Glacier National Park Hiking Road Trip – 3, 7, and 10 Day Itineraries!

A few photos and hiking itineraries and best hikes from Glacier National Park, Montana
A few photos from Glacier National Park, Montana

Or, what to do with 3 days, 7 days, or 10 days in Glacier National Park.

To me, Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the country.  (North Cascades National Park and Grand Teton National Park give it a run for its money, but those are topics for other posts.)  From the roads, the trails, the lakes, and more, there’s so much spectacular scenery to see!  I’ve put together three day hiking itineraries of some of the most scenic trails in the park – for 3 days, 7 days, and 10 days.

Hikers at Haystack Pass on the Highline Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
Hikers at Haystack Pass on the Highline Trail

Each day contains suggestions for an easier and more difficult hiking trail (or trails) as well as where to stay each night so you’ll be in position to hike the next day.  You’ll want to get an early start no matter what hike you take, since the parking areas fill up quickly in the summer months.

Remember that you’re always welcome to swap around days and hikes!  These itineraries are only suggestions.  Want to spend two days in Two Medicine?  Take it from the 10 Day Itinerary.  Want to hike the Highline Trail but also Hidden Lake?  Swap out another day’s itinerary so you can do both.  Really, the opportunities are almost endless!

3 Day Hiking Itinerary in Glacier National Park

What to do with 3 days in Glacier National Park, Montana
Map of the 3 day hiking itinerary

Day 1 – Going to the Sun Road

Hidden Lake on a sunny morning, Glacier National Park, Montana
Hidden Lake on a sunny morning

Easier Hikes: Hidden Lake (3.0 miles) and any combination of St. Mary’s Falls, Virginia Falls, and Baring Falls (0.8-5.2 miles).

Strenuous Hike: Highline Trail (7.6-15.1 miles).  The trail can be completed as an out & back to Haystack Pass (7.6 miles), out & back to the Granite Park Chalet (15.1 miles), or as a shuttle hike down to the Loop (not recommended).

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb.

Total Miles for Day 1: 3.8-15.1 miles

Day 2 – Many Glacier

Stormy day over Grinnell Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Stormy day over Grinnell Lake

Easier Hike: Grinnell Lake (3.0-8.2 miles).  Hike the scenic route along Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine or take the boat shuttle ($) to the far end of Lake Josephine.

Strenuous Hike: Grinnell Glacier (7.6-11.2 miles).  For a shorter hike, take the boat shuttle ($).

Sleep in St. Mary, Two Medicine, or East Glacier

Total Miles for Day 2: 3.0-11.2 miles

Day 3 – Two Medicine

Running Eagle Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana
Running Eagle Falls. PC GlacierNPS

Easier Hikes: Running Eagle Falls (0.6 miles) and Aster Park Overlook with a side-trip to Aster Falls (4.0 miles)

Strenuous Hikes: Scenic Point with a side-trip to Appistoki Falls (8.0 miles)

Total Miles for Day 3: 4.6-8.0 miles

7 Day Hiking Itinerary in Glacier National Park

What to do with 7 days in Glacier National Park, Montana
Map of the 7 day hiking itinerary

Day 1 – Going to the Sun Road

Logan Pass from the Highline Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
Logan Pass from the Highline Trail

Easier Hikes: Hidden Lake (3.0 miles) and any combination of St. Mary’s Falls, Virginia Falls, and Baring Falls (0.8-5.2 miles).

Strenuous Hike: Highline Trail (7.6-15.1 miles).  The trail can be completed as an out & back to Haystack Pass (7.6 miles), out & back to the Granite Park Chalet (15.1 miles), or as a shuttle hike down to the Loop (not recommended).

Sleep in St. Mary or West Glacier

Total Miles for Day 1: 3.8-15.1 miles

Day 2 – Going to the Sun Road

Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Avalanche Lake. PC NPS Natural Resources

Easier Hike: Avalanche Lake (4.5 miles)

Strenuous Hike: Siyeh Pass (10.0-10.4 miles).  You can complete the trail as an out-and-back or as a shuttle hike from Siyeh Bend down to Sunrift Gorge.

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb.

Total Miles for Day 2: 4.5-10.4 miles

Day 3 – Many Glacier

Upper Grinnell Lake below the Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana
Upper Grinnell Lake below the Grinnell Glacier. PC SridharSaraf

Easier Hike: Grinnell Lake (3.0-8.2 miles).  Hike the scenic route along Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine or take the boat shuttle ($) to the far end of Lake Josephine.

Strenuous Hike: Grinnell Glacier (7.6-11.2 miles).  For a shorter hike, take the boat shuttle ($).

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb

Total Miles for Day 2: 3.0-11.2 miles

Day 4 – Many Glacier

Iceberg Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Iceberg Lake

Easier Hike: Ptarmigan Falls (5.0 miles).  It’s very difficult or impossible to get a good view of the falls, but the views along the trail are spectacular.

Strenuous Hike: Iceberg Lake (10.1 miles) or Ptarmigan Tunnel (10.7 miles)

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb

Total Mils for Day 4: 5.0-10.7 miles

Day 5 – Many Glacier

Red Rock Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana
Red Rock Falls

Easier Hike: Red Rock Falls (4.0 miles).  For a fairly easy, beautiful, and longer hike, continue up to Bullhead Lake or even into the Swiftcurrent Amphitheater (8.6 miles).

Strenuous Hike: Swiftcurrent Pass (14.8 miles).  For a very long, but stunningly beautiful, day, continue up to the Swiftcurrent Lookout (17.6 miles).

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb

Total Miles for Day 5: 4.0-17.6 miles

Day 6 – Many Glacier

Views over Lake Josephine, Glacier National Park, Montana
Views over Lake Josephine

Easier Hike: Lake Josephine Loop (5.8 miles)

Strenuous Hike: Cracker Lake (12.2-14.2 miles) (or the Ptarmigan Tunnel (10.7 miles))

Sleep in St. Mary, Two Medicine, or East Glacier

Total Miles for Day 6: 5.8-14.2 miles

Day 7 – Two Medicine

Views from the Aster Park Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
Views from the Aster Park Trail. PC daveynin

Easier Hikes: Running Eagle Falls (0.6 miles) and Aster Park Overlook with a side-trip to Aster Falls (4.0 miles)

Strenuous Hikes: Scenic Point with a side-trip to Appistoki Falls (8.0 miles)

Total Miles for Day 3: 4.6-8.0 miles

10 Day Hiking Itinerary in Glacier National Park

What to do with 10 days in Glacier National Park, Montana
Map of the 10 day hiking itinerary

Day 1 – Going to the Sun Road

St. Mary's Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana
St. Mary’s Falls. PC Lee Coursey

Easier Hikes: Hidden Lake (3.0 miles) and any combination of St. Mary’s Falls, Virginia Falls, and Baring Falls (0.8-5.2 miles).

Strenuous Hike: Highline Trail (7.6-15.1 miles).  The trail can be completed as an out & back to Haystack Pass (7.6 miles), out & back to the Granite Park Chalet (15.1 miles), or as a shuttle hike down to the Loop (not recommended).

Sleep in St. Mary or West Glacier

Total Miles for Day 1: 3.8-15.1 miles

Day 2 – Going to the Sun Road

Siyeh Pass Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
Siyeh Pass Trail

Easier Hike: Upper McDonald Creek Trail (5.3 miles)

Strenuous Hike: Siyeh Pass (10.0-10.4 miles).  You can complete the trail as an out-and-back or as a shuttle from Siyeh Bend down to Sunrift Gorge.

Sleep in St. Mary or West Glacier

Total Miles for Day 2: 5.3-10.4 miles

Day 3 – Going to the Sun Road

Mt. Brown Lookout, Glacier National Park, Montana
Mt. Brown Lookout. PC GlacierNPS

Easier Hike: Avalanche Lake (4.5 miles)

Strenuous Hike: Mt. Brown Lookout (10.1 miles)

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb

Total Miles for Day 3: 4.5-10.1 miles

Day 4 – Many Glacier

The stream below Hidden Falls en route to Grinnell Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
The stream below Hidden Falls en route to Grinnell Lake

Easier Hike: Grinnell Lake (3.0-8.2 miles).  Hike the scenic route along Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine or take the boat shuttle ($) to the far end of Lake Josephine.

Strenuous Hike: Grinnell Glacier (7.6-11.2 miles).  For a shorter hike, take the boat shuttle ($).

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb

Total Miles for Day 4: 3.0-11.2 miles

Day 5 – Many Glacier

Iceberg Lake Trail en route to Ptarmigan Falls, Glacier National park, Montana
Iceberg Lake Trail en route to Ptarmigan Falls

Easier Hike: Ptarmigan Falls (5.0 miles).  It’s very difficult or impossible to get a good view of the falls, but the views along the trail are spectacular.

Strenuous Hike: Iceberg Lake (10.1 miles)

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb

Total Mils for Day 5: 5.0-10.1 miles

Day 6 – Many Glacier

Swiftcurrent Pass Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
Swiftcurrent Pass Trail

Easier Hike: Red Rock Falls (4.0 miles).  For a fairly easy, beautiful, and longer hike, continue up to Bullhead Lake or even into the Swiftcurrent Amphitheater (8.6 miles).

Strenuous Hike: Swiftcurrent Pass (14.8 miles).  For a very long, but stunningly beautiful, day, continue up to the Swiftcurrent Lookout (17.6 miles).

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb

Total Miles for Day 6: 4.0-17.6 miles

Day 7 – Many Glacier

Cracker Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Cracker Lake

Easier Hike: Lake Josephine Loop (5.8 miles)

Strenuous Hike: Cracker Lake (12.2-14.2 miles)

Sleep in St. Mary, Many Glacier, or Babb

Total Miles for Day 7: 5.8-14.2 miles

Day 8 – Many Glacier

Apikuni Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana
Apikuni Falls. PC -ted

Easier Hikes: Apikuni Falls (1.7 miles) and the Swiftcurrent Nature Trail (2.7 miles)

Strenuous Hike: Ptarmigan Tunnel (10.7 miles)

Sleep in St. Mary, Two Medicine, or East Glacier

Total Miles for Day 8:  4.4-10.7 miles

Day 9 – Two Medicine

Views along the trail to Scenic Point, Glacier National Park, Montana
Views along the trail to Scenic Point. PC Jeremy Bronson

Easier Hikes: Running Eagle Falls (0.6 miles) and Aster Park Overlook with a side-trip to Aster Falls (4.0 miles)

Strenuous Hikes: Scenic Point with a side-trip to Appistoki Falls (8.0 miles)

Total Miles for Day 3: 4.6-8.0 miles

Day 10 – Two Medicine

Views from the Dawson Pass Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana
Views from the Dawson Pass Trail. PC David Taylor

Easier Hike: Twin Falls (2.3 miles).  Note that you can add 4.8 miles to your total hike if you don’t want to take the shuttle boat ($).

Strenuous Hike: Dawson Pass (9.4 miles).  Note that you can add 4.8 miles to your total hike if you don’t want to take the shuttle boat ($).

Total Miles for Day 10: 2.3-14.2 miles

Tips and Notes

An entrance fee of $35, valid 7 days, is charged to enter Glacier National Park.  America the Beautiful National Park & Federal Lands Passes and Glacier Annual Passes are accepted.

Campgrounds and lodging are full most of the summer.  Reserve in advance or expect to be driving quite a distance to lodging or camping.

Most popular parking areas in the park are full by 10am – Logan Pass is often full by 9am.  Get to the trailheads early!

The season to visit Glacier National Park is short – usually from mid- to late-June to mid-October.

Snowstorm in July from the Swiftcurrent Lookout
Snowstorm in July from the Swiftcurrent Lookout

Rain is normal in Glacier National Park, especially in the summer months.  Bring rain gear and enjoy the hikes anyway!  (Assuming it’s not thundering!)

I’ve never had much issue with the altitude in Glacier National Park, even when I’ve come straight from living at 300ft. above sea level.  However, you may need to acclimate yourself for a day or two by hiking lower elevation trails like Avalanche Lake, the waterfalls in the St. Mary’s area, Grinnell Lake, Cracker Lake, Red Rock Falls, or Iceberg Lake.  Staying hydrated and active can help you avoid altitude sickness symptoms.

Remember to Leave No Trace and be considerate of other visitors!

Zoom map out to browse nearby hikes & places of interest

This Week’s Featured Product!

This is probably one of the best nearly-unknown books on Glacier National Park!  The author has hiked extensively in the park and shares his knowledge of the trails.

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