One of the most popular hike in Glacier National Park is the trail off of the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road called Hidden Lake. This trail starts up in the alpine meadows at Logan Pass putting visitors into the heart of Glacier’s high country.
While standing at the visitor’s center, look across the parking lot to the scree-strewn slope for bighorn sheep who frequent the flanks of Pollock Mountain. From the visitor’s center, the trail starts off paved and quickly goes to a boardwalk with steps to gain elevation. All around you are big alpine meadows that usually have some flower in bloom. Peaks are around you in any direction and you get a sense for what backpackers experience all over the Park.
You head up to the low point between Reynolds and Clements mountains with a little bit of the trail skirting the moraine off of Clements Mountain. The trail levels off here and you begin to encounter mountain goats. They see plenty of visitors, so they get close, but, like all wild animals, they can be very dangerous, so give them space.
Once over the little saddle, you come to the overlook with a wonderful view of Hidden Lake with Bearhat Mountain right behind it. A look south and you can see Sperry Glacier tucked away on Gunsight Mountain.
While most visitors turn around here, the trail continues at a slow elevation for a bit, then changes to a fairly steep set of switchbacks that lead you down to the lake’s edge. The lake is just as beautiful at the bottom and gives another nice look at the lake, this time with Reynolds Mountain as its backdrop.
This is where Hidden Creek comes out of the lake and tumbles and falls into Avalanche Creek.
If you drive Going-to-the-Sun Road, the 1.5 miles to the overlook is well worth it… and, I’d argue, the 1.5 miles down to the lake is as well.
8 responses to “Hidden Lake”
Beautiful pictures! I have yet to do the 1.5 miles down to the lake, but hopefully this summer I will get the chance! I love this hike!
A hike is a hike, no matter how small! I have done this hike with most of my grandchildren and early in the summer, it is usually 70% over snowbanks, with a couple of scary points for small children.
“A coyote whose name is Wolf”…funny!
Agreed on both accounts!
I have been to Logan Pass three times and have hiked the trail once and have never seen a goat. You guys in the Flathead area are so fortunate to live so close to such a beautiful place. I’ll trade you the Florida beaches any day.
What?! You need to come back then! Let me know next time you come up and we’ll go find a goat together okay? 😉
We are heading here in a few days, have never been, and I have been trying to do my homework on all accounts. For the Logan Pass area, could we park at St. Mary and use the free national park shuttle to drop us off at Logan Pass and then pick us up later and return us to St. Mary? I’m trying to figure out how the free shuttle system works and guarantee us a way to go on certain hikes without having to worry about no parking available when we get there…
We would also like to do the Iceburg lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel trail, St. Mary and Virginia Falls trail, and Avalanche lake trail. All day hikes, our youngest is 11 years old and we don’t know exactly what he can handle yet…Any info you have on these is great too. Again, I have read many articles and have been doing my homework as best I can, just getting last minute jitters at this point.
Can I buy your guides in the stores near the park?
Hello Laura! Yes, you can hop on the shuttle at St. Mary and take it back there. My recommendation would be to get there early so you don’t have to wait long in line. The later in the morning, the longer the lines. 🙂
As far as those hikes go, I’m not sure as to his fitness, but chances are he could do all of those trails. I see kids far younger making it to all of those destinations. Iceberg will be the biggest, but definitely doable. The beginning of that hike is a little steep, but it quickly mellows out for a nice gradual climb to the lake. You can always turn around if you need to, but it’s definitely worth it!
Yes, you can pick up my guides in and around Glacier. Check out my retail stores for some ideas. https://hike734.com/retail-stores/