|The Top 10 Hikes in Glacier National Park|
Many people who are unfamiliar, or are making their very first visit to Glacier National Park, want to know what the best day hikes are in the park. Below are my personal top ten hikes in Glacier. Hopefully this will be a helpful starting point as you try to decide where you want to hike during your visit.
Highline Loop – This world famous hike should be on the bucket list of any self respecting hiker. The incredible views, the wildlife and the wildflowers, all combine to make this a hike you'll remember the rest of your life.
Swiftcurrent Pass - Although this is one of the toughest hikes in Glacier, it includes tons of spectacular scenery. You'll pass by three lakes and a waterfall while traveling up the Swiftcurrent Valley. Once above the valley floor the trail offers outstanding birds-eye views of six lakes, as well as the Swiftcurrent Glacier. At the pass you'll have stunning views of Heavens Peak and Granite Park.
Siyeh Pass Loop - This one-way hike offers visitors the chance to take-in some of the best of what Glacier has to offer. Hikers will pass through the incredibly beautiful Preston Park, climb up to one of the highest maintained trails in Glacier, and then back down the Baring Creek Valley where you'll have a relatively close-up view of Sexton Glacier.
Piegan Pass – Just a notch or two below the Highline Trail on the “awesome meter”, but far less crowded. Big views await hikers along most of this hike near Logan Pass.
Ptarmigan Tunnel – If you’re anywhere near Many Glacier, the hike to Ptarmigan Tunnel shouldn’t be passed up. The highlight of the hike is passing through a 240-foot tunnel that cuts a hole through the Ptarmigan Wall. It was built for horses and early park tours by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930's. After hiking all day in the Many Glacier Valley, walking to the other side of the tunnel is like walking into another world.
Pitamakan Pass - Dawson Pass usually gets all the attention in the Two Medicine area. However, at least for me, I think the views from Pitamakan Pass are much more dramatic. From the knife-edge pass you can see five lakes on either side of you.
Gable Pass - Once you ascend Lee Ridge you'll have expansive panoramic views that include Chief Mountain, Gable Mountain, as well as the highest point in Glacier National Park, 10,466-foot Mt. Cleveland. These are some of the best views in park.
Iceberg Lake - One of the most popular hikes in Glacier National Park. And for good reason. This is a great opportunity to see icebergs floating in a gorgeous alpine lake. You’ll also have commanding views of the Ptarmigan Wall, an arête, or thin ridge of rock separating two valleys that have been carved by glaciers.
Cracker Lake - Cracker Lake in the Many Glacier area has to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The lake has the most magnificent turquoise color you’ll ever see. If you could ignore the magnificent scenery of the surrounding mountains, it would still be well worth the hike just to see the amazing color of the lake. If it weren’t for the walk through a long section of forest, I would’ve ranked this one a little higher.
Grinnell Glacier - Another extremely popular hike in the Many Glacier area. This one visits the famous 300-acre glacier that sits just below the Continental Divide.
If you think most of these hikes seem too long, or too strenuous, check out our list of the Best Easy Hikes in Glacier.
While planning your visit, be sure to visit our accommodations page for a variety of lodging options in the Glacier National Park area.