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green Grinnell Lake Trail

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1.2 mile 1.9 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 64' 20 m
Descent: -9' -3 m
High: 4,960' 1,512 m
Low: 4,899' 1,493 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 4% (3°)


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Trail shared by Greg Reasor

A hike through dense forest along a creek to turquoise Grinnell Lake in a towering glacial cirque.

Greg Reasor

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

Family Friendly Kids will love the boat rides and the low-slung suspension bridge. They can wade in the lake and creek.


The trail to Grinnell Lake is only half the adventure. To get to the trailhead, there are two alternate scenic approaches, neither accessible by car. From the Many Glacier Hotel parking lot, one choice is to take the long route around the south shore of the Swiftcurrent Lake Trail and then along Lake Josephine to the shelter by the boat dock at its southwest shore.

Otherwise, save time by reserving passage on the boat tour. It includes two short voyages across the lakes, with a short hike in between. Either way, from the shelter, the Grinnell Lake Trail angles southwest through dense woods along the Cataract Creek.

Mounted riders may be seen on the horse trail that parallels the foot path. A low-slung suspension foot bridge is a treat in crossing the creek. Follow the banks of the multi-colored cobbled creek into a spectacular opening upon the eastern shore of Grinnell Lake. Wade in the frigid water and gaze across the turquoise blue lake surrounded by the mountainous remains of a glacial cirque. On the western shore the spectacular thousand-foot plume of Grinnell Falls descends from its namesake glacier, which is not visible tucked beyond the peak. A segment of Salamander Glacier, however, appears in the distance.

On the way back, take the marked side-spur to Hidden Falls just beyond the footbridge. This one-way trek rises swiftly in elevation until it ends with a pleasing view of a mountain stream cataract. You may return the way you came, but come back changed.

Flora & Fauna

Native trees, numerous wildflowers and berries line the trail and creek. Moose and deer may be spotted.


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Aug 31, 2018
James Bullard
Aug 8, 2018
Ryan Enscoe
Jul 2, 2018
Alyssa Shames
Sep 4, 2017
Kathy Szczesny
Aug 27, 2017
Jess B
Aug 14, 2017
Govind S
Boat tour + hike 1 mile each way.
Jul 17, 2017
Kate N
Jun 21, 2017
Christian Cicchella

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


in Many Glacier


  5.0 from 1 vote
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in Many Glacier


in Montana


7 Views Last Month
389 Since Sep 2, 2015
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Anonymous User
Anonymous User  
We saw 2 moose and several deer on this trail when we last visited in August 2015. Mar 25, 2016

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