Highline to The Loop

 13 votes

11.7 Miles 18.8 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

1,196' 364 m

Ascent

-3,572' -1,089 m

Descent

7,275' 2,217 m

High

4,258' 1,298 m

Low

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Minor Issues

3 days agoUpdate

One of the most iconic hikes in Glacier National Park, with easy access off of Logan Pass.

Jake Bramante

Overview

Bring bear spray. Trail opens early to mid-July.
This breathtaking hike is easily accessible from Logan Pass and, paired with the park's free shuttle, can be quite busy, especially in the peak summer months. The majority of this route hugs the lower contours of the towering peaks of the Garden Wall, running above and parallel to the Going-to-the-Sun-Road.

With spectacular views of the valleys below and panoramic vistas of endless summits coupled with the park's free shuttle, this point to point outing is popular for a reason.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Family Friendly: The first few miles of this route include gentle grades and iconic views, and a shorter version of this hike would be great for the whole family.
Dogs: No Dogs

Need to Know

Always bring a warm hat and gloves as well as a rain jacket as travel through this area, even on a hot summer day, can change quickly. Make sure that you either purchase or rent bear spray. It can be rented in Apgar Village.

Description

Logan Pass is the scenic apex of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, where the Highline Trail starts from. Heading north, visitors will follow this trail as it traverses a small shelf along the cliff that was cut out for the road. There is a fixed cable to grab a hold of if needed, but this stretch can cause some anxiety for visitors who are sensitive to heights and exposure.

From there, the trail heads out into alpine meadows with occasional moments ducking into the trees. Continue north, past seasonal streams, avalanche chutes, wildflowers, and more, with ample opportunity to see wildlife along the way – the best that Glacier has to offer. The vistas to the west, across the Logan and McDonald Creek valleys and the beautiful summits of the Livingston Range are truly spectacular.

The most difficult section of the hike is climbing up and over the saddle between Haystack Butte and Mt. Gould. From this upper vantage point, though, the views are truly great, making for an ideal spot to take a break for lunch or snacks. This point is also a good time to turn back for those looking for a shorter, out-and-back route.

To continue on the hike, keep heading north below Mt Gould to the east, until you arrive at a junction with the Grinnell Glacier Overlook on your right. If you have extra time and energy, this side trail is just shy of two miles, out-and-back, and provides stunning views of Grinnell Glacier, over toward Many Glacier.

From the junction with the Grinnell Glacier Overlook Trail, you are 0.7 miles from the historic Granite Park Chalet, which is another great place to catch your breath and refill your water bottle. Keep your eyes on alert in this area, as the pass and the meadows attract both deer and bears. From Granite Park Chalet, it is four miles of downhill travel through the burned forest to the Loop. The park’s free shuttle is a popular way to experience this route, as you can easily catch a ride back to your starting point.

If you prefer hiking more uphill than down, you may want start at the Loop in the cool of the morning and work your way up to Logan Pass.

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

Features many fantastic alpine flowers from the iconic beargrass to the small favorite of the grizzlies, the glacier lily. Alpine birds such as grosbeaks and white-crowned sparrows keep you company through most of the trip. Small mammals such as columbian ground squirrels, marmots, and pikas contrast with the mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, and occasional bear found along the trail.

History & Background

The Granite Park Chalet was built by the Great Northern Railroad and served as a stop for visitors traveling through the park on horseback.

Contacts

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4.9 from 13 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jul 23, 2017
Jessica D
Jul 20, 2017
Kate N
Jul 20, 2017
Sven Setterdahl
Included Garden Wall to Grinnell Glacier Overlook roundtrip. 13.2mi — 7h 00m
Jul 18, 2017
Joey Constantino
Jul 14, 2017
Ken Giles
Jul 11, 2017
Annie Del
2mi
Jul 10, 2017
J Adcock
Jul 8, 2017
Ben Jackson
Added Grinnell Glacier overlook 22.8mi

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 11 votes

#1

in St. Mary

#155

Overall
  4.9 from 11 votes
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#1

in St. Mary

#6

in Montana

#155

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Conditions


Minor Issues 3 days ago
Icy, Fallen Trees - Only a couple small snow crossings and one tree down. Otherwise all clear!
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