Hiking Highline Trail, Glacier National Park

May 12, 2021

Last September, some friends and I made the long-haul drive from Wisconsin to the far side of Glacier National Park. (The East side was closed due to COVID restrictions.) While there’s an album full of images, I wanted to share a few of my favorites from our hike on Highline Trail.

Highline Trail spans 15.2 miles round-trip, with a steep side trail that cost us an additional 2.4 miles (more on that later).

We started the journey around 6am at Logan Pass, where we were greeted with violent winds that nearly knocked us over.

Side note: The pit toilets at Logan Pass had a shared reservoir. Pressure changes in the reservoir (due to the wind) caused strong gusts of air to blast upwards from the toilet. It was a rather unpleasant experience for the user.

We started early on the trail, as common wisdom had it that the Logan Pass parking lot fills by 7am. (If you plan on hiking the full 17.6, you’ll need to start this early anyway.)

The trail greets you with a ledge, as well as a thick cord to hang on (to make sure you’re awake, of course). Luckily, after this, the majority of the trail is smooth-sailing.

Highline trail early in the morning

This is not a photo of the ledge, you can find that in the full album. I’m just posting the pretty photos.

Sun casting light on a ridge

An advantage to being first on the trail is having this view to ourselves."

Sunrise over the mountains

One of my favorite photos of the entire trip.

Daylight over the mountains

The mountains look more cheerful in the daylight.

Distant lake in the mountains

By default, the trail will take you to a small waypoint with a chalet. An extension to the trail takes you on a steep upward hike, ending with a view of Grinnell Glacier.

Hikers at the peak of Highline Trail

Hikers at the top of Highline Trail.

Grinnell Glacier

View of Grinnell Glacier from the top of the trail. Can you see the guy in the upper-right?

Rest stop at the end of the trail, surrounded by mountains

Rest stop at the end of the trail. Not the worst place you could spend the night.

We made a few friends along the way, including a pack of bighorn sheep and a fat chipmunk.

Bighorn sheep

We had to answer a riddle before we could continue.

Bighorn sheep
Bighorn sheep
Fat chipmunk

Kinda cute.

Without a doubt, this was the most arduous hike of the trip – but the unparalleled views were worth it. If you happen to be around this side of Glacier, I would highly recommend this hike.

Group of hikers heading towards home on the trail

Making our way home.