This past September Kathy and I had the opportunity to visit Glacier National Park for almost three weeks. During our visit we hiked more than 140 miles throughout the Two Medicine, St. Mary Lake, Many Glacier, Logan Pass and Lake McDonald areas. Many of these hikes were on trails we've already covered on our website, HikinginGlacier.com, but felt they were important in order to provide improved photographs of the iconic scenery hikers will see along those routes. These photos have now been published throughout the site. In some cases we re-hiked trails to update the information previously published on the website. For example, we hiked up to Sperry Chalet to document the damage from the Sprague Fire of 2017 - not only the reconstruction of the historic Sperry Chalet dormitory, but also the damage to the forest you'll encounter as you proceed along the route to the chalet.
During our visit we were also able to hike a few new trails, which have just been added to the site. These are listed below.
All in all, our trip effectively resulted in a minor overhaul of the website. Roughly half the 68 hikes we cover on our site now have new and improved photos, as well updated information pertinent to hikers. Our online guide remains the most comprehensive resource for travelers as they plan their hiking itineraries for their visits to Glacier National Park. The hikes covered on our site are listed in alphabetical order, by difficulty level, by key trail feature, as well as by location within the park. We also provide lists of our top 10 hikes, and the best easy hikes to also help with all your planning needs.
Here are the new hikes we've added to the site:
Belly River Ranger Station - This hike visits the historic Belly River Ranger Station in the northeast sector of the park - just north of Many Glacier. The district contains several historic buildings, including the original ranger cabin constructed in 1912, making it one of the oldest continually manned ranger stations in Glacier National Park. The station also has the distinction of being the only ranger station in the park to be accessible only by trail. It's assumed that it was at least partially built by Joe Cosley, who was among the first six rangers to be hired by the new park. Cosley, a poacher, eventually resorted back to his hunting and trapping ways while working as a ranger. The description for this hike contains a few more details about this legendary figure from the early years of the park.
The Dragon's Tail - This is a great alternative if you're looking to avoid the extreme crowds at Hidden Lake Overlook. Although you'll start-off using the same trail, the "climbers route" to Mt. Reynolds and the Dragon's Tail splits off from the main trail after roughly a mile. Hikers will enjoy sweeping views of Hidden Lake and the surrounding mountains from the east and southeast side of the lake. I loved this hike so much that it now ranks 4th on my list of the top hikes in Glacier National Park.
Upper McDonald Creek Trail - This relaxing hike travels through a lush, old-growth forest more normally found along the Pacific Northwest Coast. Along this route you'll visit Sacred Dancing Cascade and McDonald Falls, and end with a spectacular view of Mount Cannon rising almost 5600 feet above the valley floor. This is a great alternative if you wish to avoid the crowds along the Trail of the Cedars.
Sun Point Nature Trail - This is another pleasant hike that offers outstanding views of St. Mary Lake. It also visits Baring Falls and St. Mary Falls.
S. Shore St. Mary Lake - After visiting St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls the trail continues to a rock outcropping that overlooks St. Mary Lake from its southern shore. From this vantage point, roughly one hundred feet above the lake, you’ll enjoy a commanding view of the peninsula that juts out into the lake across from Sun Point, as well as the mountains rising above the north and northwest side of the lake.
Ramble On: A History of Hiking