Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the entire United States and within the park lies the heavenly Highline Trail. Located in northern Montana less than 100 miles from the Canadian border, Glacier National Park attracts more than 3 million visitors every year. While there are a plethora of outdoor activities in the National Park, a visit to Glacier National Park wouldn’t be complete without a hike on the Highline Trail. The Highline Trail is by far the most iconic hike in the park and one of the most picturesque hikes in the United States.
- Location: Glacier National Park
- Length: 14.9 miles including Chalet
- Difficulty: Strenuous
- Elevation Gain: 2,621 ft.
- Where to Park: Logan Pass
- Type of Hike: Out and Back OR overnight at the Chalet
About the Hike
This iconic hike is the most picturesque hike in Glacier National Park. There are multiple ways to complete this hike including making it an out and back or hiking to Granite Park Chalet. We chose to hike this as an out and back, four miles in and four miles out. We parked close to Logan Pass located off of Going-to-the-Sun Road. We advise you to arrive earlier in the morning (~6:30 am) to guarantee a parking spot. If you’re not in a rush, you can arrive later, but expect long wait times for parking.
The Highline Trail follows the Continental Divide and is filled with stunning vistas, wildflowers, and wildlife including big horned sheep, mountain goats, and grizzly bears. If you’re interested in a day out and back hike, a great place to turn around is at Haystack Pass, around 3.6 miles into the hike. Haystack Pass has spectacular panoramic views and it’s a great stop to enjoy your packed lunch. The Highline Trail is a fairly popular hike so expect a fair amount of people.
The full Highline Trail Logan Pass to Granite Park Chalet hike is 14.9 miles. The Granite Park Chalet is located 7.6 miles into the Highline Trail and has minimalist lodging. The Chalet is a form of a hiker’s hostel with no electricity or amenities. There is a small store where you can purchase packages foods and water, but most advise to pack everything with you. There is also a small communal kitchen with a stove for you to cook food. You need to bring your own sheets and blankets and it does indeed get chilly at night so remember to pack lots of layers!
Please note that if you choose to hike to the chalet and then onwards, you’ll start and finish at different locations. You can normally take a bus, but the buses are not running during COVID. While we didn’t stay at the Chalet, Scott’s parents did shortly after our visit.
What to Pack for the Highline Trail
Depending on the time of year, Glacier National Park can get quite chilly and the temperatures can fluctuate vastly from day to day. Check the weather forecast before heading out on this hike and make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks if you plan to do the full 14.9 miles. Do NOT go on this hike without bear spray as Grizzly bears are known to frequent the area.
Women’s Hiking Boots
Moisture Wicking Top
Men’s Hiking Boots
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