Late Summer Hiking on the Grinnell Lake Trail in Glacier National Park

Late Summer Hiking on the Grinnell Lake Trail in Glacier National Park

Exploring Lake Josephine, Swiftcurrent Lake, and Many Glacier Hotel

With the golden hues of late summer descending upon us, the Grinnell Lake Trail in Glacier National Park offers an enchanting opportunity to be surrounded by nature’s majesty. This easy hike reveals the pristine beauty of Montana’s iconic landscapes, all while being serenaded by the distant calls of the park’s fascinating wildlife.

Trail Overview

Starting Point: Many Glacier Hotel
End Point: Grinnell Lake
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Approximately 3-4 hours round-trip

Trail Distances

  • Many Glacier Hotel to Swiftcurrent Lake: 0.2 miles
  • Swiftcurrent Lake to Lake Josephine: 0.8 miles
  • Lake Josephine to Grinnell Lake: 1.1 miles
  • Total Distance: Approximately 2.1 miles one-way, 4.2 miles round-trip

Wildlife Encounters

When hiking Grinnell Lake Trail, always stay vigilant and be prepared to encounter the park’s inhabitants:

  1. Bears: Glacier National Park is home to both black and grizzly bears. When hiking, it’s essential to make noise and carry bear spray. It’s also advisable to hike in groups and avoid leaving food unattended.
  2. Moose: These majestic creatures are frequently spotted near water sources and can often be seen grazing. Though they seem gentle, they can be territorial, especially during mating season or when guarding their young. Always keep a respectful distance.

Breathtaking Views

Throughout your hike, you’ll be treated to views of spectacular mountains and glaciers:

  1. Mount Grinnell: Named after George Bird Grinnell, an early American conservationist, this imposing peak rises 8,851 feet into the Montana sky.
  2. The Salamander Glacier: Perched high above Grinnell Lake, this glacier adds a cool, icy touch to the warm colors of the late summer landscape.
  3. Gem Glacier: This is one of the smallest named glaciers in the park, but its beauty is truly unmatched.


The Grinnell Lake Trail is an absolute must for anyone visiting Glacier National Park in late summer. Its easy accessibility from the Many Glacier Hotel makes it a convenient choice for families or those looking for a more relaxed hike. The reward? Breathtaking vistas, majestic wildlife encounters, and memories to last a lifetime. So lace up those hiking boots, grab your camera, and embark on a late summer adventure you’ll never forget.

Recommended Posts