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
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RT Distance 7 Miles
Elevation Gain 60 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Perfect day hike in Glacier

We did this hike in mid-July and it was absolutely amazing. You can pay for the ferry which takes you from Swiftcurrent Lake over to Lake Josephine. From there it's about a 1.5 mile hike to Grinnel Lake. We opted to rent a canoe to paddle across Swift current, and then hiked from the far dock over to Grinnell Lake, that makes it more of a 2.6 mile one-way hike. The views across Lake Josephine are hard to beat, until you actually get to Grinnell. The lake sits in a massive bowl that's surrounded by cliffs and mountains. It was definitely hard to leave the lake to head back!

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!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

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