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Highline Trail Out-and-Back

Glacier National Park (USA)

An iconic Glacier National Park trek.

Hiking Difficult

24 km
871 m
871 m
6-7 hrs
Low Point
2 km
High Point
2.2 km
Highline Trail Out-and-Back Map

Despite the fact that this route is absolutely not one for solitude-seekers, it should be on every hiker's to-do list. There are numerous ways to hike the Highline Trail, but the most common place to start is at Logan Pass. From the Visitor Center parking lot, the trailhead is just across the Going-to-the-Sun road. The hike to the Granite Park Chalet is about 12 miles as an out-and-back, but can also be done as a point-to-point to The Loop with a shuttle return to Logan Pass.


The trek begins rather dramatically as a shelf cut into a cliff wall high above the Going-to-the-Sun road. The trail is quite wide, but still inspires nervousness in those with a fear of heights. For those folks, holding on to the cable affixed to the wall provides a bit of comfort and reassurance!

The trail enters a wooded stretch after leaving the airy ledge behind, then travels across open meadows surrounded by imposing views. Along the way, hikers closely pass thin waterfalls pouring down the steep rock walls. Be prepared to get refreshed by the spray! It is absolutely worth slowing down to appreciate spectacular views of Logan and McDonald Creek Valleys way, way down below, marveling at the sheer magnitude of the terrain.

Though the trail ascends very gently, it does steepen a bit as it approaches the saddle at Haystack Butte and passes underneath the Garden Wall. Continuing on the once again gentle grade, a signed trail to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook appears on the right. If the weather is clear and you have enough energy, the extra 8/10-mile steep climb will reward the added effort with acclaimed views of the Grinnell Glacier and Upper Grinnell Lake. If the clouds are thick and low, the glacier and lake will, unfortunately, be hidden from view.

From the intersection, the historic Granite Park Chalet is a mellow 3/4-mile stroll away. The chalet, an official National Historic Landmark, was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1915. Hikers can make reservations to stay in the beautiful historic lodge, but must backpack into the location. For most, the chalet is a popular day hike destination that makes a scenic picnic location with picnic tables and pit toilets.

After enjoying a picnic lunch, hikers can return to Logan Pass via the same route, or take the Granite Park Trail down to The Loop shuttle stop for a ride back up to the pass. The latter option creates a 14.5-mile point-to-point trek.



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between June and September


  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area