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The Prime 10 Greatest Hikes in Glacier Nationwide Park

If you’re heading to Glacier National Park in Montana, you might be overwhelmed by the many trails available for hikers of all levels. There are over 700 miles of them, so how do you know which are the absolute best hikes in Glacier National Park? Covering specs like difficulty, distance, and elevation gain, this list […]



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Should you’re heading to Glacier Nationwide Park in Montana, you could be overwhelmed by the numerous trails obtainable for hikers of all ranges. There are over 700 miles of them, so how have you learnt that are the very best hikes in Glacier Nationwide Park?

Protecting specs like issue, distance, and elevation acquire, this record offers you an thought of which path is best for you. Plus, you’ll discover out what the highlights are of every one.

Lake McDonald Trails

glacier national park things to do lake mcdonald
Sundown in Glacier park throughout peak season — with no person else there!

That is Glacier National Park‘s most well-known lake, so it’s no shock that any hike resulting in will probably be epic. Lake McDonald is very large — nearly 10 miles lengthy — so there are quite a few options for climbing to it or alongside it.

Understand that you don’t should hike to the lake, as there's a street that leads as much as it. Nevertheless, why take away all of the enjoyable of arriving at Lake McDonald by merely driving there? Should you’re up for an journey, these are a couple of nice hikes to and alongside Lake McDonald:

1. Apgar Lookout Path: 3.6 miles out and again

From the Apgar Lookout, you’ll get an unimaginable view of Lake McDonald and the encircling mountains. Because the lookout faces east, this could be a terrific early-morning hike to catch the dawn over the mountains, with the sunshine reflecting off the lake.

This 3.6-mile out-and-back hike begins within the southwest neighborhood of the lake. To get to the trailhead from the West Entrance of Glacier Nationwide Park, you’ll drive a half mile north and switch left. Drive 1.5 miles previous the Quarter Circle Bridge, the place you may start your hike. There’s an elevation acquire of 1,850 ft, which is a doozy for newbie hikers however no huge deal for these with extra expertise.

For the reason that Apgar Lookout Path is among the first to thaw after winter, it’s nice for early spring, as there doubtless received’t be many different guests within the park and you'll benefit from the views in solitude.

2. Path of the Cedars: 0.9-mile loop

That is good for a fast hike to get acquainted with the realm close to Lake McDonald, because it’s one of many best trails, solely a 0.9-mile-long loop. The trailhead is on the Avalanche picnic space. It solely takes about 20 minutes to do the entire path, however contemplating it’s a well-liked birding space, you would possibly wish to take your time and see what sorts of birds and different wildlife you may spot.

Path of the Cedars is good for newbie hikers, households, and folks with strollers, because it’s one of many best in Glacier Nationwide Park (the entire hike is usually flat), however nonetheless gives some lovely views and quite a lot of wildlife.

3. Lake McDonald West Shore Path: 7.4 miles out and again

If you wish to hike alongside the lake, the most suitable choice is the Lake McDonald West Shore Path. This largely flat path is an out and again, 7.4 miles every manner. It’s an extended path, so climbing the entire thing is a little more difficult, though you may select to simply do a portion of it.

This entire path runs proper alongside the shore of Lake McDonald, with wonderful views the entire manner. Plus, you’ll be capable of break up your hike with a swim within the lake in the event you fancy. What higher strategy to keep cool throughout a summertime hike?

There are two trailheads: one simply 0.2 miles north of Fish Creek Campground and the opposite 2.8 miles west of North Lake McDonald Highway; the previous is simpler to entry.

4. Avalanche Lake Path: 3-4 miles out and again

glacier national park things to do avalanche gorge
Avalanche Gorge close to Avalanche Lake

You may hike to Avalanche Gorge on the abovementioned Path of the Cedars, however if you wish to take your hike one step additional, you may hold going for one more mile to succeed in Avalanche Creek. From there, it’s about 3 miles extra to succeed in the attractive Avalanche Lake.

The Avalanche Lake Path has a 500-foot elevation acquire and is uphill a lot of the manner, however there’s an enormous payoff whenever you arrive. Avalanche Lake sits on the base of Bearhat Mountain, and the vantage level from shore is beautiful, particularly as a result of the crystal-clear waters replicate the mountains completely. That is additionally a improbable place to swim, because the water is kind of shallow near shore.

5. Hidden Lake Nature Path: 1.35-5.3 miles out and again

glacier national park things to do hidden lake
Photographs from my evening hike in Glacier Nationwide Park in Montana

To see Bearhat Mountain from a unique standpoint, take into account a hike to Hidden Lake for one critically unforgettable expertise. There are two choices: simply hike to the overlook above the lake, or go all the best way to the shore. Both one grants you some beautiful views, whether or not you go throughout the day or at evening. Since Glacier Nationwide Park is a dark-sky park, that means there’s minimal mild air pollution, the stargazing is improbable right here, particularly at Hidden Lake.

This hike may be difficult, particularly at evening. The world is thought for having grizzly bears, so be sure to convey bear spray, notably if going it alone.

The path begins at Hidden Lake Nature Path Trailhead at Logan Move and is 5.3 miles out and again, in the event you go all the best way to the lake. The overlook is just one.35 miles into the hike, so in the event you’re simply in it for the views and don’t wish to go as far, you may cease right here.

The whole elevation acquire is about 1,300 ft, however there’s a really steep descent as you attain the lake, which may be difficult for newbie hikers, particularly on the best way again. The hike itself takes roughly 3 hours to finish, however can take longer in the event you do it at evening.

6. Highline Path: 13-15 miles out and again

glacier national park things to do highline trail
Solo climbing in Glacier Nationwide Park

The Highline Path is among the hottest and greatest hikes in Glacier Nationwide Park by far. Taking you thru deep valleys to breathtaking overlooks, it gives beautiful scenes round each nook. It’s no surprise why so many individuals tackle such an extended hike — the payoff is big!

There are a couple of methods you may expertise the Highline Path. The shorter possibility is to hike the entire path, which is an out and again with a loop on the finish. That is about 13 miles and takes round 7 hours to finish. It’s difficult, however not as a lot because the second possibility, which is so as to add on a steep hike as much as the Grinnell Glacier overlook. This may make the general hike about 15 miles.

This further two miles are positively price it, although, in the event you’re an skilled hiker with loads of stamina to make the journey again (until you determine to take a bus again to Logan Move from the loop). The elevation acquire is about 2,500 ft, with an additional 300 ft or so in the event you do the Grinnell Glacier overlook portion.

Many Glacier Valley Trails

glacier national park things to do many glacier
Some name this essentially the most lovely a part of the park

Many Glacier is among the better-known areas of the park and gives 12 main trails for day hikes. With an abundance of lakes, creeks, waterfalls, mountain peaks, meadows, and forests, this part has sufficient to maintain you busy with out venturing elsewhere. In case you’re undecided the place to begin exploring Many Glacier, these are a couple of of the most effective trails to take a look at:

7. Swiftcurrent Move Path: 14.2 miles out and again

The Swiftcurrent Move Path is among the most troublesome of all, however it’s a crowd favourite amongst avid hikers. That includes stops at lovely Fishercap Lake, Bullhead Lake, Redrock Falls, and Redrock Lake, it's spilling over with journey. The crown jewel of the hike, nevertheless, is the view of Swiftcurrent Valley. This just about unobstructed view is among the greatest in the entire park and one of many explanation why the issue is finally price it.

The whole elevation acquire for this hike is 2,400 ft, which is actually a doozy. However with views of six completely different lakes, you’ll overlook how drained your muscle tissues are on the finish. The journey ought to take about 8 hours, even for essentially the most skilled hikers. Since it is a standard path, anticipate to see loads of different guests, or begin the journey at dawn to keep away from the crowds.

8. Grinnell Glacier Path: 7.6 miles out and again

glacier national park things to do many glacier
One of the lovely trails within the park

Contemplating this path’s endpoint is a beautiful aquamarine lake, it’s no shock that it’s additionally among the best in Glacier Nationwide Park. Should you already noticed the lake from above on the Grinnell Glacier overlook, you’ll most likely be dying to do that hike and see the water up shut.

The Grinnell Glacier path is a 7.6 mile out-and-back hike that has an elevation acquire of about 1,840 ft. It takes about 5.5 hours to finish and is taken into account to be a difficult route. There are various elements of the path which can be very steep, however there are different parts that take you thru flat meadows. You’ll see waterfalls and have some stellar views of the 150-acre Grinnell Glacier as properly.

9. Piegan Move Path: 9-16.8 miles point-to-point or out and again

One of many causes this is among the greatest hikes in Glacier Nationwide Park is that it’s far much less crowded than others, even throughout excessive season on the park.

This improbable path has a number of choices: a brief, 9-mile out and again or an extended, 16.8-mile point-to-point hike. Each let you see deep canyons and supply stellar views of Jackson Glacier. The shorter hike can be much less difficult and solely has a 1,750-foot elevation acquire, the place the longer hike has a 2,650-foot acquire.

For the 9-mile possibility by means of Piegan Move, you'll begin on the Piegan Move Trailhead. The longer hike begins on the south finish of the Many Glacier Resort parking zone.

10. Iceberg Lake Path: 9.3 miles out and again

One other among the best hikes in Glacier Nationwide Par is the Iceberg Lake Path. This out-and-back journey brings you to pristine Iceberg Lake, which will get its identify from the icebergs that float within the frigid water. Don’t plan on leaping in, because the temperatures are manner too chilly for a swim.

Many of the 9.3-mile hike is thru open terrain, that means there isn’t a lot shade. Convey alongside loads of solar safety and water. Nevertheless, simply 2.8 miles into the hike, you’ll discover Ptarmigan Falls, a terrific spot to cease and relaxation. Many of the journey is reasonably difficult, so this is a superb possibility for each learners and superior hikers. The elevation acquire is 1,450 ft, and the hike takes a bit of over 4 hours to finish.

To get to the Iceberg Lake Path, discover Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. The Iceberg Lake Ptarmigan Tunnel Trailhead, the place you’ll begin the hike, is behind the inn.

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Now that you simply’re prepared together with your record of the highest 10 greatest hikes in Glacier Nationwide Park, you’re able to set your sights on the journey of your alternative.

Which hike is #1 in your bucket record?

Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Be My Travel Muse blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!