Imagine almost 1,600 square miles of wilderness, peaks, and valleys. This is where you’ll find the Best Trails – Glacier National Park. In this 100-year-old National Park, the glacier part is evident in the mountains as they were carved by giant glaciers over thousands of years. Part of the Rocky Mountain chain, this park lies right up against the border with Canada, so certain parts are closed during the winter season.
This place is not only full of majestic views and quiet places to contemplate existence, but also 700 miles full of trails to hike on. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, grab your sneakers and backpack. We’re going to go through some trials for all levels of experience. Don’t forget that there is a wide range of wildlife, from passive mountain goats to protective grizzlies.
Let’s take a hike!
Best Trails Glacier National Park – let’s start easy!
For our journey, we’re going to name some of the over 100 trails in this national park. To start with, we will focus on trails that can be taken by anyone in your party. Easy hikes in Glacier National Park mean stunning views and the chance to absorb nature for all. The trails listed in this section are wheelchair and child-friendly.
- Running Eagle Falls Trail. We’ll start with the shortest. It takes about 15 minutes to walk this trail with a surprise. Yes, there’s a beautiful waterfall just a jot away from the parking lot. Due to the spectacle, this is one of the busier trails.
- Trail of the Cedars. Coming in at just under one mile, this loop is parallel to Lake McDonald. This is a great choice for anyone who can’t walk for long, no worries about being stuck on a trail and unable to make it all the way. This also might be a great pick for the outgoing hikers, since it’s also next to camping.
- Swiftcurrent Nature Trail. Feeling pumped after the last trial and want something more substantial without going crazy? Well, this one is a tad over two and a half miles and takes about an hour to complete. Hugging Swiftcurrent Lake could be one of the best photo ops of the trip due to the lake having a mountain backdrop.
Best Trails Glacier National Park – moderate difficulty
There are no trails that aren’t awesome to behold in Glacier National Park. However, after those fun trails, you might be craving something with a bit more substance. The following options are kid-friendly and come equipped with spots to do some bird watching.
- Avalanche Lake. This one is a 4.5-mile adventure that takes about two hours and 45 minutes through the forest to wrap up. This trail runs along the Trail of the Cedars for the first .5 miles. If you go with snow on the ground, be careful, it can build up high close to the lake and get slippery. The best time of year to visit during the year is from June through October.
- Hidden Lake Trail. This three-hour trail culminates at Hidden Lake. Looking across to the other shore, you can see a peak that is reminiscent of a pyramid. If that’s not enough to inspire quiet contemplation, I don’t know what will.
- Iceberg Lake Trail. Why not make a whole day out of feeling small yet glorious? This route is over four and a half hours and nine miles long. Taking a lunch would be a great way to enjoy this hike. You would also want to make sure everyone has backpacks with water to last. It might be best not to bring small children, but enthusiastic teens could surely brave this adventure.
Best Trails Glacier National Park – onto the hard ones
Okay, we hear you. You want a challenge with a bite. We’ve got you covered! Sometimes the sweetest, and most peaceful, areas of the park are those that are less traveled on. These trails are not for the faint of heart, but the reward is breathtaking.
- Mount Oberlin Trail. Get a challenge in a short dose when traversing this three-and-a-half-mile, two-hour trail. Most who have taken it up said it wasn’t necessarily tough, but more complicated. In parts, the trail gets steep and there are areas where you need to climb. Some do it with children but be sure to go through it yourself before hauling the little ones along.
- Mount Brown Lookout. This trail is ten miles long and takes almost seven hours to get through. It can be so tough to do on foot that travelers opt to go about it on horseback. The most difficult part for many is the intensity of the incline. However, once you get to the top, you’ll feel accomplished and have the scenery as a trophy for all your hard work. The view overlooks miles out into the wilderness, there’s nothing like it.
- Gunsight Pass Trailhead. Looking to stay on the ground instead of up in the clouds? Bring camping and fishing gear with you here because it’s a ten-hour hike covering 19 miles, one way. On Gunsight Pass, you’ll likely run into mountain goats and waterfalls. Also, you might want to wear pants because the brush gets a bit much in spots.
Well, there you have our top picks for each type of preference. Whether you jump for easy hikes through Glacier National Park or dream about an all-encompassing physical challenge, this is a great park to please everyone. If you make the trip, don’t forget to pack for your activities. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Dress for the weather and bring extra changes of clothes for other types of weather.
However long you stay, be safe, keep someone updated about your location, and enjoy yourself!