Grinnell Lake

Distance: 7.0 miles (loop)

Glacier National Park, near Many Glacier in Glacier Natl Park, MT

Grinnell Lake on a clear day

Grinnell Lake on a clear day


Combine the north and south shore trails around Lake Josephine to create an easy, scenic day hike to exquisite Grinnell Lake, set amid a spectacular cirque. Glaciers along the flanks of the cirque feed photogenic waterfalls that tumble down steep cliffs to the lake’s western shore.
See Trail Detail/Full Description

  • Distance: 7.0 miles (loop) to Grinnell Lake Loop
  • Elevation: 4,820-ft. at Trailhead
    5,050-ft. at Grinnell Lake Loop
  • Elevation Gain: 230-ft. to Grinnell Lake Loop
  • Difficulty: easy
  • More Hikes in:
    Many Glacier / St Mary / Glacier Natl Park, MT

Why Hike Grinnell Lake

This easy hike travels to scenic Grinnell Lake, set in a stunning amphitheater beneath the towering walls of Mt. Gould, the Garden Wall and Mt. Grinnell. Melt water from the Grinnell Glacier tumbles down beautiful waterfalls and into the western end of lake.

The route as described travels along the north shore of Lake Josephine and returns via the south shore trail. Rugged Grinnell Point towers over the north side of the lake while Allen Mountain (9,376-ft.) rises to the south. Mt. Gould (9,553-ft.), the Garden Wall along the Continental Divide and Mt. Grinnell (8,851-ft.) fill the skyline above the head of the lake.

This hike is a great hike for anyone looking for an easy day. It is also a good option when the weather is less than optimal for hiking to the high country.

Hikers can ride the tour boat leaving from the Many Glacier Hotel to shorten the hike to Grinnell Lake. The round trip boat tour will shorten the hike to 2.4 miles (round trip). Taking the boat one way and walking the north shore trail the other direction will reduce the hiking distance to 5.8 miles.

Elevation Profile

Grinneell Lake Elevation Profile

Trail Resources

Trail Detail/Full Description / Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:
Many Glacier / St Mary

Region Information:
Glacier Natl Park, MT

Other Hiking Regions in: