10 Best Hiking And Trekking Spots In Montana, USA

hiking in montana
| 5 min read

Montana is known for its diverse wildlife, magnificent mountains, unique rock formations, and nature parks. A trip here is sure to provide nature lovers and adventure seekers with a chance to explore different landscapes and wildlife sanctuaries. From wolverines to mountain goats, you can spot a varied range of animals here, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts as well. Apart from that, this place is also famous for its well-trodden hiking trails suitable for everyone. Whether you are looking for a challenging day hike or a family-friendly path, you will find it all here. Check out our list of the 10 best hiking and trekking spots in Montana, USA.

1. Dawson Pass

Best Hiking And Trekking Spots In Montana, USA
Source: Photo by Flickr user David Taylor used under CC BY 2.0

One of the most scenic passes in Glacier National Park, Dawson Pass may be classified as a moderate hike but the rewards are worth the effort. On this hike, you will get a chance to see some gorgeous glaciers, lakes, and even the bighorn sheep. There are two trails to reach this pass, one is the North Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine Campground and the other is at Two Medicine Lake. From the lakeside path, you can take a boat for a faster route. Once you reach Dawson Pass, prepare to be surrounded by spectacular views of Mount Phillips, Mount Stimson, Mount Jackson, Nyack Valley, and a lot more.

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2. Lava Lake Trail

Lava Lake
Source: Photo by user Sam Gardner, U.S.... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Lava Lake Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Montana because of its rewarding destination. While the 6-mi (9.6-km) hike has a steep ascent, it also leads you to the famous Lava Lake which is an alpine lake in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. The trail begins at the Gallatin River and runs along the Cascade Creek, taking you through an evergreen forest. If you wish to hike to the beautiful lake, which is surrounded by treeless mountain ridges, then do plan a visit during the summer and spring months as the trail is easier to cross. Make sure to carry a bear spray with you as you might encounter bears on the hiking trail here.

Lave Lake Trail

Address: 501-901 Cascade Creek Rd, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730, United States

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3. Trail of the Cedars Nature Trail

Trail of the Cedars
Source: Photo by Flickr user Amit Patel used under CC BY 2.0

One of the family-friendly trails, Trail of the Cedars Nature Trail is a wheelchair-accessible trail in Glacier National Park. It is less than a mile long but offers some gorgeous views. This beautiful hiking trail is lined with old red cedars and black cottonwood. Although it’s a heavily trafficked trail, hiking this path will make you feel like walking back in time. On the trail, you will also come across the famous Avalanche gorge which is absolutely breathtaking. To make the most of your time here, take a refreshing dip in Avalanche Lake.

Trail of the Cedars

Address: West Glacier, MT 59936, United States

Website: Trail of the Cedars

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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4. Hidden Lake

Hidden Lake
Source: Photo by user CC-BY-SA 4.0 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you love gorgeous meadows and sunsets, then you should definitely check out Hidden Lake Trail in Glacier National Park. One of the easier hikes in the park, Hidden Lake trail is a 5.3-mi (8.5-km) out-and-back trail and offers some beautiful views on the way. A major section of this trail consists of a boardwalk and a series of stairs to keep hikers above the snow, slush, and mud. After 30 to 45 minutes, you will reach the gorgeous Hidden Lake and the Bearhat Mountain. The best time to hike is during the spring and summer months, especially if you want to swim in the lake.

Hidden Lake

Address: Browning, MT 59417, United States

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5. Sky Rim Trail

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Sky Rim Trail is one of the best hiking trails in Yellowstone National Park as it offers some panoramic views of the mountains. This 21-mi (34-km) loop trail starts and ends at Daily Creek Trailhead and is known to be a moderate to difficult hike. On the trail, you get to take in stunning views of the Gallatin Range and Ramshorn Peak. You will also encounter wild animals along the way such as elk, bighorn sheep, ravens, hawks, marmots, and pikas, to name a few. One thing to remember when you go for this hike is to carry sufficient water with you as there aren’t any water sources here except for the glacier which usually dries up in August.

Sky Rim Trail

Address: Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Website: Sky Rim Trail

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6. Grinnell Glacier Overlook

Grinnell Glacier Trail
Source: Photo by user Distress.bark used under CC BY 3.0

If you are visiting the famous Glacier National Park, then you should definitely consider hiking to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook. One of the most photographed glaciers in this park, Grinnell Glacier Overlook is a difficult one due to the length and the elevation that you need to cover. You can start this trail either from the Logan Pass or The Loop to reach the Grinnell Glacier Overlook. The hike can be exhausting, but if you drink enough water and take rests, you should be able to finish it easily. Once you reach the top, you will be able to enjoy the view of the Grinnell Glacier along with the gorgeous turquoise-colored lakes.

Grinnell Glacier Overlook

Address: Glacier National Park, Glacier County, Montana, U.S.

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7. Siyeh Pass Trail

Siyeh Pass
Source: Photo by Flickr user Tom Blackman used under CC BY 2.0

Love hiking to alpine meadows with amazing glacier views? If so, then you are going to love the Siyeh Pass Trail in Montana. Siyeh Pass Trail is a 10-mi (16-km) loop trail that starts from the Pigeon Pass trailhead. On this trail, you get to cover Preston Park that boasts the most beautiful alpine meadows in this region as well as a majestic view of Mount Siyeh in the north. Once you reach the Siyeh Pass, you will be able to truly enjoy the views around you before making your descent to Sunrift Gorge.

Siyeh Pass Trail

Address: Siyeh Pass Trail, Glacier Rte 1 Rd, Browning, MT 59417, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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8. Swiftcurrent Pass

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Another exciting trail in Glacier National Park that offers amazing views is the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail. On this hike, you get to experience some magnificent waterfalls, magical lakes, and stunning views of three mountains including Mount Grinnell, Mount Wilbur, and Swiftcurrent Mountain. What hikers love about this trail are the aspens that grow alongside the path. This is a long hike as you have to cover 14.2 mi (22 km) in total so make sure that you start early.

Swiftcurrent Pass

Address: Swiftcurrent Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana 59417, USA

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9. Bass Creek Trailhead

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Are you looking for a moderate-level hike in Montana that offers amazing sceneries? Well then, Bass Creek Trailhead will make a perfect addition to your outdoor adventures in Montana. This is a 6.6-mi (10.6-km) hike that features a beautiful lake and best visited from the months of May to October. Also, it’s a perfect hiking trail for light activity like dog walking. Bass Creek Trailhead runs alongside the creek of the same name. The trail is properly maintained but it can be icy or muddy, so make sure that you wear the right footwear for this hike.

Bass Creek Trailhead

Address: Florence, MT 59833, United States

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10. East Rosebud Trail

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

One of the longest hiking trails in Montana, East Rosebud Trail is a 26-mi (41-km) path in the Gallatin and Cluster National Forests. This trail in the Beartooth Wilderness offers you everything you want from a hike. From magnificent mountain peaks to numerous lakes and waterfalls, this hiking trail has it all. In fact, you can enjoy the views of Granite Peak throughout. Since this area is brimming with wildlife, you can expect to see mountain goats, bighorn sheep, black bears, elks, pikas, marmots, and a lot more here.

East Rosebud Trail

Address: Alpine Rd, Roscoe, MT 59071, United States

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Explore the great outdoors of Montana

Excited to plan a hiking trip around Montana soon? With panoramic mountain views, stunning lakes, and diverse flora and fauna, hiking around Montana is bound to be challenging yet fun. To help you plan this adventure, check out the best hiking and trekking spots in Montana, USA.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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