Glacier National Park Kid-Friendly Hikes | Family Adventures in Montana

Glacier National Park Kid-Friendly Hikes | Family Adventures in Montana

From posing for a family photo at the end of a breathtaking hike, roasting marshmallows while sharing camping stories, to sleeping under the stars, the outdoors are a great bonding experience for families. High up the list of the US’ indelible outdoor experiences is the picturesque Glacier National Park, a breathtaking escape for families.

Glacier National Park, nestled in the pristine wilderness of Montana’s Rocky Mountains, is a natural wonderland known for its rugged terrain, breathtaking vistas, and diverse wildlife to offer unforgettable experiences for visitors of all ages.

With over 700 hiking trails dotted across the park, Glacier National Park is a melting pot begging to be discovered. Among these are several hiking trails to scour with your little ones. Without further ado, here are the five most kid-friendly hiking trails in Glacier National Park.

Before you get lost in our blog, be sure to browse our Wanderful Storefront for all our favorite travel products, gear and must haves!

This post includes affiliate links. It’s super important for us to be transparent with our Wanderers! If you click on one, we may receive a small, but wanderful commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for WANDERING with us!

Hidden Lake Overlook-2.7 miles (Roundtrip)

The Hidden Lake Overlook trail starts from the Logan Pass visitors center, winding westward up the mountain. It’s worth noting that parking at Logan Pass fills up quite early in the day, so if you prefer to drive your car rather than take the shuttle, aim to reach there by 8 a.m.

The Going To The Sun Road is only accessible for a limited part of the year due to snow conditions. If it is when you happen to visit, take advantage of its availability for this stunning hike.

While spotting wildlife is never guaranteed, this trail offers an excellent chance to encounter marmots, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and perhaps even more mountain goats. It’s essential to remember that these are wild animals, so it’s crucial to maintain a respectful distance.

Along the trail, you will find several excellent spots for capturing memorable photos, and the boardwalk is spacious enough for convenient stops to savor the breathtaking vistas.

Upon reaching the overlook, you can either return from there or extend your adventure by descending the 1,000-foot switchbacks. However, you must hike back up if you choose the latter option!

Trail of the Cedars-1 mile (Roundtrip)

This trail is the most beginner-friendly option on our list, yet it is one of the most beautiful in Glacier National Park. It’s well-maintained and suitable for strollers or wheelchairs, making it accessible for everyone. Trail of the Cedars is a short one-mile round trip with so much to offer families.

The trail has a generous width, allowing kids plenty of space to roam freely. Also, there are multiple spots where you can veer off the path, providing opportunities for kids to run and play to their heart’s content.

The true gem of this trail is its waterfall. Its unexpected appearance as you cross the bridge is nothing short of amazing. A bright blue waterfall and creek right in the midst of the trail epitomize the beauty that Glacier National Park has to offer. The course forms a loop, guiding you back to where you began. If you are new to the outdoors or if you want to introduce your little ones to hiking, Trail of the Cedars is the perfect option to do so in Glacier National Park.

Virginia Falls-3.6 miles (Roundtrip)

If you are seeking an easy yet awe-inspiring waterfall hike, this trail is tailor-made for you. Situated just a few miles east of Logan Pass, the St. Mary’s Falls Trailhead is where your journey will begin.

The only downside here is the limited parking at the trailhead, but it more than makes up for it with a breathtaking experience like nowhere else in Glacier National Park. This 3.6-mile round-trip hike introduces you to two of the park’s most magnificent waterfalls.

Your journey begins with a visit to St. Mary Falls, showcasing its most impressive flow, especially during the spring months. You will progress along the trail, enjoying the picturesque scenery before stopping at the breathtaking Virginia Falls.

For those yearning to get up close and personal with this natural wonder, a fantastic spur trail leads right to the base of the waterfall. Exercise caution, though, as the falls exhibit considerable power, and the surrounding terrain can be slippery. This delightful hike entails a manageable total elevation gain of 525 feet, and the experience is undoubtedly worth every step of the way!

Avalanche Lake-4.6 miles (Roundtrip)

Avalanche Lake offers a captivating out-and-back trail that winds along Avalanche Gorge, ultimately leading you to the picturesque Avalanche Lake. During your hike, take your time to spot wildlife and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery that Glacier National Park is renowned for.

Upon reaching the lake, you can explore its surroundings or simply bask in the mesmerizing views from the shoreline. A spectacle of waterfalls awaits at its far end, treating you to breathtaking vistas. It’s an ideal spot to pause, savor a picnic lunch, and dip your toes into the invigorating mountain water before beginning your descent.

You will also encounter the awe-inspiring Avalanche Gorge, where rushing waters create a mesmerizing spectacle. This well-traveled trail is breathtaking and suitable for a wide range of age groups, making it an excellent choice for a family adventure.

Rocky Point Nature Trail-1.9 miles (Roundtrip)

This short hike offers a delightful stroll along the picturesque Lake McDonald, leading to a lookout point with panoramic views of the Apgar Visitor Center area across the lake. You will encounter several charming creek crossings and meander along the enchanting shores of Lake McDonald—a real treat for the kids. Given the ample time spent hiking near the water, be sure to carve out some moments for play and exploration, allowing the children to engage in rock-throwing and adventure.

Continuing along the trail, it gradually winds through the lush forest, providing glimpses of stunning alpine vistas. Upon reaching the summit, you will be rewarded with a magnificent lookout spot overlooking McDonald Lake. Here, you will also find large boulders, perfect for sitting, taking pictures and playing. This idyllic setting offers an ideal spot for a leisurely picnic amidst the beauty of Glacier National Park.

Hiking with kids in Glacier National Park is a magical adventure that can ignite a lifelong love for the outdoors and appreciation for our planet’s beauty. With proper preparation, choosing the right trails, and fostering a sense of wonder, you can create cherished family memories that will last a lifetime in this remarkable wilderness setting. So, pack your backpacks, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready for an unforgettable family journey through the Crown of the Continent.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner