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Grinnell Glacier Trail with kids

florida
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Grinnell Glacier Trail with kids

Hi...

We will be visiting GNP in late July (first time with no hiking experience) with two kids that are 8 and 12. From the trip reports and the pictures I having been looking at I really want to do the Grinnell Glacier Trail but have worries on distance for the kids. I started looking more into it and have found two different choices. First is the boat trip which cuts the route short but I am not sure just how long the hike would be after the boat and how difficult?

Also I see that you can take a horseback ride that lets you get off and walk the last 1/4 mile. At $80 a piece this might be too expensive but would love to know if anyone has actually done this....maybe it would be worth breaking the bank!

Also as a post note....what about the Highland Trail? That first part looks a little scary. But if we could get passed that the views look amazing!

Thanks for any suggestions!!

AKJ
Bruceton Mills...
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1. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail with kids

I'd go with the boat ride unless you're pretty confident in your hiking. We weren't in that good of shape and might not have made it back.

The hike isn't brutal but has some places more vertical than others. Its also gorgeous. If you can, you should schedule it around a ranger hike.

Only you would know about the kids and their energy. We saw kids younger than yours make the hike. When our girls were 8 and 12 they wouldn't have liked it but they would have dealt with it.

The hike is about 3.8 miles up. Coming back down isn't too bad. You just have to watch where you step down in places.

Here's a link to our trip report from Glacier. There's a link at the top where I tried to show what that trail looks like and how spectacular it is.

http://www.alandsuejohnson.com/glacier_np.htm

You also need to walk the Hidden Lake Overlook trail. Very nice trail and not that challenging. We had mountain goats walking with us when we were there.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail with kids

The horseback ride takes you Grinnell Lake, which is not the same as the trail to Grinnell Glacier. You would not be at the glacier at all. (I think the horseback ride takes you to Lower Grinnell Lake, and the lake at the base of the glacier is Upper Grinnell) On the trail to the Glacier, you have a great view of the lakes, but you are up high looking down on them.

We did a horseback ride to Cracker Lake a few years ago, then the horse concession was a different name, and I don't think they are offering that ride any longer. It was a full day ride, and while it was by far the most expensive thing we did on the entire trip, the kids loved every minute of it.

florida
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3. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail with kids

yes I did see that ride too....I think it is about $140...which gets expensive with four...and I wasn't sure if we could handle a full day of riding.

How did you and kids feel after being on a horse all day?

Could you walk the next day? :)

I really want to do a horseback ride with the kids and even though we will be in the Tetons and Yellowstone I think the best views will be in East Glacier.

Thanks!

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail with kids

We picked the Cracker Lake trail ride because I really wanted to see the lake, and the hike was just a little beyond what I thought our kids could do, so I got to see the lake and they got a horseback ride. Incidentally, the lake is fabulous! The funny thing was that we were not at all sore the next day. We all expected it, but were pleasantly surprised. What we did find, though, was that we were absolutely exhausted the night that we did the trip. We got back from the trail ride, decided we were too tired to cook (we were camping at Many Glacier) so we got pizza to go at the Swiftcurrent restaurant, ate it at our campsite, and then actually went to bed before it even got dark! We hiked every day, including several fairly strenuous hikes, and the day on horseback was the only time we were that tired! It was a great day and we all treasure the memories. But it was once-in-a-lifetime, I won't spend that much to do it again.

florida
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5. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail with kids

That sounds great!!

I really want to do a horseback ride in west glacier.

If we can save up the money that might be the one...I wonder how it compares to the Grinnell Lake one. Grinnell Lake is a half day while the other is a full day...$80 as to $125.

Like you said it is once in a life time...I would rather eat soup and sandwiches the whole time and do that!

Thanks for the information!

florida
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6. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail with kids

sorry I meant East Glacier not West Glacier.

7. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail with kids

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