Arriving at 6,640-foot Logan Pass, the highest point in Glacier National Park accessible by road, visitors will be struck by the diadem of towering mountains – Reynolds, Clements, Canon, and Oberlin, to name a few of the dozen prominent peaks, all of which preside over a kaleidoscope of wildflowers that carpet an alpine basin straddling the Continental Divide.

As the summer progresses, a spray of yellow glacier lilies pushing up through the snow is quickly replaced by a tenacious array of alpine plants that have adapted to a harsh, but beautiful, habitat.

Mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and the occasional grizzly bear lope through the meadows – and even the visitor center’s parking lot – offering spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities.

Logan Pass is extremely popular with visitors and the parking lot is generally full between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Consider visiting this destination by using the free shuttles to avoid the restrictive parking (see our transportation section), or plan to visit early or late in the day if possible.

The dawn light on the mountains provide excellent photographic opportunities, and the chances to see wildlife are greater before the crowds arrive.

Hiking the area’s most popular trails, the Hidden Lake trail and the Highline trail, is the perfect way to build an appetite for a late supper back at camp or your hotel.

For more ambitious hikers eager to bag a peak, try the steep climb to Mount Oberlin, whose saddle connects to majestic Clements Mountain.

TOP HIKES

1. Hidden Lake

The scenic 5.4-mile round-trip hike to Hidden Lake begins from the west side of the Logan Pass Visitor Center.

After climbing the stairway from the building’s backside, hikers will emerge onto a raised boardwalk that is the Hidden Lake Nature Trail, which climbs gently through the alpine meadows known as the Hanging Gardens.

After about 1.3 miles, you’ll arrive at the Hidden Lake Overlook, which offers stunning panoramas of the lake and its surrounding mountains.

Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep, mountain goats, marmots, and even grizzly bears and wolverines.

Head down a series of switchbacks to reach the lake, which lies 770 feet below.

2. Highline Trail

One of the park’s proudest trails, the Highline Trail yields idyllic vistas and affords visitors a quintessential hike across the park’s alpine country.

The Highline Trail tracks 7.6 miles from Logan Pass along the Continental Divide to the Granite Park Chalet, a remote backcountry destination. From the chalet, the trail descends another five miles to The Loop, the Going-to-the-Sun Road’s signature hairpin turn.

It’s a mostly downhill, 4-mile journey from the chalet to The Loop, and the park’s free shuttle system allows visitors to either depart from Logan Pass and hike down to The Loop, then catch a ride back to the visitor center, or park at The Loop, shuttle to the top and hike to the car.

3. Mount Oberlin

Perhaps the most climbed peak in the park, this family friendly adventure is a perfect fit for hikers looking to cut their teeth on one of Glacier Park’s premier summits, but it requires some route-finding, and we recommend consulting a detailed guidebook before attempting the hike.

A climber’s trail leaves the sloped ramp on the north side of the visitor’s center at Logan Pass, leading all the way to the saddle between Clements Mountain and Mount Oberlin.

To gain the summit, carefully follow the rock cairns that are likely present, while relying on the helpful beta gleaned from your guidebook and a burgeoning climber’s intuition.

While the round-trip distance tallies 4 miles, the 1,500 feet in elevation gain will challenge hikers. Allow a half-day to complete this trip.

Bucket List

Ski the Pass

Early-season visitors fortunate enough to visit Glacier Park shortly after the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road opens to vehicle traffic will likely see skiers schussing down the snow-covered mountainsides, or at least the tracks they’ve left behind.

It’s a delight to watch visitors ski, snowboard and sled through the park on a bluebird summer day, and if the activity sounds enticing, you might consider bringing your own set-up.

However, take care to avoid stomping through the alpine meadow’s sensitive vegetation, moss and groundcover as you approach an appealing line.