I’m not exaggerating when I say that the trek to from the Logan Pass Visitor Center on Going-to-the-Sun Road to Hidden Lake in Montana’s Glacier National Park was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever taken.
For most of the three-mile round-trip journey, I was surrounded on all four sides by towering peaks. Some were covered with dustings of snow that looked like powdered sugar gently sprinkled on top. Others were sunny and bare, aside from piles of rocks and bighorn sheep doing their best to blend in with the terrain.
Elsewhere, the aesthetically-pleasing sights became creeks, evergreen trees, alpine meadows, and snow patches that emerged around the trail.
And of course, there’s the payoff at the end: Hidden Lake.
The Hidden Lake hike is a fairly busy one, so expect to see plenty of other tourists on the journey. But the crowds do thin out the further you go, and once you reach the Hidden Lake Overlook, you’ll realize the trip was more than worth it.
I could continue trying to describe the incredible scenery with more grandiose adjectives that feel wholly inadequate, or I could just post the pics from along the route.
Photos from the Hidden Lake Trail
The initial portion of the trail is a paved sidewalk, followed by an elevated boardwalk to keep people off the fragile plants. Clements Mountain (8760 feet) looms large up ahead.
Clements dwarfs a lone hiker:
You have to respect the flowers and shrubs that can thrive in this harsh environment:
Once you get a good distance into the hike, be sure to pause to look around in all directions. The views looking back are just as mind-blowing:
Look to the left to see Reynolds Mountain (9125 feet), which is likely to have snow even in summer:
More peaks than you can count! Click for a larger view:
You can notice all sorts of cool details if you keep your eyes peeled. My hike was led by Carrie from Glacier Guides, who pointed out that some of the rocks along the path have ripple marks from being underwater centuries ago.
Keep an eye out for wildlife as well. Often, the Hidden Lake Trail provides glimpses of mountain goats or grizzly bears, but that was not the case on my visit. Instead, hikers caught a glimpse of a couple marmots hanging out on a rock in the middle of this scene:
Continuing on, the hike passed through patches of snow as I got closer to Hidden Lake.
And finally… behold, Hidden Lake with Bearhat Mountain (8684 feet) towering behind it!
The overlook is the place to read about the Hidden Lake area and take your postcard photos.
If you’re so inclined, you can continue for another 1.5 miles down to the lake itself. But even just hiking to the overlook is guaranteed to provide a ton of great sights and photo opportunities. The entire experience on Hidden Lake Trail was a total nature overdose!