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.