The Loop Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,506' 764 m
Descent: -103' -31 m
High: 6,675' 2,034 m
Low: 4,260' 1,299 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)
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“The trail takes you from burn area through subalpine fir forest to alpine meadows with premium views”— Jake Bramante
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.
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Land Manager: NPS - Glacier National Park