In 1850, at the end of what has been referred to as the Little Ice Age, Grinnell Glacier, combined with The Salamander, measured 710 acres in surface area. You can also see Grinnell Glacier by taking the spur trail on the Highline Trail (this starts at Logan Pass so you can get here via the west entrance) but I am not aware of a way that you can hike to Grinnell Glacier from here. On a clear day, this hike is literally jaw-dropping. Taking the boat shaves off 3.4 miles, for a grand total of 7.2 miles of hiking. At roughly 3.6 miles from the boat landing hikers will finally reach the Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint where you'll enjoy commanding views of the 152-acre glacier, Upper Grinnell Lake, the Garden Wall (part of the Continental Divide), as well as 9553-foot Mount Gould. Looking towards the southeast, in the notch on the Garden Wall just below the summit of Mount Gould, is Gem Glacier, the smallest named glacier in Glacier National Park. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October. The beginning of the trail traverses the shoreline of Swiftcurrent Lake for roughly half a mile. When to Go: Mid-June through September, when the road to Many Glacier and the trail are free of snow. Can you let me know? However, as a result of its retreat in recent years, rangers no longer take groups out onto the ice. Please note that there is a fee to board the two boats. Trailhead: Grinnell Glacier trailhead, adjacent to the Many Glacier Hotel. Pro Travel Tip: Book your tickets in advance because they can sell out. Round trip, the hike is about 10 miles long with a gain of about 2,000 feet. Image Use. Important Note: If you don’t want to hike with a big crowd, skip the boat shuttle and start your hike early. Grinell Glacier and Wing Lookout [CLOSED] is a 13.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Browning, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. However, we did see moose from this part of the trail. It’s faster hiking back, now that it is mostly downhill. You can also shorten this hike by taking the boat ride on Lake Josephine which cuts off a few miles. Doing so saves about 3 miles of hiking. Nearly a century after Stanton’s photograph was taken, Grinnell Glacier has receded into it’s cirque basin and is no longer visible from the trail above Grinnell Lake. Hikers should also keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and mountain goats in this area. You’ll climb several sections of staircases made of giant rocks and boulders. We are planning our first trip to GNP this September & am so happy to have found your blog! The main hiking trail is yellow. Elevation Gain: 1600 feet Angel Wing and Mt. After walking a very short distance you'll reach a junction where you'll turn right to continue towards your destination. Required fields are marked *. As of 2005 it has shrunk to less than 200 acres. This short 0.2-mile walk climbs about 80 feet before descending back down to the Lake Josephine boat dock. At 2.2 miles hikers will reach a stretch of trail that begins to hug a cliff face. Grinnell Glacier is the most frequently visited glacier in Glacier National Park with an incredible trail along the way. before using any information on this site. Grinnell was so inspired by the scenery during his first visit to the area that he spent the next two decades working to establish it as a national park. At roughly 3.2 miles hikers will arrive at a small rest area where you'll find a couple of wooden benches and a pit toilet. Tips for a Grinnell Lake Hike Most hikers visiting the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park in Montana come to experience the Grinnell Glacier Trail or trek to Iceberg Lake. This is where the climbing begins and the views really start to get good. This could add on quite a bit of mileage and time to your day. Length 11.4 miElevation gain 3,710 ftRoute type Out & back The best part of hiking to Grinnell Glacier is the final two miles of trail before you get here, from Many Glacier. 1 mi (1.6 km) Elevation gain: 700 ft (213 m) Trailhead: Apikuni parking area, … On Google Maps, it is labeled “Grinnell Glacier Trailhead.” There is a small parking lot here. Please note that there is a fee to ride the two boats.) All these glaciers are receding rapidly and after a time will disappear. The bear was only 10 feet away before Hanna was able to repel the bear on a third burst of bear spray. Pro Travel Tip: If you are not staying overnight in the Many Glacier area, try to get to Many Glacier no later than 8 am. Immediately after exiting this short section you'll arrive at the North Shore Lake Josephine Trail junction, which veers towards the right. Some self-guided walks interpret trailside features with signs. Cheers, Julie, I just checked with the park and it looks like Many Glacier trailheads may open on 7/1 as of now. Nature Trails. Grinnell Overlook via Granite Park Trail is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Mc Donald, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The Grinnell Glacier trail starts at the Many Glacier picnic area at the end of Many Glacier Road just past Many Glacier Hotel. that entrance is going to be closed for the rest of 2020 and I want to be sure we can still access this Grinnel Glacier on our trip in August as if not, we may skip this NP. I would love to return in September. Get updates on park status and road closures here. Then, learn how to use the shuttle service across the lakes. Above the rest area the trail begins to climb a series of steep switchbacks that ascend a boulder-strewn moraine. All rights reserved. Round-trip mileage is 7 miles with 1600 foot elevation gain. Plan well and enjoy your hike! The Grinnell Glacier trailhead is located on Continental Divide Trail, the road that connects the Many Glacier Hotel with Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and the Many Glacier Campground. Location: The Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park. You cannot book a one-way ticket from Many Glacier Hotel to Lake Josephine. The Grinnell Glacier Trail in Glacier National Park is by far one of the best hiking trails in the park. The glacier can be reached after a 6-mile (9.7 km) hike from a trailhead beginning at Swiftcurrent Lake. The trail first follows the shoreline of Swiftcurrent Lake for about a half-mile. Its vistas are incredible (and well documented online) and the trail is well maintained and can be hiked if you are in reasonable shape. The glacier was discovered in 1885 by George Bird Grinnell, an early American conservationist, explorer, writer and founder of the Audubon Society. Once at the end of the lakes, the elevation begins. As with all the other trails in the Many Glacier area, you should be aware that you're traveling through prime grizzly bear habitat while on the Grinnell Glacier Trail. You'll also notice a couple of small waterfalls tumbling down the steep slopes of 8851-foot Mt. The trail is a moderate to challenging out and back hike with breathtaking views the entire way. As you proceed up this short section take a moment to look down the valley for an absolutely grand view of Grinnell Lake and Lake Josephine, as well as Sherburne Lake in the far off distance. You even get to hike through a waterfall! On this hike, we spotted moose, mountain goats, and bear. The path leading to Grinnell Glacier continues up the hill, and from this point, will climb a thigh-burning 135 feet over the course of the next tenth-of-a-mile. Keep up a conversation, carry bear spray, and keep a lookout for bear, not only in front of you on the trail, but also in the brush and the trees along the trail. Grinnell Glacier via Highline Trail (Logan Pass) With Grinnell Glacier access restricted (Covid), we accessed via the Highline trail (Logan Pass visitor center), climbed to the Grinnell Overlook (via Garden Wall trail), and returned via the Loop trail (to the Loop parking lot for pickup). Tentative start on July 17th depending on trail conditions. The trail has an altitude gain of just over 1,600 ft (490 m), with the majority of that in the second half of the hike. or can you only reach it if you enter from the east entrance? The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October. Thank you for this comprehensive guide to hiking Grinnell and your other blog post referencing the Highline/Granite Chalet. The hike to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park begins from the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead, located roughly one-half mile past the turn-off for the Many Glacier Hotel. Highly recommend this route as This hike description assumes you'll use the shuttle boats, therefore this hike begins from the boat dock at the Many Glacier Hotel. Our tour boats can cut four miles round-trip off the hike to Grinnell Glacier. From the junction the trail circles around the south end of the lake. Interestingly, during his final visit to the glacier in 1926, Grinnell noted in his diary that "the glacier is melting very fast and the amount of water coming from it is great. In years past rangers would lead hikes out onto the glacier itself. There are two ways to do this hike. Length of Time: 5 to 7 hours This is the dominating glacier visible from Lake Josephine, as well as during the early portions of the hike. Walk a little further up the trail and you'll also see Grinnell Falls tumbling hundreds of feet down the headwall above the west end of the lake. There are three glaciers that will be visible as you proceed up the valley. There is a small parking lot here. And the Grinnell Glacier Trail always ranks high among the best trails in the park. The higher you go, the more the views open up. Get here early (before 8 am) to ensure that you get a spot. ", Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks. Our website uses cookies. This hike has it all…stunning alpine scenery, waterfalls, emerald green lakes, wildflowers, the chance to see wildlife, and of course, a glacier. 10 Best Things to do in Glacier National Park, How Much Time Do You Need in Glacier NP? I hope so too! In 2010 Columbus Zoo keeper and television personality, Jack Hanna, was charged by a 150-pound grizzly bear near this stretch of the trail. We tried this, but the line was so long that we gave up and hiked the entire trail instead. This is when we had our best animal sightings. From here you'll board the Morning Eagle and take the 12-minute shuttle ride across Lake Josephine. Trailhead: Follow the Many Glacier Road straight ahead until you see clearly marked signs for the Grinnell Glacier Trail. For those of you planning to take the shuttle boats, this is the section of trail that you will skip. The steepest part of the hike comes right before you get to Grinnell Glacier. If you have any questions about hiking to Grinnell Glacier, comment below. Length 13.8 miElevation gain 3,015 ftRoute type Out & back From the Many Glacier Hotel, you will take the shuttle across the Swiftcurrent Lake, a journey that takes about 10 minutes. It’s just over 3 miles, one way, to Grinnell Glacier from this point. The standard hike to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park begins from the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead, located roughly one-half mile past the turn-off for the Many Glacier Hotel. First, learn what to expect along the trail, from the trailhead to Grinnell Glacier. Very cool. These shuttles are operated by Glacier Park Boat Company. We were able to stay ahead of the crowds on the way out to Grinnell Glacier, but we saw them on our hike back to our car. Grinnell Glacier Hike, Glacier National Park May 11, 2020 By Dan I stepped out of the outhouse near the end of the Grinnell Glacier Trail and found myself staring at a bighorn sheep standing in the path. The hiking stats listed above are for the round-trip hike from main trailhead on Continental Divide Trail. Get important travel planning tips, sample itineraries, advice on when to go, where to stay, and more. Map of the hiking trail and boat shuttles. About a half mile from Grinnell Glacier, we had spotted several mountain goats at different locations along the trail. Sitting just below the Garden Wall is The Salamander. Preferred route: Start the Highline Trail at Logan Pass. Distance: 10.6 miles When we got to Upper grinnell lake it was also filled with iceburgs! Earth Trekkers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to Amazon.com. You start at the big Grinnell Glacier trailhead. There are a couple of stretches where the path passes along a fairly narrow ledge with some fairly steep drop-offs. This is a great option if you are traveling with kids, want to add a scenic boat ride to the hike, or just don’t like the idea of hiking over 10 miles. Then the trail gains elevation with views of Grinnell Falls, Angel Wing, Mt. By continuing to browse this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Start out on the first two level miles along Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine's eastern and northern shores on the appropriately named North Shore Lake Josephine … Much of this segment travels along a raised boardwalk that keeps hikers above a wet marshy area. This is a very popular hike in Glacier National Park. The first two level miles are spent briefly along Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine’s north shores. It's a 12.2 mile out-and-back hike that leads up to Grinnell Glacier - one of the last glaciers in the lower 48 US states. Date Visited: 7/6/16 and 7/7/16. Hiking to Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park is a bucket list item! Disembark this boat and walk 0.2 miles to Lake Josephine. If you take your time, however, most people shouldn't have any problems here. Gould, the Continental Divide and Grinnell Lake. Get trail status updates here. Elevation Gain: 2,024' Trailhead: Many Glacier Hotel if taking the boat across Swiftcurrent and Josephine Lakes, Grinnell Glacier Trailhead if hiking the entire length It took Alex and me two tries to successfully make it to Grinnell Glacier. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc. Hiking up alongside this waterfall is the “trickiest” part of the hike. A turn to the right here will lead you back to the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead in Many Glacier. Trust me one of the best ways to spend quality time at the beach. The red lines are the short hikes between the two lakes and the hike to get to the main trail from Lake Josephine. But once you get to the top, it’s a short walk to the Grinnell Glacier viewpoint. We are staying the full last week in June until the 2nd of July so hopefully, we can get in there. The main trail and the trail from the Lake Josephine boat dock join up at the far end (the western end) of Lake Josephine. Julie Last updated: February 4, 2021 United States 10 Comments. The park does allow visitors to venture onto the glacier, but they highly recommend that you don't go alone, or go too far. September was not too crowded in the park so I definitely recommend that timing for a visit. At specific times of day, this also includes a ranger-led hike to Grinnell Glacier. I’m keeping my fingers crossed these two trails will be open. Just when you think the view can’t get any better, somehow, it does. Easiest remaining glacier to hike to in the park. Once the parking lots fill, park rangers turn visitors away at the entrance station. You will not find any directions for reaching the lake. This is a great spot for a picnic (just pack out everything you bring in). Grinnell Glacier Trail, located in the Many Glacier area, is one of the most popular hikes in Glacier National Park, and for good reason. "the glacier is melting very fast and the amount of water coming from it is great. This is not the most exciting walk, so if you choose to take the boat shuttles, you really are not missing out on much. Thank you so much for your comprehensive guide! It's especially dangerous when there's fresh snow on the ground, which can hide deep crevasses. IF YOU DON'T TAKE THE BOAT and would prefer to hike the entire 5.5 miles, the Grinnell Glacier Trail trailhead is located between the Many Glacier Hotel and the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn Store. Alternate route: You can instead start at The Loop (shuttle stop), hike up to the Granite Park Chalet, and then hike an additional 0.8 miles to the beginning of the overlook trail for a total of 6.8 miles. To finish the hike, return the same way you came. Please read this Disclaimer / Privacy Policy Grinnell Glacier Elevation Profile of the round trip hike from the trailhead on Continental Divide Trail. We hiked this on a cold & rainy day at the beginning of september and the views were still spectacular! Take your pick from 50 of the world's best travel adventures. After a brief wait, and yet another mountain goat sighting, it was safe for us to continue on our way. 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