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The Loop Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

4.1 mile 6.6 kilometer point to point
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,506' 764 m
Descent: -103' -31 m
High: 6,675' 2,034 m
Low: 4,260' 1,299 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Jake Bramante

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

Jake Bramante

Features Birding · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Bring bear spray.

Description

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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Check-Ins

Sep 23, 2018
Garrett Jedlicki
Aug 8, 2018
Kathy Bohman
Jul 12, 2018
Jon Wolfe
Suggest not starting from the loop. It’s 4 miles all up hill. Most people started from Logan’s pass as it’s 7 miles flat. 8mi
Jul 2, 2018
Ryan McCann
Went up the loop to the Chalet and the Grinnell overlook due to Highline being closed. Very difficult trail going up but a great view as a reward.
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

Trail Ratings

  3.6 from 7 votes

#16

in Lake McDonald

#16608

Overall
  3.6 from 7 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
29%
2 Star
14%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#16

in Lake McDonald

#331

in Montana

#16,608

Overall
5 Views Last Month
560 Since Sep 3, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
14%
71%
14%
0%

Photos

Trip video of the Highline Trail from Logan Pass to the Loop.
Jun 9, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
Looking at the Continental Divide from the trail from Granite Park Chalet on the way to the Loop.
Jan 31, 2016 near Red Roc…, MT
View from The Loop Trail below Granite Park Chalet.
Jun 9, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
Stellar sunset views from the Granite Park Trail.
Jun 8, 2016 near Red Roc…, MT
Water tank of some sort. Looking NW from the Chalet.
Aug 24, 2017 near Swiftcu…, MT
Waterfall overlook.
Nov 10, 2015 near Red Roc…, MT

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