Highline to The Loop

 3 votes
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Featured Hike
Trail

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°)

All Clear

92 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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5.0 from 3 votes


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Check-Ins

Sep 17, 2016
Patrick Brown
Hiked on 9/15!
Sep 11, 2016
Cristi Plsek
Bring plenty of bear spray. We encountered 3 grizzlies (mother and two fully grown cubs) about halfway along the trail.
Sep 6, 2016
Erwin Chang
Rainy, cloudy, then sunny. Went up to the continental divide to look down on the grinnel glacier. Saw a bear and deer. 13.3mi — 9h 00m
Sep 6, 2016
michael Thomas
Sep 3, 2016
Debbie Toolan
10h 30m
Aug 31, 2016
Paja Stanul
Awesome trail all the way. You can drink water from springs and views are just gorgeous. Very nice and safe. 12mi — 4h 30m
Aug 11, 2016
Jeff Hall
Maybe park at the Loop shuttle to trail head. Logan pass parking fills by 9:00am Never start at the Loop. 3.6miles ascent. No thank you. — 8h 30m
Aug 4, 2016
Kim Parker
The Loop is terrible 14mi

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes

#3

in St. Mary

#62

Overall
  5.0 from 3 votes
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#3

in St. Mary

#6

in Montana

#62

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Conditions


All Clear 92 days ago
Dry - Dry and safe
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