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Grinnell Glacier-High Lake Viewpoint TR, MT

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Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List MT > North Central
5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,920 feet
Elevation Gain 1,698 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,825 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 20.13
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2017-06-18 Uncharted
34  2016-08-12 Lucyan
31  2016-07-21 uphill_junkie
30  2012-09-15 gummo
12  2012-08-17 Sun_Ray
9  2011-06-16 gummo
14  2010-08-15 gummo
74  2003-07-17 tibber
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep
Sun  6:20am - 6:35pm
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
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Named place Nearby

Likely In-Season!
Overview: The Grinnell Glacier Lower Lake Trail and Grinnell Glacier High-Upper Lake View Point Trail are two excellent hikes from start to finish(both starting/ending at the same TH with other options also available). These two day hikes are the two most popular in the Many Glacier Area of GNP. If you have never had a close-up look at a glacier, this hike to Grinnell Glacier-Upper High Lake Viewpoint offers an excellent opportunity to take a look close-up. If you are familiar with glaciers, then take this hike for the outstanding scenery. Views on most all sections of this trail are expansive, and one wonders how they can improve, but they do! As the trail begins to climb, transversing steep ledges to reach the alpine meadows on the side of Mount Grinnell. Below lies turquoise blue lower Grinnell Lake with Morning Eagle Falls coming into view below Bishop's Cap and with Angel Wings towering above the lake. In early summer(late June-July), water streams off Mount Grinnell, tumbling beside and often over the trail in roaring cascades and lacy of Mother Nature's ultimate places to experience!!

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Grinnell Glacier-High Lake Viewpoint TR
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This had to be one of the most spectacular hikes I've done. Wow is about all I can say!!!!! The hike to the glacier was about as pretty as it could get, with the green mixed with the jagged granite peaks, and then there's the ice blue glacial lakes and the aquamarine mineral lakes that are breathtaking. Again - WOW!!!!!! WAAAY too many pics, but couldn't stop stopping to take another shot - it was THAT spectacular!!! :)

My poor friend Sylvia was in boots that gave her blisters, so I had to run back to the campsite and get her sandals and run back up to meet her where she was. Got my extra workout in!
Grinnell Glacier-High Lake Viewpoint TR
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Another great suggestion from Tibber. We took the 8:30 AM hiker express boat across Swiftcurrent Lake, walked 1/3 mile to Lake Josephine and boated across this lake. A ranger lead the hike to Grinnell Glacier. Ranger Rick....really. We started out with a group of 25 but is dwindled down to 14 by the time we headed back. Taking the boat ride, $23 RT, takes the hike from 11 to about 7.5 miles. Beautiful area, but lots of people on the trail...go early in the day.
Grinnell Glacier-High Lake Viewpoint TR
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How my Glacier Natl Park trip came-about: In Nov'05 I purchased a Natl Parks calendar for YR2006. The Aug'06 calendar pic had literally a "breath-taking pic" of a scene in Glacier NP that I was determined to find out where in Glacier this spot was located. After some research, it was confirmed to be a scene from this above trail in GNP.. from this point-on, the "wheels started turning" and a commitment to visit this spot in Glacier National Park became an obsession with me. While camping with some friends at Lockett Meadow in Aug'07 I first brought up the idea of doing a ~2wk hiking trip to GNP in YR2008. I had previously pulled this Grinnell Lake/Glacier calendar pic from the calendar and had it with me on this Lockett Meadow camping trip. After bringing this trip idea up with my friends, I just simply pulled-out this incredible pic and said.."here is why we need to go". I knew it would seal-the-deal and it did! Our plans over the next 11 months became reality, and we three were committed!

Needless to say, for me this was to be a very special day hike in the Many Glacier Section of GNP. For many obvious reasons this is one of the most popular hikes in Glacier, but regardless of the number of people, the outstanding views with varieties of flora and fauna, offset any "too many people on the trail" issues.

There are a number of hike options available in this beautiful area of Many Glacier from the 11 mile R/T hike described in this hike description, to numerous loop hikes around beautiful Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine to lower turquoise blue-Lower Grinnell Lake. There is also a fun and scenic boat ride (that I know HAZ-tibber enjoys) that will lessen the hiking distances.

I was on a mission for this June 30th hike: I was determined to find that special viewpoint where the Aug'06 calendar pic was taken. It was along this Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint Trail between 2.5 to 3.0 miles in and we found it! What a stunning pic location to see in person.. Below lies turquoise blue lower Grinnell Lake with Morning Eagle Falls coming into view below Bishop's Cap and with Angel Wings towering above the lake. In early summer(this late June-July), water streams off Mount Grinnell, tumbling beside and often over the trail in roaring cascades and lacy of Mother Nature's ultimate places to experience! For me, it was truly a humbling experience to witness in person..

Because we were here considered early season(late June-early July) for Glacier Natl Park, there was the possibility that we were not going to make it to the ending Grinnell Glacier viewpoint at the high/upper lake 5.5mls in at 6560'. At 3.5mls in at 5870' we reached a forest service barricade which stated "dangerous snow fields/snow tunnels/ice 100 yards ahead"..After confirming so, we stopped for a lunch break here before proceeding back down to continue our day hike to lower Grinnell Lake and then a loop around Lake Josephine and back to Swiftcurrent Lake and our beginning TH. During our hike above lower Grinnell Lake and our loop around Lake Josephine we saw three Bull Moose enjoying themselves in the lake water. While on the trail hiking out, we were made aware of a close Grizzly bear sighting and after later returning to the Many Glacier Ranger Station we were informed this sighting had caused them to close the trail for the rest of the afternoon. Grizzly bear sightings are taken seriously in Glacier..

Another amAZing day for us in Glacier National Park! :GB:
Grinnell Glacier-High Lake Viewpoint TR
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I just wanted to add this log and pics so that you can see what a treat you would be in for if you chose this hike to Grinnell Glacier while in Glacier Park. Also, if I can do this hike, almost anyone else can. Many of you avid hikers could do this quite quickly along with many other awesome GNP hikes.

This hike is the first major hike I had ever done. It was a ranger guided hike that started at 9AM with the boat ride from Swiftcurrent Lake to the west end of Josephine Lake. There were probably about 25 hikers. It was a lovely day though it got into the 90s during the middle of the day. We were very fortunate for 2 reasons: we got to go on the glacier as sometimes you can't due to accessibility (sometimes you can't even get to the Overlook because of snow on the trail) and we missed the big Roberts fire (man-caused 110,000 acre fire) that started July 23rd and burned a lot of acreage, especially in western Glacier National Park (GNP).

You hike past the deep turquoise-colored Grinnell Lake but you're mostly above it. Half way through the hike up we observed a grizzly bear and her two cubs above us. Not too much later they had made it down the mountainside and were grazing at quite a distance but enough that we could see them. I saw her kick up some dirt as I had zoomed in. On this hike I had my very first digital Panasonic camera and my regular camera so the quality of the pictures is not so hot in many cases.

We had lunch just below the Grinnell Glacier Overlook (about 40 minutes). There is also an outhouse there which is nice so that you can enjoy the rest of your day. It's about another 20-30 minute hike up to the Overlook. Once on top, it is AMAZING. The Upper Grinnell Lake is very small but looks very cold. And of course, you can see all 3 lakes (Lower Grinnell, Josephine and Swiftcurrent). The ranger talked to us a lot about the movement of the glacier and different geological things.

Then we had to manage to get across these rocks where the water was flowing pretty fast. Many decided not to traverse it but if you didn't, you couldn't walk out on the glacier. Once the ranger said it's okay if you get your feet a little wet, I was able to get my mind over my feet to get me across. We then sat out on the glacier for about 20 minutes while the ranger gave us another presentation and showed some pictures he had.

We were on our own on the way back (2PM). Well I ran out of water, ran out of gum, my arms were getting burned from the sun (higher altitude it seems you burn faster), it was hot, there was no shade and I was on the trail mostly by myself and realized "oh ya, there's bears out here so I better talk to myself". And, of course, when I finally got to the bottom the 4:00 boat was full so I had to wait for the later boat which was stressful because I was so thirsty.

When I finally got back to Many Glacier Lodge, I went straight for the gift shop downstairs where I loaded up on huckleberry yogurt (soooooo gooooodddd) and orange pop. I had a good day.

Permit $$

Glacier National Park
$30 per car(week), $12 bike/foot(week), $50 annual View Current Entrance Fees

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Saint Mary,MT: Drive 9 miles north on Hwy 89 to Babb,MT; Then Left Turn onto the Glacier NP entrance road to the Many Glacier Area; Continue on the GNP entrance road passing the park entrance/pay station to a signed Left turn for the Many Glacier Hotel; Continue going west on park entrance road .7mls past this Many Glacier Hotel left turn to the signed Many Glacier Picnic Area/Grinnell Glacier TH parking, a Left turn;
page created by Grasshopper on Jul 21 2008 4:31 pm
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