My Top 10 National Park Hikes (over 6 miles)
I completed the list of my Top 10 Short National Park Hikes over a month ago, so I guess it’s about time I start the list of my favorite longer hikes. This list will focus on hikes over six miles long.
You probably noticed by now that I love the National Parks and like making lists. In addition to the list of my favorite shorter National Park hikes, I have previously made lists of my Top Ten National Parks, Top 20 Things to See in the National Parks, Top Ten Waterfalls, My Bucket List, and Ten Places You Should Visit Before You Die. So yeah, I enjoy writing these blog posts. I hope you enjoy them, too.
Let me know if you agree with me, want to add other hikes, or want to try some of these out.
My list so far…
10. Mount LeConte – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
9. Cape Alava – Olympic National Park
8. Half Dome – Yosemite National Park
7. Siyeh Pass – Glacier National Park
6. Cascade Canyon – Grant Teton National Park
5. Plateau Point – Grand Canyon National Park
4. Highline Trail – Glacier National Park
Location: Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Northwest Montana.
Distance: There are a couple of different options. I took the Highline Trail from Logan Pass to Granite Park Chalet and back. That was 15.2 miles. Most people take the Highline Trail to the chalet and then go down the Loop Trail to a different spot on Going-to-the-Sun Road, which totals about 11.6 miles.
Elevation change: Around 1,000 feet.
Difficulty: On my totally subjective scale from a 1-10 (10 being the hardest) I would give it a 5 or 6, the elevation change is quite minimal considering the length of the hike. The total length is what makes it somewhat difficult.
Wildlife: I hiked the trail in its’ entirety one time and shorter portions of it the other two times I was in Glacier. I saw mountain goats each time I hiked it. Also saw a ram and a marmot. Grizzly bear sightings are certainly a possibility.
Brief Description: It begins at Logan Pass and passes through a small meadow before hugging a ledge with a steep drop-off above Going-to-the-Sun Road. The trail then leads through the lush vegetation of the Garden Wall for a couple of miles before traversing more high mountain meadows and Haystack Butte. You eventually reach the historic Granite Park Chalet.
Highlight of the hike: The entire trail is essentially at or above treeline so there are constantly great views. As I mentioned above, the trail is also great for wildlife sightings.
Tips: Be very cautious. There are sections with steep cliffs. Also be careful around wildlife and be sure to adhere to park guidelines and keep back from all animals.