Grinnell Glacier Hike

It's time to see the remaining Glaciers of GNP- by boat & foot!


Grinnell Glacier 1941

Glacier National Park is famous for its beautiful glaciers, but did you know that in 1850, Glacier National Park had 150 of these beauties? Today, only 25 remain large enough to be considered functional glaciers.

Grinnell glacier 2013

What can we do about it?  Well, their demise is inevitable, as much as we try to do our part environmentally.  We can appreciate the glaciers by experiencing them with our loved ones!

The Grinnell Glacier Hike is the easiest way to get up close to a glacier in GNP, and we highly suggest you do so this summer.

photo by Anders Olson

Grinnell Glacier was named for George Bird Grinnell, who is credited with coining Glacier as the “Crown of the Continent.”  Grinnell was one of the early Americans who explored the park and he certainly made his mark on the Many Glacier Valley, as there are two lakes, a Glacier, a mountain, and an arete (Grinnell Point), all bearing his name.

glacier_grinnell map


The hike is about 7.5 miles round trip from our upper boat dock on Lake Josephine, and the trail is typically open by mid July.  You can also hike from the Many Glacier Hotel or from the official trailhead which is the parking lot west of the Hotel entrance (12 miles round trip without the boat cruise).

Grinnell Glacier Waterfall

The Grinnell Glacier hike is a great way to see an abundance of wildflowers, great views, geology, and wildlife.  You even get to hike through a waterfall!  This trail is a hallmark of Glacier National Park, and is a favorite among visitors for countless reasons.

View of Grinnell Lake from the Grinnell Glacier Trail

Of course, we recommend you take the boat- it is nice to learn more about the area and the geology on your way out, and the return is a relaxing way to end your hike as well, just make sure to watch the times so you are back in time for the last boat!  See our Many Glacier Schedule here.

For a preview of the Grinnell Glacier Hike, this video details the experience and the geology, and our boats the Morning Eagle and Chief Two Guns make an appearance, too!

The boats fill up fast for this popular trip. Schedule your Reservations with us today!

*Learn even more about Glaciers here.

*Check trail statuses here.