- Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation Type
- More than Full Day Time to Spend
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Named for anthropologist and conservationist George Bird Grinnell, the Grinnell Glacier is one of the most-photographed attractions in the park. The Grinnell Glacier hike is a little more than 10 miles round-trip and, at the viewpoint, reaches 1,600 feet in altitude. Hikers can take a shortcut to the trailhead by using the Glacier Park Boat Company shuttle or catch the trailhead at various points including Logan Pass and the Many Glacier Hotel. If you want to park your car, a free shuttle service runs from all three visitor centers: Apgar, St. Mary and Logan Pass. The early morning boat shuttles from Lake Josephine or Swiftcurrent Lake are popular with hikers, as the boat ride trims several miles off the trail. Reserve a round-trip ticket in advance ($27.50 for adult; $13.75 for children). One-way return-only tickets are available on a space-available basis and can be purchased from the boat captain.
Most recent visitors called this daylong hike a "must-do" and loved the variety of wildlife, from bighorn sheep and mountain goats to marmots and bears. However, reviewers also warned that it's best for physically and aerobically fit individuals due to the altitude and difficult descent. Some suggested taking the boat tour to eliminate several miles of hiking. Many travelers recommended starting the hike early in the day, bringing bear spray, warm clothing and food and drinks, and wearing sturdy hiking shoes. The trail is typically open from early June through late September, depending on the amount of snowfall. Access to the trail is included in your park admission. For more information on day hikes, visit the NPS website.