Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

4.9
#2 of 52 in Trails in Montana
Grinnell Glacier is in the heart of Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. The glacier is named for George Bird Grinnell, an early American conservationist and explorer, who was also a strong advocate of ensuring the creation of Glacier National Park. The glacier is in the Lewis Range and rests on the north flank of Mount Gould at an altitude averaging 7000ft, in the Many Glacier region of the park.The glacier has been one of the most photographed glaciers in the park and many of these photographs date back to the mid 19th century. When compared with images taken over subsequent years, the glacier has obviously retreated substantially. In 1850, at the end of what has been referred to as the Little Ice Age, Grinnell Glacier measured 710acre, including the area of The Salamander Glacier, an ice apron or shelf glacier that used to be attached to Grinnell, but is now separate. By 1993, Grinnell Glacier measured 220acre and The Salamander measured 57acre.Between 1966 and 2005, Grinnell Glacier lost almost 40 percent of its acreage. Glaciologists have predicted that if carbon dioxide levels increase at a worst-case scenario, all the glaciers in the park, including Grinnell, will disappear by the year 2030. However, under a modest increase in overall carbon dioxide levels, some glaciers will remain until the year 2277.
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Grinnell Glacier Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
510 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • We got to the trailhead by 9. Still a few spots left then people start parking along the road too. Nice walk along the lakes. Some people saw a moose right near the parking lot. So good to go early ca...  more »
  • We only went about halfway up the trail, but that alone is worth it. The hike starts in forest along 2 lakes but slowly starts gaining ground. Their are small waterfalls along the trail on one side an...  more »
  • The hike was great. #1 recommendation, did not see any wildlife though, so kinda unlucky there. The trail was well defined and easy to follow and smooth, not many steps. We started around 8 am and the...  more »
Google
  • This is such a spectacular Glacier and one of my favorite hikes of anywhere! I wish I could have seen it years ago before it broke off of Salamander, but I am glad I was able to see it while it still existed. I highly recommend this hike. It does get very busy though, so try starting early and hike safe. There is a lot of elevation to get to this point as well, so be ready for that.
  • Amazing. It's a decently hard hike though so make sure you are prepared (Water, food, bear spray.) I would absolutely do this hike again. The views were so spectacular and the wildlife on the trail was awesome. Again, make sure you're ready for an all day adventure.
  • Picturesque in every way! We hiked up as far as we could but couldn't reach the glacier due to dangerous snow bridges so we hiked down to the lake and soaked our feet before heading back. One of the best days of my life.
  • They say this Glacier will be gone in 8 -13 years so, don't miss your chance. This is one of the most beautiful hikes in Glacier National Park. Hike is challenging and should be planned as all day event. If you like extreme and you there in the summer swimming is and option but for everyone else - dipping you lags in will make you feel like you didn't hike at all and way back will be much easier. There is also lake in the beginning of the hire and swimming there is great way to complete this hike.
  • B-E-A-Utiful. You really owe it to yourself / family to go see this. An all day event- the challenging hike, and picturesque reward atop this crown of the continent- will truly make your trip worthwhile. Welcome to Montana!
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