Hidden lake Overlook in Glacier National Park is one of the most popular hikes for it’s incredible views. It’s also a short hike great for kids because you’ll often see mountain goats as well.
The trail for Hidden Lake Overlook starts near the visitor center at Logan’s Pass in Glacier National Park. We’ve hiked this in everything from snow shoes (in June) to toe shoes (in August) depending on the month.
The trail is only 2.7 miles round trip, and the elevation gain is 540 feet, making it one of the easier hikes in the park. The views are breathtaking because your starting elevation is so high. All around, it’s the best bang for your buck so-to-speak if you’re looking for a shorter hike.
I love doing this hike early in the season before it gets extra crowded. Also the snow clinging to the peaks makes the view even grander.
Here we are at the overlook, and Hidden Lake is still partially frozen. Even though there’s still a lot of frozen tundra, signs of life are beginning to appear. In a couple of weeks the Glacier Lilies start blooming, and the meadows turn to gold with their bright color.
Many people coming to Glacier for the first time are shocked to discover there’s this much snow in July! I figure forewarned is forearmed, so don’t forget good footwear, and maybe even some Yak Traxs when you visit Glacier.
I’ve seen people every year making their way up in flip flops. Obviously this alone is hard enough, but coming back down is almost impossible without some traction.
Early in the season, you’ll see parts of the boardwalk trail peeking out from the snow. By August the snow is gone, and it’s mostly boardwalk trail as you climb upwards toward the lake.
The views are simply stunning for such a short and easy hike. So despite the crowds I always recommend this one for sheer beauty alone. One other thing to note, is even though this is a relatively easy hike in Glacier, the altitude can make it seem a bit harder.
If you’re looking for more short hikes, be sure and check out my Top 3 Short Hikes in Glacier National Park for more inspiration!
10 thoughts on “Hidden Lake Overlook”
Hi Kari, is the Hidden Lake Overlook trail open in early June?
The Hidden Lake trailhead begins at Logan’s Pass which normally opens in the beginning of July and the soonest it’s usually open is is the 3rd to 4th week in June.
IS THERE a shuttle to Hidden Lake from St. Mary’s visitor center?
Love your post. thanks. donna
Hi Donna, the shuttle schedules are always changing, so it’s best to check directly with the Glacier National Park website for the most accurate information.
I’m really enjoying your blog, especially the stories and tips regarding Glacier.
We visit the USA every year, have been to many National Parks and we’ve been to Yellowstone even 5 times !
So far, we have not been to Glacier, which has been on our to-see-list for many years.
We live in the Netherlands and hope to visit Glacier in September 2019. Maybe a little earlier, that depends on if we get the time off from work.
Since we live in the low countries (about sea level !) altitude might be our biggest “problem” at the start of our trip.
I’m reading a lot about Glacier trying to figure out how many nights we want to stay in the park. We probably will stay about 3 nights in the Many Glacier area and maybe 2 or 3 nights in the west part of the park. We don’t camp so I have to look for motels/hotels or lodges in and around the park.
Thank you for this blog, I haven’t read all of it yet but I’m getting there :).
I’m so glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the blog, and I hope you have the best time when you visit Glacier! You will definitely notice a difference in the altitude when you come, but luckily most people start adapting right way. I’m including a couple of links for you incase it helps you in planning, (although you might have already read them). Also be sure and let me know if you have any questions!
Tips for Glacier:
Favorite hike on the west side:
Favorite hikes in Many Glacier:
Can you tell me how far this hike is from Kalispell?
I think it’s around 70 miles or so, but depending on summer traffic/construction delays it can easily take 2 hours to get there.
All these people posting pictures of mountains and Glacier lately are making me CRAZY. Crazy, I tell you. The midwest is NOT for me….long-term. Well, short-term for that matter, but it’s looking like it’ll be long-term. *sigh* Thankful for our blessings here, but man, I miss the Northwest. People just don’t understand.
Once you’re in Glacier, you understand! I’ve been lucky to get out so much this year. There have been too many years without much hiking!