Lake.

  • Distance: 5.2 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 3.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1900 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Trail Type: One-way

Mt. Brown Lookout
This is a steep hike and strenuous, but well worth the effort when you see the spectacular views.

Trailhead:
Starts at the Sperry Trailhead across from Lake McDonald Lodge.

  • Distance: 5.3 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 4325 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Trail Type: One-way

Cobalt Lake
This moderate trail hike takes you around the south shore of the Two Medicine Lake and up to Two Medicine Pass before dropping down into the Park Creek Valley.

Trailhead:
Get the trailhead at the South Shore Trailhead at the Two Medicine lower boat dock.

  • Distance: 5.7 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 3.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
  • Trail Type: One-way

Huckleberry Lookout
This is a fairly strenuous trek to one of the most popular fire lookouts in Glacier. Enjoy fabulous views of the Livingston Mountain Range.

Trailhead:
Go north on Camas Road out of Apgar to the Huckleberry Mountain Trailhead.

  • Distance: 6 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 2 ½ to 3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 2725 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
  • Trail Type: One-way

Beaver Pond Loop
The Beaver Pond Loop is an easy trek taking you past lovely views of waterfalls and cliffs.

Trailhead:
Find this trailhead at the 1913 Ranger Station at the east end of St. Mary Lake.

  • Distance: 6 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 150 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Type: Loop

Sperry Chalet Trail
Don’t expect to get any views before arriving at the Sperry Chalet, but it’s a challenging hike and there’s a campground at the trail’s end where you can stay for a real adventure. You have marvelous views from here, and can continue on to Sperry Glacier if the fancy strikes.

Trailhead:
Starts at the Sperry Trailhead across from Lake McDonald Lodge.

  • Distance: 6.4 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 3432 feet
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Trail Type: One-way

Lake McDonald West Shore
Hike through a burned forest then a beautiful cedar forest on this moderate hike of seven miles.

Trailhead:
Find this trailhead on the lakeshore at Fish Creek Campground.

  • Distance: 7 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 3.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: Level
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: One-way

Scenic Point
This uncrowded trail travels through extensive open areas, and you’ll get a 360-degree view at the top. Bring your camera to get a shot of Two Medicine Lake in the distance.

Trailhead:
This trailhead is .25 miles east of Two Medicine Ranger Station.

  • Distance: 7 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 4 to 5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 2350 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: Round trip

Red Eagle Lake
This hike takes you to some beautiful sights, including St. Mary Valley and Logan Pass. Wildlife is abundant and the Douglas firs and spruces indicate you are getting close to the end.

Trailhead:
The trailhead is located at the 1913 Ranger Station parking area at the east end of St. Mary Lake.

  • Distance: 7.6 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 4 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 200 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: One-way

Siyeh Pass
On the Siyeh Pass loop you get it all – mountain views, tundra, cliffs, meadows and glaciers.

Trailhead:
Two to choose from at the Piegan Pass Trailhead or the Sunrift Gorge Pullout.

  • Distance: 10.3 miles
  • Average Time of Hike: 7 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 2240 to 3440 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Type: Loop

When hiking in Glacier Park, be sure to visit one of Glacier’s many Visitor Centers where you can get important information on the conditions of the trails and receive great suggestions of where to go and what to look for. If going for a multi-day excursion, you will need a backcountry permit.

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