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The Loop Trail

 3 votes


4.1 Miles 6.6 Kilometers



2,506' 764 m


-103' -31 m



Avg Grade (7°)


Max Grade (14°)

6,675' 2,034 m


4,260' 1,299 m




Getting forecast...

The trail takes you from burn area through subalpine fir forest to alpine meadows with premium views

Jake Bramante


Bring bear spray.
Features: Birding — Spring — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs


This trail starts at the large switchback on Going-to-the-Sun Road called The Loop.

The trail begins by traveling mostly level through an old burn area. You cross over a lovely creek and the views are great, but are filtered through silver tree snags still standing. This area also offers little protection from the sun and, in the afternoon, can be blistering hot for those coming down after taking the shuttle to the top and pairing this trail with the Highline Trail.

The trail begins to wrap around the rounded ridge giving you views of Flattop Mountain as you begin to climb. This area contains many shrubs with berries and is popular with black bears and grizzlies, so keep your eyes peeled and make plenty of noise. The silver trees gradually begin to give way to open meadows and the trail spends more time on the edge of steeper terrain freeing the views up from the silver snags to more open views. The higher up you go, the more expansive the views are.

The trail comes to a nice switchback with great views up alpine meadows before crossing through tall shrubs, then into the unburned stands of subalpine fir. From here, the forest is cooler and has pocket meadows in addition to the trees. This change of habitat adds to the number of flora and fauna species while giving you respite from the sun.

Eventually, you work your way just below Granite Park Chalet. The Granite Park Campground Trail splits to the left and you continue right and see the old chalet. The trail pops out along a nice ridge with fantastic views looking south to Logan Pass with Heavens Peak dominating the views to the west. The trail continues and joins up with the Highline Trail which has traveled along the Garden Wall, and you turn to Granite Park Chalet set beneath rocky peaks with steep walls and meadows full of flowers.

This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.

Flora & Fauna

Wide variety of flowers from fireweed and globe mallow to glacier lilies and huckleberries in the higher elevations. Wildlife can vary from deer to mountain goats to bighorn sheep and black and grizzly bears. Birding is great as it varies greatly from the woodpeckers and finches in the burn area to the jays, grouse, and rosyfinches up high.


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Your Check-Ins


Aug 28, 2017
Rebecca Smith
Jul 17, 2017
Marie Scott
Very tough uphill for creaky knees, but beautiful views! Saw bear tracks on the trail today. 6mi
Jul 13, 2017
Maggie Liu
Aug 26, 2016
Marie Scott
Great hike from the 'loop' of the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier! Our kids added to the artistic pile of rocks along this trail. 3.1mi — 1h 24m
Jun 26, 2016
Ryan Spr
w/ Tyler Smith 24,833 steps 7mi — 4h 00m
Jan 19, 2016
bri barnes
Awesome hike! Moderate to vigorous at times. Hike was filled with switchbacks and with a recent burn there wasn't much shade until the top. The vie... — 7h 25m
Jan 15, 2016
Alli Brashear
Jul 24, 2015
Khanh Vu

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes


in Lake McDonald


  3.7 from 3 votes
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in Lake McDonald


in Montana


12 Views Last Month
173 Since Sep 3, 2015
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