The Highline Trail is one of my most recommended trails to anyone visiting Glacier National Park! The trail is 7.6 miles to Granite Park Chalet, where you can stay the night and hike in the area the next day. Or you can hike down the loop trail, and catch a shuttle back to Logan’s Pass where this hike begins. My favorite way to do this hike is to hike into the Chalet, and all the way back out to Logan’s Pass because the views are absolutely stunning both ways! It’s similar to a loop hike in that the views are spectacular all day long, and you never feel like you’re looking at the same scenery!
No description of this hike would be complete without telling you about the beginning of the trail. It’s a 4-6 foot wide ledge, (picture below) and the drop off is around 100′. There is a cable in place if you’re feeling nervous, but I thought it deserved a mention in case you have a severe fear of heights.
Another reason this hike is so amazing is you almost always see wildlife – generally goats and big horn sheep, but a couple of my friends saw a grizzly and 2 cubs in the distance when they did this hike a couple of weeks ago! The wildflowers are truly a sight to see starting about the second week of July and running through the second week of August. The weather can vary greatly from year to year and this hike can still be under a few big snow fields in July, so bring yaktraxs or come in the beginning of August.
Marmots and other small animals also frequent this trail.
This is one of the views you’ll see on the hike back out! You can see why I always feel like I’m missing out when I do the through hike down past the Chalet! You’ll find yourself wanting to look at the 360º view which is why I love to hike back out the way I came instead of spending half my time looking over my shoulder to see the view behind me.
This hike is also a photographers dream because the mountains you’re looking at in the morning are highlighted by the sun, and the range of mountains you see at the end of the day look back are highlighted by the setting sun – win win all the way around!
On the way to the Chalet, you’ll have great views of Heaven’s Peak (the biggest peak in the above photo). Heaven’s Peak keeps it’s snow pretty much year round, so it always makes for a great picture!
Here we’re crossing one of those last remaining snow fields in mid-July. If you have good boots, and/or balance you really don’t need yaktrax, but many people get their tennis shoes wet which can cause a major blister problem because this snowfield is always located in the middle of the hike.
There is an additional spur to this trail that takes you to a view point called Grinnell Glacier Overlook. Since this post is already out of control with so many pictures, I’ll give you the spur trail in an additional post soon!