Montana September 01, 2016
8 Trails At Montana’s Glacier National Park To Hike Before The Season Ends
We have good news and bad news. The good news is that Glacier National Park itself is open all year, and you can visit anytime. The bad news is that we’re nearing the end of summer, and that means many attractions shut down, roads start to close, and the snowfall prevents people from exploring many of its most beautiful parts.
But here’s another little piece of good news: You’ve still got some time to hike some of Glacier’s finest trails. If you’re planning an end-of-summer or early fall trip, hike these trails to tide you over until next spring.
1. Aster Falls
This is an easy 2.8 mile hiking trail with some stunning scenery. The hike begins from the South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake, ending at Aster Falls, a 20 foot waterfall. If you have the energy after checking out the falls, climb the 500 feet to the Aster Park Overlook for some of the most sublime views in the park.
2. Hidden Lake Overlook
You have until October to hike the Hidden Lake Overlook trail, which is popular because of its boardwalk which was built to preserve the fragile alpine ecosystem. The hike starts on the west side of the Logan Pass Visitors Center, and you’ll have a very good chance of seeing mountain goats or bighorn sheep. This trail was closed for a while in July due to frequent bear activity, so be on the lookout for grizzlies if you go.
3. Grinnell Lake Trail
There’s no better way to end a summer than by hiking one of Glacier’s most popular trails. There are two ways to access this beautiful hike, the first of which being by boat. If you take a historic boat across Swiftcurrent and Josephine Lake, you’ll save yourself a few miles (make a reservation first). But if you begin your hike from the Many Glacier Hotel, there’s a lot more to see.
4. The Highline Trail
Hiking The Highline is a classic Glacier experience. The 7.6 mile trail is fairly easy to navigate with a gradual climb in elevation. You can continue on another 11.9 miles to Fifty Mountain Campground if you’re feeling adventurous.
5. Piegan Pass
If you don’t have the patience to deal with the crowds at the Highline Trail, head to the nearby Piegan Pass, where the views are just as stunning. But be warned: This is NOT an easy trail by any means. It’s about 20 miles round trip, and it’s definitely in grizzly country. But if you’re an experienced hiker and up for the journey, this is one you’ll never forget.
6. Twin Falls
The Twin Falls Trail begins at the North Shore Trailhead at the Two Medicine Campground, and you can also access it from the South Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Lake. Hikers are treated to a pair of cascading waterfalls and plenty of huckleberry patches along the way.
7. Virginia Falls
This easy 3 mile hike is a wonderful trail for beginners, and Virginia Falls is definitely one of the more pristine waterfalls in the park. Time this hike for the end of tourist season… the wildlife comes out in droves when there aren’t many people on the path.
8. Boulder Pass Trail
Boulder Pass is located in Glacier's remote Northern Wilderness, and it's primarily for backpackers. You could easily make it a day hike, however, and if you do you'll have views of majestic peaks in every direction. The trailhead is located at the Kintla Lake Campground at the foot of Kintla Lake.
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