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The Loop Trail

 3.7 (10)

The trail takes you from burn area through subalpine fir forest to alpine meadows with premium views

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Map Key







6,675' 2,034 m


4,260' 1,299 m


2,506' 764 m


103' 31 m



Avg Grade (7°)


Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Bring bear spray.

Runner Notes

Trail gets hot in the afternoon. Trail is also the route for the horse concessionaire bringing visitors and supplies up to the chalet.


This trail starts at the large switchback on Going-to-the-Sun Road called The Loop.

The trail begins by traveling mostly level through an old burn area. You cross over a lovely creek and the views are great, but are filtered through silver tree snags still standing. This area also offers little protection from the sun and, in the afternoon, can be blistering hot for those coming down after taking the shuttle to the top and pairing this trail with the Highline Trail.

The trail begins to wrap around the rounded ridge giving you views of Flattop Mountain as you begin to climb. This area contains many shrubs with berries and is popular with black bears and grizzlies, so keep your eyes peeled and make plenty of noise. The silver trees gradually begin to give way to open meadows and the trail spends more time on the edge of steeper terrain freeing the views up from the silver snags to more open views. The higher up you go, the more expansive the views are.

The trail comes to a nice switchback with great views up alpine meadows before crossing through tall shrubs, then into the unburned stands of subalpine fir. From here, the forest is cooler and has pocket meadows in addition to the trees. This change of habitat adds to the number of flora and fauna species while giving you respite from the sun.

Eventually, you work your way just below Granite Park Chalet. The Granite Park Campground Trail splits to the left and you continue right and see the old chalet. The trail pops out along a nice ridge with fantastic views looking south to Logan Pass with Heavens Peak dominating the views to the west. The trail continues and joins up with the Highline Trail which has traveled along the Garden Wall, and you turn to Granite Park Chalet set beneath rocky peaks with steep walls and meadows full of flowers.

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

Flora & Fauna

Wide variety of flowers from fireweed and globe mallow to glacier lilies and huckleberries in the higher elevations. Wildlife can vary from deer to mountain goats to bighorn sheep and black and grizzly bears. Birding is great as it varies greatly from the woodpeckers and finches in the burn area to the jays, grouse, and rosyfinches up high.


Shared By:

Jake Bramante

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 10 votes


in Lake McDonald


  3.7 from 10 votes
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15 Views Last Month
1,407 Since Sep 3, 2015



Looking at the Continental Divide from the trail from Granite Park Chalet on the way to the Loop.
Jan 31, 2016 near Red Roc…, MT
View from The Loop Trail below Granite Park Chalet.
Jun 9, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT
Water tank of some sort. Looking NW from the Chalet.
Aug 24, 2017 near Swiftcu…, MT
Waterfall overlook.
Nov 10, 2015 near Red Roc…, MT
Stellar sunset views from the Granite Park Trail.
Jun 8, 2016 near Red Roc…, MT
Trip video of the Highline Trail from Logan Pass to the Loop.
Jun 9, 2016 near Swiftcu…, MT



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Jul 10, 2017
Michał Pawlak