Hike to Grinnell Lake

Montana Grinnell Glacier Trail

Added by Jon King

This easy day hike will take you to three incredible lakes in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park

The hike to Grinnell Lake begins at the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead, approximately 0.5 miles past Many Glacier Hotel in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park. For folks staying in the hotel, there is an optional trailhead just south of the building. There is also is a boat shuttle for those wanting to bypass the hike along Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine. For more information on the boat service visit http://glacierparkboats.com

As you enter this forested trail you’ll quickly have glimpses of Swiftcurrent Lake.  Continue along the western shores of the lake.  Make sure to take the short spur trails to get dramatic views of Swiftcurrent Lake and Many Glacier Hotel.  The boat dock on the southern shore of the lake also offers a nice photo opportunity.  Continue straight at the junction toward Grinnell Lake.  

Shortly after Swiftcurrent Lake you’ll find yourself on the western shore of Lake Josephine.  Continue for approximately ¾ of a mile mile until you reach the junction for Grinnell Glacier.  Keep left at the junction toward Grinnell Lake.  On the south end of Lake Josephine the trail connects at the boat dock with the southern lakeshore trail. Turn right at the junction the junction toward Grinnell Lake.

At approximately ⅔ of a mile past the junction you’ll reach two pit toilets and a horse hitching post.  Continue on the main trail.  Shortly after the post you’ll reach a spur trail toward Hidden Falls.  This short trek will lead to a scenic gorge and 25 ft. waterfall.  Back on the main trail, cross the suspension bridge over Cataract Creek. Continue for another ¼ of a mile until you reach Grinnell Lake.

To return, simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead.  

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Water/snacks
  • Camera
  • Bear spray
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



7 Miles

Elev. Gain:

60 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Best hike in Montana

This is my favorite hike in Glacier National Park... Not only is swfitcurrent lake one of the most photogenic scenes in the park, but lake josephine and grinnel lake are uniquely beautiful too... the icebergs floating in grinnel lake are pretty tough to beat!

about 1 month ago

Added by Jon King

Based in Kansas City. ER nurse. Love to travel and explore. Instagram: @joneking

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Redrock Falls

Montana / Swiftcurrent Pass Trailhead

The hike to Redrock Falls begins at the Swiftcurrent Pass Trailhead in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park.

Jon King
4 Saves

Hike to Willow Creek Falls

Montana / Willow Creek Falls Trailhead

The hike up Willow Creek Gorge is one of my favorites so far.

Jen Weir
2 Saves

Capture Sunrise at St. Mary Lake

Montana / St. Mary Lake Pullout

One of the more popular spots to photograph this lake is from the Wild Goose Island pullout. However, I prefer to get off the beaten path a little bit and avoid the crowds.

Kenton Steryous
30 Saves