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Grinnell Glacier Overlook



0.9 mile 1.4 kilometer point to point
43% Runnable


Ascent: 970' 296 m
Descent: -41' -13 m
High: 7,561' 2,305 m
Low: 6,613' 2,016 m


Avg Grade: 22% (12°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Jake Bramante

This short, steep trail leads you to the top of the Garden Wall overlooking the Grinnell Glacier.

Jake Bramante

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Bring bear spray.

Runner Notes

Very steep.


This popular spur trail off of the Highline Trail is very steep, but the epic views are worth it. Approximately 0.7 miles southeast of Granite Park Chalet, a signed trail breaks off. It travels through the rocky slopes of the Garden Wall. From the moment you take off on the trail, you have incredible views which are a feast for the eyes as you catch your breath.

As you climb, there really isn't any relief from the steep ascent for the short, 0.8 miles. Along the way keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and hoary marmots who frequent the area. This trail feels more like a goat trail than a traditional trail, but the footing is secure all the way up to the wall where it steeply drops off to incredible views.

This trail takes you to the Continental Divide. Views from the top look down on Grinnell Glacier, the Salamander (formerly part of Grinnell Glacier, but now a separate, hanging glacier) and the surreal, turquoise Upper Grinnell Lake. Sheer cliff faces add more drama as if more drama were necessary. A panorama of jagged mountains are in every direction.

You may need to duck around the corner to get out of the wind which can blow pretty hard in this area. The effort is absolutely worth it.

This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to run.

Flora & Fauna

Dry, alpine flowers such as moss campion and buckwheat are found amongst the shale. Bighorn sheep, marmots, pikas, and golden-mantled squirrels can be found in the talus while mountain goats can be seen in the cliffs. Bears can be seen in this area as can wolverines for the lucky few.


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  4.9 from 19 votes


in Many Glacier


  4.9 from 19 votes
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Atop the Glacier Overlook, Upper Grinnell Lake and Grinnell Glacier stand out as the dominant features. Angel Wing (left-center), Mount Gould (top-right), and Salamander Glacier (bottom) also appear.
Aug 9, 2018 near Swiftcu…, MT
View of Grinnell Glacier from the overlook on the Garden Wall Trail.
Jan 24, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
View from the Grinnell Glacier Overlook along the Garden Wall
May 10, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
Looking back toward Granite Park Chalet.
Aug 24, 2017 near Swiftcu…, MT
Grinnell Glacier & Grinnell Lake
Aug 24, 2017 near Swiftcu…, MT
Descending toward Granite Park Chalet.
Aug 24, 2017 near Swiftcu…, MT