Loop Trail

Glacier National Park

Glacier + Northern Lewis Range, Montana

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Loop Trail


  • This trail wastes no time in gaining great views.- Loop Trail
  • Ascending through fire-scarred forest.- Loop Trail
  • Parts of the trail are quite exposed.- Loop Trail
  • Admiring snowy peaks in the heat of summer.- Loop Trail
  • In 2003 a wildfire charred the forest surrounding the lower 2 miles of trail.- Loop Trail
  • It is amazing to see how the forest regenerates.- Loop Trail
  • The burned forest makes distant peaks easy to see.- Loop Trail
  • July is the best time for wildflowers.- Loop Trail
  • A flower-filled gully near the trail.- Loop Trail
  • Heaven's Peak dominates views from Loop Trail.- Loop Trail
  • Glimpse of Highline Trail from Loop Trail near the junction of the two.- Loop Trail
  • Granite Park Chalet.- Loop Trail
Overview + Weather
Huge views. Links to more trails.
Hot and exposed in burn area.
Glacier + Northern Lewis Range, MT
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,400.00 ft (731.52 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
8.00 mi (12.87 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,200.00 ft (1,280.16 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Loop on Going-to-the-Sun Road is a popular stop in Glacier National Park because of its incredible views of the McDonald Creek Valley and surrounding mountains like Heaven's Peak. If you park or get off the shuttle here, it is worth hiking a short out-and-back on Loop Trail to get a slightly different and uncrowded view.

This is one of the more popular moderate hikes in Glacier, but mostly because of its access to other trails than for its own sake. It is labeled on some maps as Granite Park Trail, but most signs in the park refer to it as Loop Trail, so called because it begins from Going-to-the-Sun Road at the hairpin turn known as the the Loop. The nomenclature is a bit confusing, because the trail on its own does not make a loop, but it can be used along with Highline Trail and park shuttle service between the Loop and Logan Pass to complete a circuit.

Beginning from the the Loop Trailhead, the first half-mile is rolling terrain through a fire-scarred forest. Soon the trail begins to sharply switchback uphill and eventually reaches unburned evergreen forest with alternating shady groves and open meadows. Views are fantastic the whole way. 

After 4 miles of nearly all uphill, the trail reaches Granite Park Chalet and the junction with Highline Trail. From this intersection you can also keep climbing to Swiftcurrent Pass. Take a rest and enjoy the vista from the chalet before continuing on your route or returning back down to the road.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(9 within a 30 mile radius)

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(46 within a 30 mile radius)

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