8 Can’t Miss Hikes in Montana

Montana is a state in the western U.S. that features a wide range of terrain. Glacier National Park, which encompasses nearly one million acres of federally protected territory in Montana, is one of the United States’ most beautiful national parks. The park’s magnificent snow-capped peaks, lakes, and alpine hiking trails are on display along its well-known Going-to-the-Sun Road, which runs 50 miles.

Montana is best known for being home to Glacier National Park – one of America’s best-loved natural treasures with visitors coming from around the world just to see it. But there are so many other places in Montana worth exploring too! From Yellowstone National Park (yes please!) to Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park (definitely!), here are eight of the best hikes in Montana that should be on everyone’s to-do list.

1. Granite Park Chalet Highline Trail – Glacier National Park, Montana

 

●     Difficulty: Moderate

●     Length: 14.9 miles

●     Estimated Time: 8 hours

 

This out and back hike is best known for its jaw-dropping views and abundant wildlife, including mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and bears. The best part? You can enjoy all of this natural beauty while staying overnight in a rustic, historic backcountry lodge.

The trail is open to hiking, backpacking, and camping. The ideal season to go on this popular trek is June through October.

It’s worth noting, however, that much of the route is rather narrow and has steep or sheer drop-offs on one side, so it may not be suitable for people who are afraid of heights.

2. Trail of the Cedars to Avalanche Lake – Glacier National Park, Montana

 

●     Difficulty: Moderate

●     Length: 5.9 miles

●     Estimated Time: 3 hours

 

The hike to Avalanche Lake is one of the most popular treks in Glacier National Park because of the spectacular views you will see on your journey and the incredibly pure blue water of the lake and waterfalls.

The path gradually ascends up Avalanche Creek, which has stunning views and sightings of animals, flora, and various species.

Bears are common on the trails in this region, so be cautious.

3. Lava Lake (Cascade Creek) – Custer Gallatin National Forest, Montana

 

●     Difficulty: Moderate

●     Length: 6.0 miles

●     Estimated Time: 3.5 hours

 

The popular out and back trail to Lava Lake is located near Gallatin Gateway, Montana, and best hiked between June and October. The trail is well-marked, making it easy to follow.

The Lava Lake (Cascade Creek) rises 1600 feet to a stunning lake location surrounded by the Spanish Peaks. The first half of the trail passes through a dense forest.

As you approach the lake, the canyon floor widens with meadows. You may even spot a moose. If you choose to make your trip an overnighter, there are several nice camping locations.

4. Grinnell Glacier Circle – Glacier National Park, Montana

 

●     Difficulty: Difficult

●     Length: 11.2 miles

●     Estimated Time: 6 hours

 

The best time to hike this popular out-and-back route is between August and October. Grinnell Glacier is a must-see for anyone visiting Glacier National Park. This demanding trek has something for everyone, from glaciers to waterfalls to lakes to forests to animals and spectacular sights along the route.

There is a section of drop-offs on the route, and they’re quite steep in certain areas; if you’re afraid of heights, this may be quite difficult.

5. Iceberg Lake Trail – Glacier National Park, Montana

 

●     Difficulty: Moderate

●     Length: 9.3 miles

●     Estimated Time: 5 hours

 

Iceberg Lake is a popular destination near Siyed Bend, Montana. Because this is such a popular area, it’s a good idea to arrive early to begin your journey.

The majority of the route is in open country, with the most forested locations mid-hike. You’ll enjoy a panoramic view for the bulk of the trek.

The trail leads to Iceberg Lake, which is named for the icebergs that float in it year-round. This trail is known for its grizzly bear sightings, so come prepared.

6. Mammoth Terraces – Yellowstone National Park, Montana

 

●     Difficulty: Easy

●     Length: 3.6 miles

●     Estimated Time: 2 hours

 

This popular loop trail is located near Gardiner, Montana, and features a waterfall. Mammoth Hot Springs is a collection of hot springs and travertine terraces.

This is one of the world’s finest examples of hot travertine deposits, which can be found in other locations around the globe.

This easy boardwalk trek offers great views of Mammoth Terraces and the hot springs. Some hikers prefer to stick to the lower loop and avoid the upper loop since they must share the road with cars.

7. Hidden Lake Trail – Glacier National Park, Montana

 

●     Difficulty: Moderate

●     Length: 5.3 miles

●     Estimated Time: 3.5 hours

 

The Hidden Lake Trail is located near Siyeh Bend, Montana. The trail offers stunning views of Hidden Lake and gorgeous wildflowers.

This popular trek passes through alpine meadows known as the Hanging Gardens. Don’t forget the sunscreen at this high elevation, because you can expect a lot of sun and wind.

There is a high chance that you’ll observe mountain goats, marmots, and bighorn sheep in the vicinity of the overlook. There have also been reports of grizzly bears and wolverines in the region.

8. St. Mary and Virginia Falls Trail – Glacier National Park, Montana

 

●     Difficulty: Easy

●     Length: 2.9 miles

●     Estimated Time: 1.5 hours

 

This out and back trail is a paradise for hikers. The popular family-friendly trek passes by several waterfalls and provides stunning lake views.

This easy trail takes you right up next to a number of waterfalls in a little amount of time. It’s a fantastic hike for anyone who is looking for a quick and easy way to appreciate the park’s breathtaking beauty.

In the summer, you can enjoy a dip in the cool water. Also, there are several paths diverging off of this one that will allow you to continue your adventure if you wish.

The best hikes in Montana are great for an adventure and will take your breath away with their beauty. These Montana hiking trails are perfect for hiking enthusiasts of any level of experience who enjoy spending time exploring new trails that can be challenging but also rewarding!

There’s no need to go too far from home when these hikes exist right here on our own soil, so what are you waiting for? Get outside today and explore one of the best hikes Montana has to offer.

Keywords: best hikes in Montana, Montana hiking trails, hikes in Montana

 

Previous Post16 Best Hikes in the Pacific Northwest
Outdoor Gears
The Best Camping Tents of 2021

A leaky, poorly designed tent can quickly ruin a camping trip. But a good tent will keep you comfy and cozy, creating the perfect home base while exploring outdoors.

Best Backpacking Backpacks of 2021

Searching for the best backpacking backpack? After a decade of testing close to 60 different models, our expert reviewers purchased 15 top packs of 2021 for a meticulous side-by-side comparison.

The Best 3 Hiking Boots

Whether you’re on a short day hike with friends or an ambitious backpacking route, you’ll need a good pair of hiking boots to keep your feet protected and your ankles stabilized.

Newsletter Sign Up

Don’t miss out and join our monthly newsletter to know about new adventures, ideas for your next trip, monthly giveaway, and much more! Every month in your inbox.