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Best Trails

Grinnell Glacier Trail

East Glacier Park, MT

Hiking
+

More Activities

Camping
Fishing
Fly Fishing

Grinnell Glacier Trail is a 9.8 mile out and back trail located near East Glacier Park, MT that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, and fly fishing and is accessible from July until September.

  • Best Hiking

  • Best Mountain Biking

  • Best Trail Running

Recent Reviews

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Mystic Lake Trail
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1 Completed 0 Reviews

Way cool--I would love to hike this trail. Funny, never heard of it until recently. And yeah, Roscoe, MT is named after my great great grandmother's (Nancy E. George Brown Morris) mare Roscoe. Next time I am in Montana, I am definitely checking this one out!

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Lava Lake (Cascade Creek) Trail
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6 Completed 5 Reviews

Hiked with a few friends, beginning of February. It was completely packed down enough so snow isn't an issue. A little difficult for those that don't hike often, but definitely doable. The views along the trail and at the end are truly incredible. Even with snow covering the lake, still a must-see, and a lot less popular in the winter.

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Pine Creek Lake
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3 Completed 1 Reviews

I did it 15 years ago (mid fifties) and I agree with Katie the first mile is easy, the rest is not! I agree with everything else she said.

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Elkhorn and Crow Peaks
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3 Completed 1 Reviews

Great training mission, went with Dr Dave, a slightly younger, stronger friend, made the mistake of letting him lead!? Ya he put the hurting on me. I'm thinking we could have taken 4 hours instead of 3 and been comfortable. The last 500 feet was all head for me,Dave cruised it. Beautiful sunny day, but very cold with 30 mile gusts above tree line. Funny how much easier it was coming down, and much faster as well. PS I will be 69 in 2 weeks

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Grinnell Glacier Trail
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24 Completed 11 Reviews

This was my first serious National Park hike! When we went into it, we thought it would be a lot more casual; as other reviewers have said, it's more strenuous than advertised. Here's my blog write-up from just after I hiked it (I was more of a hiking novice then):

"When we got to the trailhead, we were surprised to see that this was not a 7-mile roundtrip hike, but over 11 miles. I was still up for it, despite having had quite the bacchanal the night previous. We set out, passing first through a small bit of forest, complete with lots of ground-covering plants. A book I flipped through before visiting said that Glacier is in a perfect meeting place of four climatic forces, one of which is the warm, moist air from the Pacific northwest coast. This accounts for the leafy green ground cover, like I’m used to seeing on western Oregon hikes, but not very much further inland.

"After we got out of the forest, we started passing along the second lake, and found ourselves in the kind of berry bramble a bear would just love! Having just seen a bear on the side of the road before our hike, that was all our group could talk about. We were… nervous. So every now and then, one of our group would yell, 'HEY BEAR!' At this point, we were on a gradual incline, so gradual that I hadn’t noticed we were going up at all until I realized we weren’t level with the lake anymore.

"Then, we started going up, it started getting hotter and dryer, and we started in on our water. This would eventually become a serious issue for us: we planned on 7 miles’ worth of water… not 11. As we got higher and higher, we started realizing how much of a problem this would be. Also, being the least fit among our group, I was a little miserable with our pace (grueling, for you Oregon Trailers). We got past the second lake and really got up into rockier territory. Fortunately, the rocks were interspersed with a few minor waterfalls, one of which had to be walked under.

"It was around this point that we started seeing all of the wildlife! Lots of big horn sheep were right alongside the trail, and we managed to get a group shot of all of us in front of one on an elevated rock, some 10 yards off the trail. We also saw mountain goats along this particular trail.

"The last major push was a fourth of a mile uphill on rocks. Although I thought I was doing badly, those who had full packs were enjoying themselves even less. Now, we were really getting dry and most of us had hit the halfway point on our water bottles/camelbaks; but we all had to dip into our limited supply at this point. Finally, after we got to the top, we saw it: a glacial lake and plenty of room to sit and eat lunch at the water’s edge.

"The water might as well have been frozen, as far as I was concerned. It was so cold! We dipped our toes in and ate lunch, which we had plenty of food for, but not enough to drink. To the far left, by several hundred feet, was the actual glacier, and in front of us at the center of the far side of the lake was a waterfall coming down what is known as the Garden Wall. On the other side of this wall is where the Going-to-the-Sun Road is, which everyone drives on to see the great sights of Glacier. After Joe managed to get calf-deep in the waters to fish out a chunk of ice (which he threw back) (catch and release style) (you know, like fish), we took a few photos, packed up and decided to leave.

"The hike back down was decidedly less my style. The others were more than willing to rush down at a great pace, so as to get to water as soon as possible. I have had tight calves since I started running, and going downhill was proving particularly difficult. Everyone rushed ahead, and I grew angry with not having water and not getting to stop often. Ultimately, what frustrated me the most was not stopping often, because the sights in Glacier are pretty fantastic and you don’t see stuff like that in everyday life; when you go downhill, you don’t really get to stop and look around, for fear of losing your footing. So I really don’t have photos of the way back.

"In the end, however, I was so glad to have had some of the experiences this hike afforded me. I’ve only been on one longer hike, when I was ten years old, so the distance was pretty awesome. I definitely got to see a glacier. They aren’t as amazing as the ones you see in pictures, especially because of their melting status, but the environs around them are perfect lakes and places for animal life. Getting to see the big horn sheep as close as we did really made the hike for me. All in all, it was a great day to be out!"

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Canyon Creek Trail
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37 Completed 0 Reviews

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Trout Creek Canyon
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6 Completed 5 Reviews

Went early winter, beautiful area, cooler because of the shade and valley you are walking in. Didn't see any wildlife, and it was a simple walk/stroll along a no elevation path that's well kept up. Only very cool thing was the lack of noise... not even a ruffle of a bush or anything, just simple silence.

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National Bison Range
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6 Completed 5 Reviews

Incredibly beautiful area with great sights. Unfortunately wasn't able to see any bison... but the experience and vastness and backdrops of the area provided enough glamour in itself.

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1906 Trail
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6 Completed 5 Reviews

Gets lot of use even in winter on a good day. Has an awesome cave as you're going up. Need to be in relatively good shape if you plan on getting to the top. Incredible view of Helena and surrounding areas. Should be a requirement if you're just visiting/new to Helena.

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Palisade Falls
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6 Completed 5 Reviews

Went Jan. 30th... even more beautiful in the winter. Snow was packed down enough that it was a simple walk in for those that are in even just decent shape. The frozen falls are gorgeous and we got to see people climbing it as well. The road leading to the trailhead is closed, but an easy under a mile walk down, definitely worth it.