Gunsight Lake Trail, Glacier National Park Hiking

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Gunsight Lake Trail

If you are looking for a longer trail with access to glaciers, lakes, and stunning forest scenery, the Gunsight Pass and Lake Trail may be perfect for your Glacier National Park hiking adventure. Be prepared for alpine weather conditions and wildlife encounters that may include grizzly bears. Read More

  • Gunsight Lake and Pass Trail offers up to 21 miles of easy to challenging hiking with a 3,000 foot elevation gain.
  • Jackson Glacier Trail is a one-way, 1.8 mile fairly easy hike to a meadow at the bottom of the glacier.
  • Gunsight Pass is a challenging, 2.9 mile climb of 1680 feet.


Gunsight Pass and Lake Trail is nearly 21 miles long and offers day hike access and extended backpacking trail options from Jackson Glacier Overlook all the way to Sperry Chalet, Lake McDonald, and Lake Ellen Wilson, featuring an overall 3,000 foot climb in elevation.

Gunsight Lake and Pass
This trail is the starting point for a variety of day hike, extended hike and camping options near Jackson Glacier, Sperry Chalet, and lakes McDonald and Ellen Wilson. Trailhead: Take the shuttle or park at the Jackson Glacier overlook turnout and begin hiking at the southeast end of the parking lot toward Deadwood Falls, St Mary River, and views of St Mary Valley and Jackson Glacier. 

  • Varies, up to 21 miles long 
  • The first 1.3 miles of this hike is easy and mostly downhill

Jackson Glacier Trail and Gunsight Pass 
To reach this trail from the Gunsight Pass and Lake Trail, hike about 6 miles until you cross St Mary River on a single hiker suspension bridge, where trail splits to either Jackson Glacier Trail or Gunsight Pass. Trailhead: Jackson Glacier Overlook turnout.

  • 1.8 miles one-way, fairly easy, on Jackson Glacier Trail to a meadow or 2.9 mile climb to Gunsight Pass with a challenging 1680-foot elevation increase

Notes: Take advantage of shuttle service from Lake McDonald to reach Gunsight Pass Trailhead and be sure to get required backcountry camping permits in advance.

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