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Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

Houston, Texas
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Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

We have loved doing the Hidden Lake trail and part of the Highline trail on past trips. They are incredible. If we take the boat ride and take our time with plenty of stops for pictures and admiring the scenery, is Grinnell a doable hike in about a half day? Thanks.

buffalo
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1. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

It really depends on what kind of shape that you are in. It involves about 3 times the elevation gain of Hidden Lake, the length of the hike shouldn't be a problem if you take the boat.

The good news is that even if you don't make it all the way to the Glacier, the views as you go up are great; almost as good as the Highline. You will have spectacular views down on the turquoise-colored Grinnell Lake. I think that you will find it worthwhile even if you don't make it to the glacier.

Beware; there is a small picnic area about .4 miles before you get to the glacier; I would recommend a rest break here as the steepest part of the trail is the stone steps and path from this point to the glacier ( I also encountered into big horn sheep in this area both times I have done the trail).

indiana
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for Glacier National Park
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2. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

We are also in mid 50's and while we enjoy hiking, I wouldn't say we are great physical specimens!! We hiked to Grinnell and back in a little less than 6 hours. We did not use the boat to cut off the 3 miles. Make sure to invest in hiking poles. They really help on the downhill. This hike was the first time my knees had ever bothered me and after that I started using poles. As toddnick said, the hike is beautiful even if you don't get to the glacier. We stopped for many pictures and had lunch at the glacier, so didn't rush at all. And toddnick, on the trail right as you start up the steps after the rest area, we encountered black and grizzly bears! The black was fairly close, but the grizzly about 150 yards away.

buffalo
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3. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

Wow!!!!

Black and grizz......bet not many can say that in one area.....

I've seen grizz on Swiftcurrent Pass Trail (30-40 yards), Pitamakan/Dawson Loop on the way up to Pitamakan (40 yards), Goat Mountain (quite a ways away), and on the Highline Trail (about 70-90 yards below me sitting on a rock and scratching himself)....three of the four solo hiking....

I've seen black bears early in the Grinnell Glacier hike, at Rising Sun Campground, and along the GTTS road....

But the Mountain Goats are my favorite.....one of my favorite days was hiking from Gunsight Trailhead to Sperry and seeing goats pass me on the way up to Gunsight Pass and then at the chalet!!!!

Edited: 03 May 2010, 02:11
Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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4. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

Excellent point on hiking poles from hikes. We (DW and me) had never used them prior to our trip to Glacier, but they were worth their weight in gold. They were really valuable on the Grinnell Glacier trial (actually they were great on all the trails).

We saw several black bears in the GG hike (all cinnamim colored and all from a distance). The Big Horn Sheep were a highlight on this hike. Saw several dozen, some within a few yards of the trail; excellent photo ops!

Spokane, Washington
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for Glacier National Park, Spokane
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5. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

Above posts are right on. Take you time and allow more time and enjoy< if the weather is with you. This is a high bear area, bear prepared and aware and enjoy, it is a stunning place!

AKJ
Bruceton Mills...
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6. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

Not a whole lot I can add. The trail is beautiful. We were in our late 50's when we hiked it and we survived. It didn't begin to be a half day hike though. We struggled back around 5:00 to a cold Moose Drool.

The hiking poles help immensely here and other trails. Helps balance. Helps steping up rocks, etc. The really help catch yourself coming down too. My wife would also tell you to make sure you have good socks. She had problems that proved to be socks that were too thin inside the boots.

Here's a link to some pictures that give you an idea what the trail looks like. If you can't make it to the top, its still beautiful.

alandsuejohnson.com/western%20parks%20trip/g…

Click on the first picture to enlarge it. Then click on the right edge to see the next one.

NJ
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7. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

last time i hiked grinnell i was in my iate thirties, (didn't start my real hiking until i was in my 30's) Did sperry glacier in my mid forties, i am in lousy shape right now (my south dakota hikes last year were long but only modest elevations) taking one's time is the secret. don't think about the "times to hike" in hiking books, use your own measure. for example i also budget 1/2 hour per mile, if the grade is greater than 800 feet of elevation per mile, i expect it could take 45 minutes. i take my time but i get there because i love the journey! and yes i hke with sticks since knee surgery 10 years ago. they help more than your knees, they give you rhythm, keep you aerobic - helping chest expansion, help your hips and keep your balance especial in stream crossings!!!

Mattapoisett, MA
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8. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

Hi -My husband and I are both 60. we have not been to Glacier yet (first trip this September!) but we have day hiked a lot and usually elevation hiking. We've been using hiking poles for years and it's the best thing we ever did. I've seen a lot of young people using them now - it will save them from having knee problems later. I love them for the balance, the knees, the back, etc. AND you actually get a better workout because your arms are always going. Once in a while we won't bring them on a shorter hike and I always miss them.

Sue

9. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

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Houston, Texas
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10. Re: Grinnell Glacier Trail For 50+ Year Olds?

Thanks for all of the great tips and advice. We're looking forward to visiting the park and taking this hike!