|The Top 10 Hikes in Glacier National Park|
For those of you who are unfamiliar with, or are making your very first visit to Glacier National Park, you'll probably want to know what the best day hikes are in order to maximize your time in the park. Based on many years of hiking throughout the park we've developed a list of our personal favorite top ten hikes in Glacier National Park. Veteran and new visitors alike can use this tool as a starting point in trying to decide where to hike during your upcoming visit.
Highline Loop – This world famous hike should be on the bucket list of every self-respecting hiker. The incredible views, the wildlife, and the wildflowers, all combine to make this a trek you'll remember the rest of your life. In addition to "The Loop", hikers will have a couple of additional options for hiking the Highline. You could take a shorter version of the hike, which ends at Haystack Pass, or you could take the steep side trail that leads up to the spectacular Grinnell Glacier Overlook atop the Garden Wall. No matter your choice, the Highline Trail is easily the number one hike on our list of the top 10 hikes in Glacier National Park.
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 Swiftcurrent Glacier. At the pass you'll enjoy 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, is the hike to Piegan Pass. 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 morning 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 setting. 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 it were possible to 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 spectacular hike 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 National Park.
While planning your visit, be sure to visit our accommodations page for a variety of lodging options in the Glacier National Park area.