Get ready for an adventure in Montana’s wilderness! We’ve handpicked 18 absolute best hiking trails in the state, from jaw-dropping mountain panoramas to hidden alpine lakes and everything in between – Montana’s got it all for hikers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned trailblazer or just starting out, these top-rated picks will have you itching to hit the trails. So, grab your hiking gear, pack some snacks, and dive into the best hikes in Montana.
Best Hikes in Montana
Take on a Montana adventure with the best hikes in the state. Experience the crystal-clear waters of Avalanche Lake, marvel at the vibrant colors of Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, and trek along the thrilling Highline Trail. These hikes promise fun memories and spectacular scenery, making your Montana trip truly remarkable.
1. Avalanche Lake
Avalanche Lake, Montana 59936, USA
Location: Lake Mc Donald Mileage: 5.9-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: If you're planning to hike or camp in this area, be prepared to run into other people. The best time to visit is between June and October. Remember that dogs are not allowed on the trail, so leave your pups at home. To avoid parking problems, take the park shuttle. And don't forget that there's a fee to enter Glacier National Park and that trails may be closed due to bear activity.
The hike to
in Glacier National Park is a must-visit, known for its crystal-clear blue waters and breathtaking views. The trail begins near the West Entrance, following the Trail of the Cedars through ancient forests, alongside a lively stream until you reach the glacial melt lake surrounded by waterfalls. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife and diverse flora along this beautiful hike.
2. Grand Prismatic Hot Spring
West Yellowstone, MT 59758, USA
Location: West Yellowstone Mileage: 1.5-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: If you're planning on exploring this area, be aware that it's popular for walking and you'll likely run into other people. The best time to visit is between April and October. Unfortunately, you won't be able to bring your furry friend along as dogs aren't allowed on this trail. Keep in mind that there is a fee to enter Yellowstone National Park and the area may be closed due to bear activity.
Grand Prismatic Hot Spring
in Yellowstone, the largest hot spring in America. Witness its surreal colors and massive size in person. Accessible via Fountain Flat Drive or the Midway Geyser Basin Trail for a closer view. Don't miss out on this natural wonder when visiting Montana.
3. Highline Trail
Highline Trail, Montana, USA
Location: Siyeh Bend Mileage: 14.9-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: This is a popular area for backpacking, camping, and hiking. You'll likely encounter other people while exploring. The best times to visit this trail are June through October. Remember to leave your dogs at home as they aren't allowed on the trail. To avoid parking issues during the busy season, consider taking the park shuttle. There is a fee to enter Glacier National Park and trails may be closed due to bear activity. Lastly, if you plan on camping overnight in the wilderness, you'll need to obtain a permit from Glacier National Park.
Have you checked out the
yet? It's just across from the Logan Pass Visitors Center along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This hike is a must-do and offers some seriously epic views. And you might get lucky and spot some wildlife like bears, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats along your trek. If you're up for it, we highly recommend taking the out-and-back route to Granite Park Chalet. It's super convenient and will give you some unforgettable experiences.
Best Short & Easy Hikes in Montana
Seek out the best short and easy hikes in Montana with Trail of the Cedars, Artist Point, and Grinnell Lake. These trails offer accessible and enjoyable experiences for hikers of all levels.
4. Trail of the Cedars
Trail of the Cedars Nature Trailhead, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA
Location: Lake Mc Donald Mileage: 0.9-mile loop trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: When exploring this popular area for camping and walking, expect to encounter other people. The best times to visit are from May through October. Please note that dogs are not allowed on this trail. It's a good idea to take the park shuttle to avoid parking issues during peak season. Remember that Glacier National Park does charge an entrance fee. Also, trails may be closed due to bear activity.
If you're looking for a
great hiking trail
, check out this scenic loop trail along a boardwalk through a dense evergreen forest of hemlocks and cedars. It's picturesque, and you can see some fantastic stream views. It's best to start from the eastern side, and if you want to kick things up a notch, you can pair it with the Avalanche Trail for an even more exciting adventure. Easy and rewarding - this trail has it all.
5. Artist Point Location: Gardiner Mileage: 0.2-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This trail is popular for walking from May to October, but no dogs are allowed. Yellowstone Park has an entrance fee and the trail may close due to bears.
Experience the beauty of
, a 0.2-mile hike near Gardiner, Montana. Easy and quick, it takes only about five minutes to complete. This paved overlook trail offers stunning views of the falls and is suitable for all, including wheelchairs, kids, and strollers. Expect popularity and crowds, but the vistas make it all worthwhile. Enjoy a leisurely and accessible walk in nature's splendor at Artist Point.
6. Grinnell Lake
Grinnell Lake, Montana 59417, USA
Location: Siyeh Bend Mileage: 6.9-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This trail is popular for walking from May to October, but no dogs are allowed. Glacier National Park has an entrance fee and the trail may close due to bears.
6.9-mile out-and-back trail
to Grinnell Lake near Siyeh Bend, Montana, is an easy hike and takes around two and a half hours to complete. This scenic trail leads to a gorgeous glacial lake - fed by Grinnell Glacier's meltwater. Don't miss the chance to explore Hidden Falls on a short side trail along the way. Experience one of Glacier National Park's most beautiful hikes and take this trail if you're in the park.
Hardest Hikes in Montana
Challenge yourself with the hardest hikes in Montana: Bridger Ridge Trail, Black Mountain, and The Garden Wall. These thrilling trails test your skills and endurance while rewarding you with awe-inspiring views and a sense of accomplishment. Conquer these epic adventures in Montana’s rugged wilderness.
7. Bridger Ridge Trail Location: Bozeman Mileage: 19.2-mile point-to-point trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: If you're planning a hike or run, this trail is a popular choice. But don't worry, you can still find some quiet time during off-peak hours. The best time to visit is June through September. Friendly reminder, please keep your furry friends on a leash. Also, note that roads leading to the trailhead may be closed during certain times of the year.
Gear up for an exhilarating expedition on the
Bridger Ridge Trail
. With significant elevation gain and exposed terrain, this dramatic ridgeline hike offers unbeatable views and a sense of accomplishment. Not for the faint of heart, but the experience is worth every step. Join the annual race or take on the challenge solo – either way, it's an epic journey to remember.
8. Black Mountain
Black Mountain, Montana 59720, USA
Location: Livingston Mileage: 11.6-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: If you're looking for a serene outdoor experience, this trail is perfect for camping, fishing, and hiking. It's not crowded, so you can explore without distractions. The ideal time to visit is from July to October. Keep in mind that roads leading to the trailhead may be closed seasonally. Black Mountain
offers a majestic view of Pine Creek Lake. The trail concludes at the lake, and from there, ascending to the peak requires navigating a steep and rocky terrain. Given the challenging nature of the ascent, it is recommended to possess some rock climbing experience before attempting to summit Black Mountain.
9. The Garden Wall
The Garden Wall, Montana 59417, USA
Location: West Glacier Mileage: 15.0-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Hard FYI: Backpack, camp, and hike on this trail. Quieter times are perfect for solitude. Visit June-October. No dogs allowed. Use park shuttle to avoid parking issues. Fee to enter. Trails may be closed due to bears. Get a camping permit.
Kick off on a
along the Highline and Garden Wall Trails to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook, where you'll experience the stunning Garden Wall - a steep alpine rock ridge often adorned with wildflowers in the summer. Be prepared for steep and exposed sections with dropoffs and potential snow hazards at higher elevations, even during the summer. Keep an eye on conditions and pack suitable snow gear if necessary.
Best Waterfront Hikes in Montana
Experience the best waterfront hikes in Montana with Hidden Lake Overlook, Iceberg Lake, and Redrock Falls. These trails lead you to stunning lakes and cascading waterfalls, offering unforgettable views in a peaceful setting.
10. Hidden Lake Overlook
Hidden Lake, Montana 59936, USA
Location: Siyeh Bend Mileage: 2.7-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This hiking trail is popular between June and October, but pets are not allowed. Use the park shuttle to avoid parking issues. There's an entrance fee and the trail may close temporarily due to bear activity. Get a camping permit beforehand.
Hike up and over Hidden Lake Pass to reach
Hidden Lake Overlook
, nestled between Clements Mountain and Reynolds Mountain, with stunning views of Hidden Lake. This route offers vistas of open grasslands and mountains - just be cautious and wear sturdy hiking boots, as one section of the trail is steep and exposed to a large drop-off.
11. Iceberg Lake
Iceberg Lake, Montana 59417, USA
Location: Siyeh Bend Mileage: 9.6-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This trail is a popular hike and best explored from June to October. No pets allowed and there's an entrance fee to Glacier National Park. Trail may close due to bear activity. Iceberg Lake
in Glacier National Park is named for its year-round floating icebergs, surrounded by the shadow of Mount Wilbur, keeping the water icy cold. Start your journey at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn in the Many Glacier section, following the Ptarmigan and Ptarmigan Falls Trails to Iceberg Lake Trail. Special equipment like snowshoes, microspikes, or crampons may be needed during shoulder seasons, as snow can persist until June or July.
12. Redrock Falls
Redrock Falls, Montana 59417, USA
Location: Siyeh Bend Mileage: 3.7-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: Expect crowds while exploring this popular camping, fishing and hiking area between May to October. Leave your dogs at home as they're not allowed on the trail. There's an entrance fee for Glacier National Park and be aware that trail closures due to bear activity are possible.
Above the Many Glacier campground, you'll find
along the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail. This serene waterfall flows into Redrock Lake, which then feeds Swifcurrent Creek. As you hike, you'll pass the lake below Redrock Lake and discover the beauty of Fishercap Lake. This family-friendly trail is perfect for those exploring the Many Glacier area and seeking a gentle and enjoyable hike.
Best Winter Hikes in Montana
Gear up for some awesome winter adventures in Montana with the best winter hikes. Hit the trails at Silver Crest Cross-Country Ski Trails, Bannock Ski Trail, and California Creek Loop. Whether you’re into cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just hiking in the snow, these trails have got you covered. Get ready to explore the winter wonderland of Montana and have a blast in the snowy outdoors.
13. Silver Crest Cross-Country Ski Trails Location: Neihart Mileage: 14.2-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Great trail for skiing and snowshoeing. Best time to visit is Sept-Mar. No dogs allowed.
14.2-mile Silver Crest Cross-Country Ski Trails
in Neihart, Montana, with well-marked trails and beautiful viewpoints - it is ideal for beginners and kids with short, easy loops available, as well as a longer loop. Spend a fun-filled day snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, enjoying the easy and flat trails. Ample parking and a public restroom make it convenient for all. A perfect winter adventure awaits!
14. Bannock Ski Trail
Silver Gate, MT 59081, USA
Location: Silver Gate Mileage: 4.8-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Easy FYI: This trail is perfect for cross-country skiing, hiking, and running, and you'll have plenty of space to enjoy nature without the crowds. The best time to visit is from May to October, and dogs are welcome to run off-leash in some spots. Just keep in mind that Yellowstone National Park charges a fee for entry and that the trail may be temporarily closed due to bear activity.
Experience the beauty of
Bannock Ski Trail
, a delightful cross-country skiing route with an easy-to-follow path. Enjoy mostly gradual hills and flat meadow sections, with a few minor dips. The trail follows Warm Creek and treats you to stunning frozen waterfalls near Silvergate.
15. California Creek Loop Location: Anaconda Mileage: 4.0-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Enjoy cross-country skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing on this secluded trail.
California Creek Loop
near Anaconda, Montana. It's generally considered easy and takes about an hour and a half to complete. Perfect for cross-country skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing. The area boasts breathtaking natural scenery, making it a must-visit spot. Keep in mind that the trail is not well marked, so it's a good idea to download the map beforehand.
Best Hikes near Helena
Hit the trails and get ready for the best hikes near Helena. Don’t miss out on the 1906 Trail, Mount Ascension, and Mt Helena Via Powerline Trail. These hikes have it all – awesome views, rocky terrains, and loads of outdoor fun.
16. 1906 Trail
1906 Trail, Helena, MT 59601, USA
Location: Helena Mileage: 2.9-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This area is popular for hiking, running, and walking, so expect to encounter other people while exploring. May through October is the best time to visit. Dogs are welcome and allowed off-leash in certain areas.
If you're looking for a hiking trail in Helena, check out the
, a well-marked and well-maintained path with incredible views from the summit. You'll find some shade along the way, and in the morning, families and runners frequent the trail. It's the perfect spot for an overview of the city, so don't miss the chance to take in the beautiful views of the city from up there.
17. Mount Ascension
Mount Ascension, Mt Ascension, Montana 59601, USA
Location: Helena Mileage: 3.1-mile loop trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This is a very popular area for hiking, mountain biking, and running, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome and may be off-leash in some areas.
in Mount Ascension Park, a 3.1-mile loop trail near Helena, Montana. Moderately challenging, taking just under two hours to complete. Enjoy a serene hike through quiet woods - with lovely views and wildflowers. Reach the top for a stunning 360-degree view of the mountains. The well-marked trail might be rocky, but the easy hike is worth it for the wonderful views.
18. Mt Helena Via Powerline Trail
Powerline Trail, Helena, MT 59601, USA
Location: Helena Mileage: 1.8-mile out-and-back trail Difficulty: Moderate FYI: This is a great trail for hiking and running, and you can have some peaceful moments during quieter hours. It's also dog-friendly, but please keep your furry friend on a leash.
Embark on the
Mt Helena Via Powerline Trail
, a 1.8-mile out-and-back trail in Mount Helena City Park, Montana. While it's a short hike, be ready for significant elevation gain and a mix of steep sections. Some consider the beginning the steepest, but overall, it's a challenging workout. However, the views make it all worthwhile.
Have you enjoyed any of these Montana hiking trails? Think they are some of the best hiking trails in Montana? Which do you think are the best places for hiking in Montana? Let us know your top picks in Big Sky Country – we’d love to hear from you!
Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike with switchbacks up a mountain range or a day hike through alpine meadows, this hub has everything you’ll need , and be sure to Try AllTrails+ For Free!
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More to Explore
The Best Hikes In Montana
Does Montana have good hiking trails?
Montana's best hiking trails include:
Beehive Basin Trail No. 40
Continental Divide Trail Overlook #146 via Targhee Pass in
Custer Gallatin National Forest Ousel Falls Park Trail
Lava Lake Cascade Creek Trail
The "M" Trail in
Missoula St. Mary and Virginia Falls Trail
Swan River Trail in
Bigfork Holland Lake and Falls
Danny On National Recreation Trail in Flathead National Forest
Whitefish Trail - Woods Lake - Dollar Lake - Little Beaver Lake
What are the best months to hike in Montana?
Summer in Montana (July–August) is the ultimate time for hiking. It's super family-friendly, and once the snow melts, you can easily drive into the wild, making it the peak season for the state. Get ready for some epic adventures and good times under the sun!