If you want a combined hiking experience of waterfalls, alpines scenery, wildflowers, and lakes then Grinnell Glacier Trail should be on top of your list. This trail is one of the most popular trails in Glacier National Park and certainly most enjoyable. It is also regarded as one of the best hikes in the USA.
It’s an 11.2 mile out and back trail with an elevation gain of 2,161 feet. It is located near Babb, Montana. The hike is rated as difficult and it would take you 5 to 7 hours to hike the trail. The best months to hike the trail are from June to September.
It’s a spectacular hike especially if you hike in the day and the weather is good, still, it would be a bit challenging as there are narrow pathways and you will have to walk on stones. It’s recommended that you don’t take children or physically unfit people with you.
The trail begins from the Grinnell Glacier trailhead that is located on Continental Divide Trail. There is also a parking spot there, it’s small in size so should you reach early to get a nice parking spot. If you don’t get a spot to park, you can park at any of the lodges.
After 2.1 miles you will reach the far end of Josephine Lake, you will have to walk through the forest, but it will give you a great view of the lake. From Lake Josephine, you will have to walk uphill for 3 miles to reach Grinnell Glacier. As you move upwards the view gets better and better.
If it’s a clear day the view is even better, you can stop multiple times and take photos, and you can eat snacks as well.
You will have to pass through a waterfall as well; it’s a bit tricky as you have to walk uphill on wet stones. Make sure that you are wearing waterproof shoes.
The walk before you reach your destination is a bit tough as you have to pass through giant rocks and boulders. Once you reach the lake, just enjoy the view, take photos or have a picnic there.
There is also another way for you to hike this trail and that’s using shuttle boats.
If you use the boats it will shorten the hike by 3.4 miles. It’s a good option if you have children with you or don’t want to hike 11 miles.