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Looking for the best family hikes in Glacier National Park to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones? Look no further! In this blog post, I’ve curated a list of the top 25 hikes that are perfect for families (even babies!). Whether you’re seeking breathtaking views, wildlife sightings, or simply a fun outdoor adventure, Glacier National Park has it all.
Family hikes organized by Glacier National Park entrances
Glacier National Park is huge. You’ll undoubtedly spend a lot of time in the car getting from place to place, so it’s fun to break up each drive by stretching your legs and taking a hike.
There are seven entrances to Glacier National Park. I’ve organized Glacier’s best hikes for families by the entrance to make it easier for you to plan your family hiking adventure.
The following entrances grant access to Glacier National Park and have a variety of hikes nearby:
- Camas Creek Entrance
- Cut Bank Entrance
- Many Glacier Entrance
- North Fork Entrance
- St. Mary Entrance
- Two Medicine Entrance
- West Glacier Entrance
Always Check the Latest Trail Conditions
Before we jump into my list, I want to share an important step to remember when hiking with kids and babies. Always, always, always check the trail conditions before setting out on your hike.
Download the AllTrails app (it’s free for iOS and Android) and read the latest reviews posted by fellow hikers. They will often mention if a trail is flooded or if they spotted any wildlife on the trail. The app is so popular there is likely a review posted within a day or two of your hike, so you can be sure you know what you’re getting into with your family.
For additional advice when it comes to hiking with a baby, read this blog post where I was honest about the rookie mistakes I made on my first hike with Baby P.
Now, Let’s Hike!
Now that we’ve taken care of a little housekeeping, let’s dive into my favorite hikes that are perfect for families near each of the national park’s entrances.
- Family Hikes Near Camas Creek
- Family Hikes Near Cut Bank
- Family Hikes Near Many Glacier
- Family Hikes Near the North Fork
- Family Hikes Near St. Mary
- Family Hikes Near Two Medicine
- Family Hikes Near West Glacier
Family Hikes Near Camas Creek in Glacier National Park
Discover this amazing 3.8-mile trail located near the Camas Creek entrance of Glacier National Park! It’s the perfect spot for a family hike in Glacier National Park. This trail is known for being easy and can typically be completed in just 1 hour and 31 minutes. You’ll love exploring this trail because it’s not crowded, giving you plenty of space to enjoy nature. Whether you visit during the summer or winter, this trail is always stunning.
Forest and Fire Nature Trail
This .9-mile loop trail is perfect for a family hike in Glacier National Park. It’s considered an easy route, so anyone can enjoy it. On average, it takes about 19 minutes to complete, giving you plenty of time to soak in the breathtaking scenery.
Not only is this trail great for hiking, but it’s also a popular spot for birding and leisurely walks. Even during busier times, you can still find moments of tranquility and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.
Family Hikes Near Cut Bank in Glacier National Park
If I’m being really honest, there aren’t any hikes for families that I’d recommend around the Cut Bank area. It’s a more remote area and while there is a campground, it is small and secluded. The Cut Bank trailhead nearby is closed at the time of this writing, and it’s unclear why. I’m not familiar with any other hikes in the area.
If you know of a family-friendly trail near Cut Bank, send me a message! I’ll check it out and add it to this list.
Family Hikes Near Many Glacier in Glacier National Park
Come and explore the amazing 3.7-mile trail near the Many Glacier entrance of Glacier National Park! It’s an easy route that usually takes about 1 hour and 18 minutes to finish. This trail is a hotspot for camping, fishing, and hiking, so be ready to meet fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Don’t miss out on the best times to visit, which are from May to October. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure since there’s a good chance of seeing a moose during this hike. Bear sightings are also a possibility, so be bear aware and make sure your kids know what to do if they see one.
Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail
This 2.6-mile loop trail follows the beaches of Swiftcurrent Lake in Many Glacier! It’s an easy route that typically takes about one hour to finish. The majority of this trail is paved making it very accessible for people of all abilities. This area is incredibly popular for birding, fishing, and hiking, so you’ll definitely run into other people enjoying the great outdoors while you’re exploring. There is always a good possibility of seeing a variety of wildlife in Many Glacier, so be ready for anything and keep your eyes peeled.
The Fishercap Lake hiking trail in Many Glacier offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and Fishercap Lake, a small alpine lake. You’ll be immersed in the beauty of nature, surrounded by towering trees and the peaceful sounds of birds chirping. The trail is easy, and the reward is well worth it. You’ll have the opportunity to spot various wildlife, including moose and grizzly bears, along the way. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll want to capture the stunning scenery that lies ahead. A telephoto lens will help you get up close and personal with the wildlife while maintaining a safe distance.
This is a longer hike of about 6.9 miles, but it can be shortened to about 2 miles roundtrip by taking Chief Two Guns, a beautiful and historic boat across Swiftcurrent Lake, and Morning Eagle, a second boat that crosses Lake Josephine. If you’re hiking with kids, I highly recommend adding the boat tour to the beginning of your adventure because it creates an unforgettable experience on the water paired with a short nature hike to one of the most beautiful lakes, Grinnell Lake.
The trail is a must-do for families. There’s virtually zero elevation gain and the trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the crystal-clear waters of the lake. It’s an easy hike, with a well-maintained path that takes you through lush forests. It opens up at the end with views of Grinnell Glacier and the opportunity to take a cold plunge in Grinnell Lake. Along the way, you might even spot some wildlife, such as mountain goats or bears.
Family Hikes Near the North Fork in Glacier National Park
Hidden Meadow Trail
Hidden Meadow Trail in Glacier National Park is an absolute gem. It’s located near Polebridge, which is a memorable stop in and of itself. With its breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife, this 2.5-mile out-and-back trail is a must-visit for anyone seeking an unforgettable outdoor experience. As I hiked through the trail, I was treated to stunning views of towering mountains, lush green meadows, and rewarded with views of a beautiful alpine lake at the end. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, making it accessible to hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, I encountered various wildlife, from graceful deer to majestic bald eagles soaring overhead.
I love hiking in Glacier National Park, and one of my favorite easy trails is the Covey Meadow Hike. This 2.3-mile out-and-back trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and a chance to immerse yourself in the park’s natural beauty. The trail is well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, you’ll come across a variety of wildflowers and enjoy views of the mountain peaks. The flowers add amazing pops of color to the landscape. This is a lovely walk through the woods and if you love wildflowers as much as I do, this will become one of your favorites.
Hiking along Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park is an exhilarating experience. The breathtaking beauty of the surroundings, with its crystal-clear waters and towering mountains, is simply awe-inspiring. This is a longer out-and-back trail, however, it has minimal elevation gain and hugs the lake, which I love. The first 3 miles are an easy hike that you can make as long as you want. When you’ve had enough, simply turn back!
When I hiked this trail with my husband and baby in July 2023, we had a close encounter with a black bear. This is a remote trail with a high potential for bear sightings, so bring bear spray and be bear aware. Make sure you and your kids know what to do should you encounter a bear on the path.
Family Hikes Near St. Mary in Glacier National Park
Hidden Lake Overlook at Logan Pass
Hidden Lake Overlook at Logan Pass is a very popular trail, so I recommend arriving early to get a parking spot. You’re almost guaranteed to see bighorn sheep and mountain goats on this 2.7-mile out-and-back trail, which is a fun bonus for the kiddos. The trail is often closed due to bear activity, so don’t be surprised or disappointed if that turns out to be the case once you’ve arrived at the top of Going-to-the-Sun Road where the trailhead is located.
The breathtaking views on the drive up the continental divide to the trailhead make the effort worth it even if you don’t get to do the hike. There is still plenty to explore.
If the trail is open, you’ll be surrounded by stunning alpine meadows and vibrant wildflowers. And when you finally reach the overlook, prepare to be amazed. The crystal-clear waters of Hidden Lake glisten in the sunlight, surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks. It’s a sight that will leave you in awe. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can continue your hike down to the shores of the lake.
St. Mary and Virginia Falls Trail
The St. Mary and Virginia Falls Trail is an incredible 3.1-mile out-and-back hiking experience. It’s a relatively easy trail with stunning views of St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls. The path takes you through lush forests and along babbling creeks. I was amazed by the beauty of the falls when I finally reached them. The powerful rush of water and the mist in the air created a truly magical atmosphere. This trail is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and those looking for a memorable adventure. And don’t forget to bring your swimsuit!
The Baring Falls hike in Glacier National Park is an incredible and easy .7-mile out-and-back hike. The trail takes you through stunning landscapes and offers breathtaking views. The highlight of the hike is, of course, Baring Falls itself. The cascading waterfalls are mesmerizing, with water tumbling down into a crystal-clear pool below. It’s the perfect spot to relax and take in the beauty of nature. The hike is well-marked and easy to follow, making it a must-do for anyone visiting Glacier National Park. Don’t forget your camera, because you’ll want to capture this unforgettable experience.
Beaver Pond Loop
I absolutely love the Beaver Pond Loop. It’s a fantastic 3.5-mile hiking trail that offers breathtaking views and a great chance to see some incredible wildlife: beavers (obviously), moose, and even bears. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, making it perfect for hikers of all skill levels. If you’re looking for a picturesque and wildlife-filled adventure, I highly recommend checking out Beaver Pond Loop.
Sun Pointe Nature Trail
Sun Pointe Nature Trail is a breathtaking 1.9-mile out-and-back hiking trail that offers stunning views of the park’s natural beauty and if you like wildflowers, this is the hike for you. While it’s a popular trail, there are opportunities to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings. As you walk along the trail, you’ll be treated to magnificent vistas of St. Mary Lake and towering mountains. The trail is well-maintained, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
Family Hikes Near Two Medicine in Glacier National Park
Running Eagle Falls
Running Eagle Falls is absolutely breathtaking. This stunning waterfall is a short .7-mile hike that is perfect for families. The crystal-clear waters cascade down the rocky cliffs, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. The sound of the rushing water fills the air, and while it’s a popular trail due to its accessibility and waterfall reward, it’s a must-do. This happens to be where Clark proposed to me after nervously following me as I scaled some rocks to get a closer look. It was an unforgettable experience and I’m truly grateful to have experienced such a memorable moment at such a natural wonder.
Twin Falls via Two Medicine West End Boat Dock
The hike to Twin Falls is a 7-mile hike, however, it can be shortened to 2 miles by climbing aboard Sinopah, the oldest boat in Glacier Park Boat Company’s fleet. The boat will take you across Two Medicine Lake where a trail will lead you straight to the falls. Visitors can purchase a one-way or round-trip boat ride ticket, so you’re guaranteed a ride home if you’d like to keep your hike short. There’s a chance of moose sightings around this area, so be prepared and don’t get too close!
The Paradise Point hiking trail offers breathtaking views and a chance to immerse oneself in the beauty of nature. The hike is short at only 1.4 miles. The trailhead is located south of the Two Medicine Campground and only has about 154 feet of elevation gain making it a perfect family hike. You’ll see wildflowers and there’s potential to see wildlife like bears, so always be bear aware. Bring your swimsuit because there’s a great place to dip in the lake before you turn around and make your way back.
Appistoki Falls is an easy 1.3-mile out-and-back hike that starts east of Two Medicine Lake. It’s a popular trail with great wildflowers and a waterfall at the end. The waterfall is a little hard to see since it’s so far away from the trail, but it’s still worth the short hike nonetheless. There’s less than 150 feet of elevation gain and the trail is well-marked and maintained making it a great hike for families.
Family Hikes Near West Glacier in Glacier National Park
Trail of the Cedars
The Trail of the Cedars is an accessible and must-do hike for nature enthusiasts. This beautiful trail takes you through a dense forest of towering cedar trees, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The trail is well-maintained and offers a leisurely stroll, making it accessible for all skill levels and abilities. As I walked along the trail, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder at the sheer grandeur of the ancient cedars surrounding me. There is educational signage explaining what you can look for as you learn about the different varieties of trees, plants, and animals that live there. It’s one of the most popular hikes in the park so be prepared to circle the parking lot and be patient as you search for a place to park. The Trail of the Cedars trailhead is located off of Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Avalanche Lake Hike
The Avalanche Lake hiking trail is absolutely stunning. The trail is about 4.6 miles round trip and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and creek. The trail starts at the Trail of the Cedars and follows along Avalanche Creek, which adds a soothing soundtrack to the hike. There is an elevation gain of about 500 feet, so it’s not necessarily an easy climb, but it is manageable for kids. I hiked it with a baby on my back, a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old. Once you reach the lake, you’ll be in awe of the crystal-clear water and the towering mountains reflecting on its surface. It’s truly a sight to behold. There is a pit toilet near the lake in case the urge hits. This trail is so popular that you’re not likely to see much wildlife past an occasional deer.
Johns Lake Loop
The Johns Lake Loop hike is an easy 1-mile hike that is well-marked and easy to follow, making it perfect for hikers of all skill levels. As of this writing (July 2023), part of the trail is closed for construction, but don’t let that stop you. This hike is still a great way for families to stretch their legs along Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The Rocky Point hike in is a must-visit trail offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and Lake McDonald. The trail is relatively easy, but starts out a little steep. It’s a 2-mile out-and-back trail with 229 feet of elevation gain. The path is well-maintained and clearly marked, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable hiking experience. As you ascend, the scenery becomes increasingly stunning, with vibrant wildflowers dotting the landscape. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic vista that will leave you and your kiddos in awe.
Upper McDonald Creek Trail
Upper McDonald Creek Trail is a breathtaking hiking trail that I absolutely love to take my baby, Parks, on. The trail is on the longer side at 5.6 miles out and back, but keep track of your distance and simply turn around when you’re ready. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and crystal-clear McDonald Creek. Along the way, you’ll encounter beautiful wildflowers, towering trees, and maybe even spot some wildlife.
The McDonald Falls trail is an amazing hike for families in Glacier National Park. It’s very short and mostly flat, making it perfect for everyone. Plus, you’ll get to see some breathtaking views along the way. This trail is actually the first part of the Upper McDonald Creek Trail. As you walk alongside the creek, you’ll have the chance to admire the distant mountains and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the beauty of the creek.
Oxbow Trail starts near Apgar Village and meanders through the forest with views of McDonald Creek. It’s a 1-mile out-and-back trail with an opportunity to see some wildlife. For such a short and easy hike, the access and views of the river set the stage for a relaxing and reflective walk through the woods.
Fish Creek Bike Path
Yes, this is a bike path, but that doesn’t mean it’s not also a great walking trail for families. This 2.3-mile out-and-back pathway only gains 150 feet of elevation, making it a very easy and relaxing walk through the woods. It’s accessible from the Fish Creek Campground making it a fun and easy way to get some exercise during your family camping trip.
It’s Time to Hike!
Glacier National Park offers an abundance of family-friendly hikes that promise to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Whether you’re seeking breathtaking vistas, serene alpine lakes, or the chance to spot majestic wildlife, these 25 handpicked hikes have something for even the littlest adventurers.
From the hidden gems near the Camas Creek entrance to the awe-inspiring hiking trails at Many Glacier, and the scenic wonders near St. Mary and the Two Medicine area, to the tranquil beauty near West Glacier, each hike offers a unique and enriching experience. The landscapes and ecosystems vary in a way that will make you feel like you’re in a whole new worth with each hike.
While exploring the vast expanse of Glacier National Park, you can break up long drives with invigorating walks, allowing you to fully appreciate the park’s diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife. Remember to check for trail conditions and bear activity before setting out, and always come prepared with bear spray and knowledge of wildlife safety.
Whether you embark on the trail to Running Eagle Falls, take in the panoramic vista from Johns Lake Loop, witness the splendor of Hidden Lake Overlook Trail at Logan Pass, or stroll through the ancient cedars on the Trail of the Cedars, each hike promises to leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.
So, gather your family, pack your essentials, and set out on an adventure of a lifetime. Glacier National Park awaits with a variety of hikes for families, promising a journey filled with wonder, discovery, and cherished moments that will be treasured for years to come.