15 Glacier National Park Hikes For All Skill Levels

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Pristine blue lakes set between towering snow-capped mountains – this will be an average sight as you take on the best hikes in Glacier National Park during your visit!

As you begin your hike, you’re bound to see mountain goats scurrying up the hillside and eagles soaring overhead. This national park is one of the few places left in the United States where you can truly see the wild side of the country.  

While there are ways travelers can stay in their car or just take a few steps away from the visitor center to enjoy the beauty of Montana, to experience everything Glacier National Park has to offer, you’ll have to hit the trails.

With more than 700 miles of trails cutting through the park, even the most seasoned hiker may not know where to begin. Especially if you’re short on time, finding the best hike for you is no easy task.

We’ve brought all the best hikes in Glacier National Park to one place so you can pick and choose what hikes you want to squeeze in on your vacation. From off the beaten path adventures to relaxing, family-friendly trails, Glacier National Park has a little something for everyone.

So, hop on the Going to the Sun Road, find a parking spot, lace up your boots and grab your walking stick, adventure awaits!

Don’t leave home without your own: Lonely Planet USA’s National Parks (Travel Guide)


15 Best Hikes in Glacier National Park


1. The Highline Trail

No trip to Glacier National Park would be complete without hiking the Highline Trail! Although it’s considered by some to be a strenuous hike, tourists come in their droves to walk the trail and take in the sweeping landscapes along the way.

This 15.2-mile hike takes most tourists around 4-5 hours to complete. Even if you’re not willing to walk the entire length, the views of Logan Pass start from beginning to end, meaning you don’t have to go too far to discover the beauty of the trail.

Highline Trail Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Across from the Logan Pass Visitor Center
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: Logan Pass
  • Duration: 4-5 Hours
  • Elevation Change:
  • Trail Type: Point to point
  • Season: Summer, Fall (Research the best time to visit Glacier National Park)
  • Time of Day: Start early – 6 A.M.
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: The Logan Pass Visitor Center parking lot fills out quickly every day, if you plan on parking here to hike the Highline Trail you should get there by 6 A.M. This hike is all about the views so if it is foggy or smokey you should opt-out hiking it for that day.

2. Hidden Lake Overlook

If you’re looking for a good hike for beginners that still offers breathtaking views, you won’t want to miss Hidden Lake Overlook. This easy trail is only 2.7 miles long and should take you well under two hours to complete. 

Along the way, hikers will be traveling through Logan Pass. Don’t be surprised to find some mountain goats trailing a little bit behind you.

With tranquil meadows and, of course, the gorgeous Hidden Lake, this hike may take longer than you planned just because you’ll be wanting to stop and take so many pictures.

Hidden Lake Overlook Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Logan Pass Visitor Center
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: Logan Pass Visitor Center
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 540 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: Finding a parking spot at Logan Pass Visitor Center can be extremely hard, it normally fills up by 6 A. M. every day, So plan on getting there early or catching a ride to the trail location. Hidden Lake is amazing for trout fishing.

3. The Dragon’s Tail

Do you want to stray a little bit off of the beaten path while checking out the most famous sights in Glacier National Park? Dragon’s Tail starts along the same trail as the Hidden Lake Overlook but eventually leads you to seclusion up in the mountains.

The Dragon’s Tail is a step up from beginner hikes, but not quite at the advanced level. The 5.4 miles should take most travelers between 4-5 hours to complete. The views from the top of the mountain looking out over the valley are sure to leave you breathless!

The Dragon’s Tail Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Logan Pass Visitor Center
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: Logan Pass Visitor Center
  • Duration:  4 – 5 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 1,190 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: The Dragon’s Trail is yet another amazing hike that starts from Logan Pass Visitor Center. The parking area fills up by 6 A.M. almost every day. Keep in mind early-season hikers may have to do some route-finding in areas where snow still covers the path.

4. Avalanche Lake Trail

Beginning at the Trail of Cedars, the hike to Avalanche Lake will take tourists past tranquil streams and roaring waterfalls. This 4.5-mile hike takes most people about 1.5 – 2 hours to complete and is suited to more intermediate hikers.

Even if you lack experience, you still won’t want to pass up the opportunity to see the picturesque landscape of Avalanche Lake firsthand. With towering snowcapped Bearhat Mountain standing along its banks, the views are nothing short of spectacular.

Avalanche Lake Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Trail of the Cedars Trailhead
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: Lake McDonald Valley
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 730 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: Water can be found in the public bathrooms at the start of the Trail of the Cedars Trailhead.
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: The Avalanche Lake hike is one of the most popular hikes in Glacier National Park since it’s extremely easy and takes a short time to hike. Parking can be difficult at times especially during mid-day.

5. Iceberg Lake

Even though this is one of the most unique and gorgeous hikes in Glacier National Park, the trail to Iceberg Lake is meant only for more seasoned travelers.

Starting behind Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, the trail stretches 9.7 miles. Although this may not seem very long, it is fairly steep and takes most people around 7 hours to complete.

What makes Iceberg Lake stand apart from the rest of the lakes in the park is the fact that you can usually see chunks of ice floating on the water. Along the way, don’t be surprised if you come across other visitors, such as the cow moose.

Iceberg Lake Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Iceberg Lake Trailhead
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: The Many Glacier Area
  • Duration: 7 – 8 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 1,275 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, None along the trail.
  • Notes: The parking lot only has space for 10 – 15 cars and more than likely it will be full so you may need to pack at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and hike up to the Iceberg Lake Trailhead. The Iceberg Lake trail is known to have lots of bear traffic, so make sure you make a lot of noise, carry bear spray, and hike in groups.

6. Grinnell Glacier

No trip to Glacier National Park is complete without seeing one of the glaciers the park is named after; the most stunning of these is Grinnell Glacier. Although popular, don’t expect getting to the glacier to be easy – this hike is known as one of the most strenuous in the park.

7.6 miles may not seem like much, but it still takes most hikers around 5-7 hours to complete. Along the way, you’ll pass rivers, lakes (such as Lake Josephine), and waterfalls. But nothing can quite compare with the feeling of looking out over the icy face of Grinnell Glacier.

Grinnell Glacier Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Many Glacier Hotel Boat Dock
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: The Many Glacier area
  • Duration: 5 – 7 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 1,840 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: You can shave 3.4 miles off your road trip hike by taking the shuttle boats across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine. Each boat trip only takes around 10 minutes.

7. Cracker Lake

If you’ve just about had it with the crowds, Cracker Lake is an excellent alternative to Grinnell. Although you may be sharing the trail with horses for the first mile of this 12.6-mile hike, the alpine views and rich blue water will make the aches in your legs worth it.

Taking about 6-7 hours to complete, the hike to Cracker Lake is not meant for beginners. This strenuous trail can be quite steep in places and may have the faint of heart heading back towards civilization.

But if you’re well prepared, standing at the roof of the world is an experience you won’t want to pass up.

Cracker Lake Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Piegan Pass/ Cracker Lake Trailhead
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: The Many Glacier area
  • Duration: 6 – 7 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 1,400 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: Those who may have extra energy once at Craker Lake should also hike to the old Cracker Lake Mine site.

8. Swiftcurrent Pass

Want to get a bird’s eye view of Glacier National Park? Swiftcurrent Pass takes hikers up the mountainside, offering views of the surrounding peaks, forests, and lakes.

Passing by famous Fishercap Lake, the hike up Swiftcurrent Pass isn’t the easiest, stretching a total of 14.2 miles.

If you’re prepared for the tiring yet rewarding journey ahead of you, then be prepared for your jaw to drop once you see the waterfalls and sweeping views of the park along Swiftcurrent Pass.

Swiftcurrent Pass Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Swiftcurrent Pass Trailhead
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: The Many Glacier area
  • Duration: 8 – 10 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 2,400 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: If you are looking to add a little more to this hike we suggest adding a quarter-mile on to it for some spectacular views of Granite Park, Heavens Peak, Mt. Cannon, and Mt. Oberlin.

9. Apikuni Falls

Out of all of the strenuous hikes found in Glacier National Park, Apikuni Falls trail is one of the few that is easy for all kinds of travelers. This 2.3-mile hike leads from a parking lot by the entrance to Many Glacier. From there, it’s a short hour-long hike to the fall.

Perfect for families with children, the experienced mountain climber and your average joe will both have the time of their life at Apikuni Falls. 

Apikuni Falls Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Many Glacier (Poia Lake Trailhead)
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: The Many Glacier area
  • Duration: 2 – 3 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 625 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: Parking can be difficult since the trailhead only have 10 -12 parking spots.

10. Fishercap Lake

The hike to Fishercap Lake and Redrock Falls is another of the easier hikes at Glacier National Park.

No matter if you’re bringing your family or just looking for a relaxing trail that won’t have you sweating bullets, the trail to Fishercap Lake is sure to leave you with some of your best memories of Montana.

This 4.2- mile hike will take you anywhere between 2-3 hours. Be prepared to stay even longer on the trail, because you’re sure to want to stop, have a picnic, and take loads of pictures. 

Fishercap Lake Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Swiftcurrent Pass Trailhead – The trailhead is located at the far end of the parking area for the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn at the end of Many Glacier Road.
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: Many Glacier Valley
  • Duration: 2 – 3 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 800 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, None along the trail.
  • Notes: Fishercap Lake is one of those lakes in Glacier National Park, its beautiful but offers poor fishing.

11. Siyeh Pass

Are you looking for an adventure? If you’re looking for a journey like no other, be sure to hike down the Siyeh Pass Trail. Taking you through alpine meadows on top of enormous mountains, this 8.9-mile hike is not meant for everyone. 

The entire hike will take about 8 hours there and back, but the views are completely out of this world. Be sure to hike in groups because bears are also sometimes sighted along the trail.

Siyeh Pass Trail Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Piegan Pass (5,847 ft.). The Siyeh Pass trail ends at Sunrift Gorge, take a GNP shuttle back to Piegan Pass Trailhead.
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lake shores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: Siyeh Bend
  • Duration: 5-6 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 3,800 Feet
  • Trail Type: Point to point
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: At Logan Pass parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: You should note that bears are known to frequent the Preston Park area, so make sure you make a lot of noise, carry bear spray, and hike in groups.

12. Ptarmigan Tunnel

Ptarmigan Tunnel is another trail not suitable for casual hikers. But if you’re looking for an adventure unlike any other, this hike will take you to some of the most breathtaking views on the continent.

This 10.7-mile hike takes most travelers around 5 hours to complete. Be sure to give yourself enough time to eat and bask in the beauty of the mountains. With alpine lakes and steep mountains ahead of you, this is sure to be the trip of a lifetime.

Ptarmigan Tunnel Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Iceberg-Ptarmigan Trailhead
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: The Many Glacier Area
  • Duration: 5 – 6 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 2,300 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, there is one pit toilet about halfway to the tunnel (at 2.3 miles, just before Ptarmigan Falls).
  • Notes: There are about 15 spaces at the Iceberg-Ptarmigan Trailhead. Additional parking can be found at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Trails in the Many Glacier area are frequently closed due to bear activity. It is wise to check with a ranger on the status of this trail. Tunnel doors generally open from mid-July to late September.

13. Three Falls Trail (St Mary & Virginia Falls)

This hike will take you to two of the most famous waterfalls in Glacier National Park. The best thing about this trail is that it can be easily walked by hikers of all ages.

Stretching only 3.6-miles, travelers will be strolling under the shade of the trees following roaring rivers. The waterfalls themselves are a sight to be marveled at. Be prepared for crowds, since this is one of the most famous trails in the park.

Three falls Trail Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Jackson Glacier Overlook
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: St. Mary Lake
  • Duration: 2 – 3 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 800 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: Located in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: This is one of the best hikes in Glacier National park for kids. There are also many options to make this hike longer or shorter. We strongly suggest packing a lunch and having it right next to one of the three waterfalls.

14. Stoney Indian Pass

Stoney Indian Pass trail in Glacier National Park

This is a strenuous hike, and you might need a day or two to complete the trail. Stoney Indian Pass stretches a total of 26.6 miles but will showcase every inch of what makes Glacier National Park one of the natural wonders of the world.

If you decide to embark on this adventure, you’ll find several campsites along the trail. But be sure to get your free backcountry camping permit from the rangers office before you hit the road.

Stoney Indian Pass Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Chief Mountain Customs
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: Wahcheechee Mountain
  • Duration: 2 Days (26.6 miles one way)
  • Elevation Change: 2,725 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: None in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: For all overnight backpacking excursions, you must obtain a backcountry permit. Start at Chief Mountain Customs Trailhead and end up at Goat Haunt because it’s downhill all the way and it’s much easier than hiking the other way. The views approaching Stoney Indian Pass from Chief Mountain Customs Trailhead are amazing and why you hike this trail. You will miss those views if you go the other way.

15. Gable Pass

Gable Pass Hiking Trail in Glacier National Park.

Revered by the native Americans, Gable Pass takes hikers through lands that were long closed to outsiders. Now, this strenuous 17.6-mile hike is open to any and all adventurous travelers.

Although this hike is not meant for beginners, the panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and grassy meadows are absolutely gorgeous. Don’t be surprised if a few cows start following you around either; they are often found grazing in these mountain meadows.

Gable Pass Quick Information:

  • Trailhead: Chief Mountain International Highway (17)
  • Pets Allowed: No dogs, Pets are not permitted on trails, along lakeshores outside of developed locations, in the backcountry, or in any building.
  • Location: Lee Ridge
  • Duration: 6 – 8 Hours
  • Elevation Change: 2250 Feet
  • Trail Type: There-and-back trail
  • Season: Summer, Fall
  • Time of Day: Any Time
  • Water: No
  • Bathrooms: None in the parking area, None along the trail.
  • Notes: The Gable Pass trailhead can be hard to find since there is no real parking area and its market with orange markers. The Gable Pass trailhead is located off the Chief Mountain International Highway (Hwy 17), just before reaching the Canadian border, and roughly 13.6 miles west of the Highway 89 junction.
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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA



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