3 Best hikes in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park may just be my favorite National Park in the United States! The views are expansive, with mountains in every direction. I’ve listed out my favorite hikes in Glacier National Park that I have hiked myself to include details about what to expect. Both times I have visited have been at the end of September, after permits are required and before Going to Sun Road closes. I highly recommend choosing either September 16th weekend or the following to secure this perfect timeframe. We did see some fall foliage popping and wildflowers elsewhere!

Enjoy, in my opinion, the 3 best hikes in Glacier National Park! All hikes are under 8 miles and are not rated as hard.

Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake was one of my favorite hikes, not only for its incredible views but because we saw a black bear here! The trailhead is right on Going to Sun Road near Lake McDonald (a must stop for sunrise or sunset!) The begging of the hike will start on the Trail of Cedars on a beautiful wooden walkway. After about a mile you’ll start hiking up on the dirt trail. The elevation gain isn’t too bad, and the distance is relatively short compared to other hikes in the park. Avalanche Lake hike is just under 6 miles round trip. If you’re going to hike this trail be sure to either arrive early in the day or later in the day because mid day the parking lot will likely be full.

Hidden Lakes

Hidden Lakes is another fairly easy hike in Glacier National Park. The hike is just over 5 miles round trip, and also has a lovely wooden hiking path most of the way up. The trailhead is at Logan Pass, and the parking lot also fills up quickly. It closed around 9:30 AM when we visited, but thankfully arrived around 8 AM to catch sunrise and another bear, this time a grizzly! The 360 views on this trail are jaw dropping, truly incredible! Hike up to Hidden Lakes for an overview of Bearhat Mountain above blue alpine lakes, one of the most picturesque views in Glacier. Then, you can hike down to the lakes, but be prepared for the steep hike back up.

Grinnell Lake

Grinnell Lake is located near St. Mary which is on the east side of the park. Grinnell is a glacier in the stunning mountains, and beneath it are gatorade blue lakes. The hike to Grinnell Glacier is much longer, but to the lakes underneath the glacier, we hiked about 7 miles to see that vibrant blue lake. The hike in passes by Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine, then finally to Grinnell Lake. The views are absolutely stunning, somewhat similar to Avalanche Lake with a tall waterfall coming off a mountainous cliffside. I already plan to go back and hike up to the Glacier next time.

Where to stay when visiting Glacier

I was so lucky to collaborate with a local business near West Glacier called ROAM Beyond! Yes, I was given a free stay, but that doesn’t mean I have to promote them this much…IT WAS AMAZING. Those perfect little trailer campers were everything anyone could ever ask for when ‘camping.’ The experience was so luxury. The bed has a heated mattress, there is running water, a cook top, even a toilet and shower in your trailer.

Not only was the trailer incredible, but there are a couple buildings just a short walk away that have restrooms, showers, amenities and even goats. I will forever stay at the ROAM Beyond cabins and recommend them to anyone who is heading to Glacier National Park. Not only do I now have incredible memories of Glacier, but also of me and some amazing friends hanging out and enjoying nights under the stars together at this magical location.

Check out ROAM Beyond here: https://www.roambeyond.travel/glacier-winter

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @earthtosarahr to see all of my photos and reels of Glacier National Park! You can also purchase these prints at my website: https://earthtosarah.darkroom.com

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