Grinnell Lake Trail

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This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
11.4 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
107 m
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Directions to Trailhead

Grinnell Lake Trail begins from Many Glacier Hotel and takes you through stunning scenery of glacier-fed lakes. As you gaze at the beautiful mountains in the distance across from Grinnell Lake, you can see the water running down creating tiny waterfalls. This hike, although somewhat long, does not entail much elevation change.

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Route Description for Grinnell Lake Trail

Grinnell Lake Trail is a stunning hike through the wilderness. There are some areas of this hike that do not provide a lot of shade, so be sure to come prepared. There is a large parking lot at the Many Glacier Hotel; however, it can fill up quickly, especially in the summer months, so starting on an early morning or late afternoon hike will help minimize parking issues.

This hike wraps around the three beautiful lakes, Lake Josephine, Swiftcurrent Lake and Grinnell Lake. The hike begins on Swiftcurrent Foot Trail as you disappear into a forest full of lodgepole pines and firs.

After hiking for 1.2 km, you will arrive at a junction which has two trails around Josephine Lake. Head left onto South Shore Josephine Lake Trail and at 0.3 km, head right. The Piegan Pass Trail will come up and you should head straight through this junction.

At 1.4 km, you will reach a boathouse and see the North Shore Trail. Continue left here to stay on track for Grinnell Lake. You will come across a suspension bridge, and shortly after, the trail turns into a wooden plank walkway that hangs over small creeks until you reach the gravel shore of Grinnell Lake.

The views from Grinnell Lake are breathtaking, showcasing glacier water running down through the Continental Divide and pine trees surrounding the aqua blue water.

After taking in the beautiful views, continue on the path, following the trail signs until you reach the end as this is a circuit trail.

Insider Hints for Grinnell Lake Trail

  • Stay at the Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake to extend your hike holiday.
  • If you would like a more challenging hike, take the North Shore Josephine Lake Trail, which is also clearly marked throughout this hike. See spectacular views of the lakes!
  • Hop on the ferry at Josephine Lake to take in the views.

Getting to the Grinnell Lake Trail Trailhead

To get to Grinnell Lake Trail from Babb, head East toward US-89 South and turn right. Follow Route 3 for 20.3 km, and arrive at your destination.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June - October

  • Backcountry Campsites


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type


Grinnell Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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