Hiking Hidden Lakes Trail: Beauty Beyond Words

Glacier Hidden Trail

Glacier Hidden Trail

Glacier Hidden Trail Early July at Hidden Lake Overlook Trail Trout down at Hidden Lake My family on Hidden Lake Trail

Between two-five times per year, I travel to Montana. A visit doesn’t feel complete unless there is a visit to Glacier National Park.

People often ask me, “Which is your favorite park, Yellowstone or Glacier?”

While I absolutely love both, Glacier stands out as my favorite for both the breath of beauty and the close encounters with wildlife.

One of my favorite hikes is down to Hidden Lake. To reach Hidden Lake, you park at the Logan Pass Visitor’s Center.

My first time visiting Logan Pass Visitor Center was in early July (as in the day after the 4th) and I was amazed at the amount of snow at the Center.

I was equally amazed by the Bighorn Sheep that were right there in the parking lot. That day, not being dressed properly, I didn’t venture to the Hidden Lake Overlook.

My next visit was at the end of July and while my sons were fishing, I hiked solo to the Overlook and being from southeast Tennessee, an area that rarely sees snow, I was again pleasantly surprised by having to walk through snow to get to the overlook.

I was like a little girl in the candy store by my close encounters with so much wildlife – from bighorn sheep, to mountain goats to elk. I was fine not having any encounters with the grizzlies.

The next day, I dragged my boys (my youngest son enjoys fishing from a boat and will hike 5 miles to the end of a state park when our boat is unavailable; however, hiking is not his favorite activity) past the Overlook and actually down to the Lake, which quickly became one of my favorite places in the United States to hike.

We walked through a stream filled with huge trout that never moved as we walked through. Mountain goats came within feet of us, they may have come closer; however, I kept my distance being respectful of their wild nature.

As you are hiking to the Overlook and on down to the Lake you are torn between looking at the wildlife and ingesting the magnificence of the mountains and the deep blue hues of the lake. Most visitors stop at the Overlook; however, a few venture down to the Lake.

My then 12 year old son will tell you his favorite hike to the lake was when we encountered some nude sun worshipers.

My eyes must be bad because from the distance I didn’t realize they were nude!

I saw a mountain goat approaching them from behind and wondered if they saw it. When I got my camera to take a picture and focused in, I realized they were nude. Ok… I did get a funny picture…I admit.

We’ve had numerous memorable hikes to the lake.

The most memorable was last July when I took a friend who had never seen the lake. And, unfortunately, on this visit we just made it to the Overlook. I knew we would encounter snow; however, I didn’t realize we would encounter SO MUCH snow.

I’m an avid slalom water skier, wake boarder, etc. I have great balance. However, I felt like a cat on water on the snow on this day. I don’t know if it was because we camped the night prior and I wasn’t well rested or that I just don’t encounter snow that frequently.

Luckily that evening we had hotel reservations at the Village Inn at Apgar, located on the shores of Lake McDonald. The hotel is a bit rustic, built in 1956, however, you literally walk out your front door and you are right on the Lake. It is a favorite place to stay.

The hike to the Overlook was very slick and for every step up the hill I took I felt like I was sliding back down the hill. There were no wide paths and one area we were hugging the side of the mountain and slipping down a no bigger then 12 inch path.

My friend was in front of me and looked back at me and I was literally shaking in my boots.

I had never been so scared!

On my Facebook, I have a picture and mentioned how scared I was and my mother commented that she never knew anything to scare me. I just was not feeling balanced and I didn’t like looking down at how far I would be sliding if I wasn’t sure footed.

I just asked my friend to let me take a deep breath and I kept moving forward. Of course, it was worth it once we got close to the Overlook and encountered all the mountain goats.

No, we didn’t venture down to the lake and I don’t even know if it would have been possible to venture down there without more serious equipment.

Each adventure in Glacier seems so surreal.

One time 5-6 Bighorn Sheep went by us as we were on the road, another time it was just the beauty of Avalanche lake and watching the chipmunks becoming very friendly with everyone.

Seeing grizzlies across the lake at Two Medicine will always be a highlight.

People ask if I get tired of always going to Glacier with so many other beautiful places to see.

Each visit is so different from the last and a year would not be complete without at least one visit to Glacier National Park.

Comments for Hiking Hidden Lakes Trail: Beauty Beyond Words | Glacier National Park

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Jun 27, 2011



Snow in June

by: Sharon

I really like exploring the mountains. Nothing like seeing snow in June. Wish I could do it again

Jun 23, 2011




by: Shelley Abell

My Husband and I also love Glacier, my husband likes to say that we have been there so many times the dogs don’t even bark at us any more…:) Each trip is different and we will keep returning even though we have been there so many times. Shelley

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