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Glacier National Park: Grinnell Lake

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Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 8.0 miles


Back-to-back boat rides jump-start this dayhike to a glacier-fed lake in Glacier National Park.
  • Boat
  • Disembark
  • Dock
  • Boardwalk
  • Boardwalk
  • Bridge
  • Josephine Lake
  • Grinnell Point
  • Bridge
  • Map Kiosk
  • Nature Trail

From early June through mid-September, the Glacier Park Boat Company operates shuttle boats and hiking tours from the Many Glacier Hotel. This route begins with cruises on the Chief Two Guns and the Morning Eagle across Swiftcurrent Lake and to the head of Lake Josephine where you’ll begin the hike.

The well-marked trail starts at the dock and heads south over a series of boardwalks and a suspension bridge near Hidden Falls. It’s 0.9 mile from the dock to the foot of Grinnell Lake, where you’ll catch views of its eponymous waterfall and mountain, the Continental Divide, and the sweeping northern slope of the 7,430-foot monolith, Angel Wing.

After admiring the view, backtrack toward the dock and continue south along the shoreline toward the Many Glacier Hotel. At the foot of Lake Josephine, you’ll turn toward the North Shore Trail and cut between the two lakes before bearing right to follow Swiftcurrent Lake’s shoreline headed north. Look across the water for views of the hotel—a 5-story, Swiss style chalet—before crossing a bridge into a picnic area near the park road about 0.9 miles from loop end. Skip the road by following the Swiftcurrent Nature Trail around the foot of the lake to the hotel.

PERMIT: Overnight camping in Glacier National Park requires a backcountry permit. Check out the latest fees and more details at nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm.

PARK INFO: Glacier National Park, (406) 888-7800; nps.gov/glac/.

-Mapped by Kristy Holland

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