We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Only one full day in Glacier

ohio
9 posts
Save Topic
Only one full day in Glacier

We are planning our first trip to the Canadian Rockies Sept 6-19 and will have one day to spend in Glacier (driving from Waterton). We plan on driving the GTTS road either both ways or looping around the east side. Looking for suggestions for short hikes. We are considering St. Mary Falls/Virginia Falls, Hidden Lake overlook, Redrock Lake, or Rockwell Falls trails but need to choose only one or two. What is the one short hike you would recommend to a first time visitor to Glacier? Thanks in advance.

Kelly

AKJ
Bruceton Mills...
Level Contributor
2,526 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

I'd suggest Red Rock Falls. The hike is good and the views getting to the trail head are very good. You can also stop at Fishercap Lake on the same hike and check for Moose.

Hidden Lake Overlook is also nice. We saw Mountain Goats up close on that one. Its at Logan Pass on GTTSR.

You can see pictures of both trails on our website. At least we tried to show what they look like.

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

You can see the buttons at the top

Keep an eye on the weather that time of year.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
Level Contributor
18,001 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

I like your idea of driving GTTS both ways as it provides a very different perspective. Easy enough to do at time of your visit (unless it snows, doubtful).

NJ
Level Contributor
1,485 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

I would consider stopping at logan pass and walking part of the highline trail, you can really get a feel for the park and go as long as you want. i also understand that hidden lake is also nice (but every time i have been at glacier it's been closed due to bear activity!

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
1,552 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

Great advice everyone! I agree with what everyone has said. I have hiked all of these except St. Mary/Virginia Falls. Although I've never done this hike, I would suggest choosing something else because you can see a waterfall anywhere, really, even though these are unique. I think choosing a hike with more views along the way (i.e. Hidden Lake, Highline, Red Rock) would be much better choices.

First of all, I would suggest that you NOT choose Rockwell Falls. I hiked past Rockwell Falls on a day hike to Cobalt Lake once, and while it is a very nice waterfall, hiking there is just not as worthwhile as other hikes. Whether you take the boat shuttle to cut some time or hike around Two Medicine Lake, the views just are not abundant at all. Plus, when you get to the western end of Two Medicine Lake, you will enter some very buggy (mainly flies and mosquitos) territory which will last until you get to Rockwell Falls. Don't get me wrong, the waterfall is very scenic, but I would not choose this hike.

Between Hidden Lake Overlook, the Highline Trail, and Red Rock Lake/Falls, it's a very tough choice. All of them are great for viewing wildlife. Hidden Lake and Highline are especially good for spotting mountain goats while Red Rock is good for moose. If you choose to hike to Red Rock Falls and back, make sure you make the quick side-trip to Fishercap Lake (a short spur trail on the left side of the trail not long after leaving the trailhead will take you to this small lake). Fishercap is an excellent place to find moose, and I would say a majority of those who visit it see at least one moose at the lake. You cannot go wrong with a short hike on the Highline Trail either. If you or another member of your group is scared of heights, however, this is not a good choice, as the first section of the trail has a bit of exposure to be certain. The Hidden Lake Overlook Trail is always a good choice. You'll almost definitely see many mountain goats & you have totally unobstructed views the entire way. The overlook itself is amazing.

So I would say for a short hike, go with either Red Rock Falls, a hike on the Highline Trail, or Hidden Lake Overlook. If I had to choose just one, I would likely give a slight edge to Hidden Lake Overlook just for the variety of views you get as you go along. All of these hikes are top-notch, easy hikes which make for awesome reasons to get out of the car.

Hope this helps,

Sean

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
1,552 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

Also, if you go to the following, you can see some of my photos of Red Rock Lake/Falls and Hidden Lake overlook. The first will take you the album containing Red Rock Lake/Falls and the second will take you to the album containing Hidden Lake Overlook...

…photobucket.com/albums/…

…photobucket.com/albums/…

I forgot to mention that Avalanche Lake is also an excellent choice, although I would consider the other three better.

Sean

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
Level Contributor
18,001 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

Your photos are very evocative of GNP; I'm ready to go back, once again, having looked at them. If you like GNP, you will also like Banff/Jasper. BTW, some of your photos are calendar ready, e.g., the flowers with mountain background, among them. Ohio50, hope his photos suggest an extra day, if it's possible, of course.

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
1,552 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

Thanks very much voyaging! We were actually thinking about going to the Canadian Rockies this summer for vacation but chose to go to Glacier NP again instead. We'll be in Glacier for 5 nights, then go to Yellowstone for a night and Grand Teton for two nights (we have been to Glacier once before and have been to Yellowstone and Grand Teton twice before). I'm planning on doing a lot of hiking in Glacier with 15-20 miles/day being average. With these hikes, I'm hoping to go deeper into the backcountry of Glacier which looks so beautiful. I'll be sure to post photos when I return, although the trip will not conclude until around August 10th.

And, yes, definitely another day would be ideal if possible!

NJ
Level Contributor
1,485 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

TNsoccer thanx for the picture of hidden lake, maybe one day i will be able to hike it. (i've tried 3 times so far and the grizzlies are just too active in the fall around there at least when i have been there!) I debated on glacier but am going up to banff and lake louise in august. i am hoping to get some hiking in at yoho too. again thanx for the pic. now i know i have to get back to glacier!

ohio
9 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

Thanks for all the replies. Based on suggestions, I think we will go with Hidden Lake or Redrock depending on weather and bear activity. One more question, if we choose Redrock, since this is not on the GTTS road so, should we do this before driving the GTTS road (very early in the day) or after? Any real difference between morning and afternoon?

Kelly

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
1,552 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Only one full day in Glacier

I think both morning and afternoon are good times to spot moose in Fishercap Lake, so I think either time would be fine in those regards. I might say that morning may be better simply because in the afternoon you will be hiking into the sun on the way to Red Rock Lake/Falls, whereas in the morning the sun will be shining upon the sides of the mountains you see. Also, Swiftcurrent Lake is usually very calm in the morning & you could get some very nice reflection shots, hopefully. St. Mary Lake usually isn't as calm in the morning, so for the best photos situation, I would suggest hiking in the morning. Also, there is a better chance that you may get some rain/storms in the afternoon rather than the morning, so that's another reason why morning might be better. Either way is fine, though! Be sure to ask any other questions you might have!

Sean