Lake Josephine Loop

Glacier National Park (USA)

Gentle walk around two beautiful lakes.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
9 km
Ascent
103 m
Descent
103 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
1.5 km
Gradient
Lake Josephine Loop Map

If you are looking for an easier hike that still has tremendous views, this is the perfect route. Not much elevation gain is required, yet there are open vistas for most of the way. Another plus is it's easy to make this route into a loop hike. You could also shorten the length by taking the boat ride across Swiftcurrent Lake or Lake Josephine.

Description

Regardless of which direction you make the trek, you will walk through some forest in the beginning. Due to the terrain, this is a popular area for bears and moose, so be on the lookout. The Many Glacier area is known for its high concentration of bears as well as its plethora of great day hikes.

The trail is well-paved as the Swiftcurrent Nature trail is frequently traveled. Once around Swiftcurrent, there is a sandy beach area that is great to explore. This makes for an excellent rest spot, as there is a tremendous view from here. If you are really short on time, you could loop back here, but it is worthwhile to continue to Lake Josephine.

The great views continue as you make your way around Josephine. The surrounding peaks here, such as Angel Wing and the Garden Wall, are spectacular. As with Swiftcurrent Lake, there are a handful of spots to have a nice picnic.

Once ready, continue your way on the other side of the lakes to complete the loop. Located at the beginning of this route, the Many Glacier Hotel is an awesome spot to check out once done. It is a rustic chalet that features glorious views of Swiftcurrent Lake, and it makes a nice spot to have a hearty meal following the trek!

Because this hike is in the same vicinity as many others in the park, you will likely encounter other hikers. However, it isn't overwhelming, since a good amount still take the boat ride instead.

Overall, it is the perfect choice for someone looking for a good route that isn't too strenuous but still packs views.

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

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

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area