Hey guys! Welcome to my blog post on hiking the incredible Highline Trail of Glacier National Park. My name is Justine (@justineewald) and I’m a 23 year old from the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I’m an event coordinator by day and an acoustic guitar playing singer/songwriter by night.
As a kid, my parents took me on the best vacations – always somewhere warm with beaches and palm trees. But when my sister and I were old enough to travel on our own, we decided to visit Zion National Park. At 20 years old, it was the first time I had ever seen mountains. I was in awe! We have had the travel bug to keep visiting national parks ever since.
Hiking 4 Miles of the Highline Trail
Recently, we decided to take a visit to Glacier National Park. All it took was a quick Google search to find out what trails were must-do’s there and then deciding on the Highline Trail as one of the best options. After driving on Going-to-the-Sun Road and being able to see the trails from our car, we knew that we wanted to get even closer to the views that we were seeing!
We started the Highline Trail at Logan’s Pass and hiked 4 of the 12 miles to the first viewpoint. This took us about four hours to complete. It might have been a little faster if we hadn’t stopped to take so many pictures along the way, but it’s just impossible not to! The trail is decently narrow and you are truly walking on the mountainside which is an awesome feeling.
Because you are so close to the edge, they do have a rope for you to hold onto for guidance. But the rope is not needed if you are okay with heights. One of the hardest parts of the Highline Trail is trying to look where you are going because you just want to keep your head turned looking at the mountains the whole time – you feel completely immersed in the scenery!
How Challenging is the Highline Trail?
This trail gives you a front row seat to the mountain skyline – an even closer look at what you see when driving on Going-to-the-Sun Road. The trail was most consistently rock. You pass through a few tree lines and other greenery at points. Highlights were walking through waterfalls and seeing where they begin, making you feel even higher than you already were.
The first four miles are well suited for non-experienced hikers. There is a rope to brace yourself for comfortability in the beginning as you get used to walking on the trail. There was a steep incline for the switchbacks when approaching the end of the four miles and viewpoint. This will make you want to take breaks because your legs will be on fire, but it’s worth it!
The hardest part of the Highline Trail was when we explored the viewpoint. We stopped here and it was a steep, rocky incline to the top (a little slippery coming down due to the rock dust) – but again it was worth putting in the effort to feel like you were above the view you were seeing before.
My Rating of the Highline Trail: 8/10
I rate this trail as an 8/10. Being completely on the side of a mountain the whole time and feeling at one with the sky was incredible. There were consistent jaw dropping views and they do stay consistent! The trail itself doesn’t offer much differentiation of landscape, however it doesn’t get old.
Cherished Memories from this Hike
I was five months post Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) knee surgery after a cheerleading incident when I did this hike. Working so hard in the gym back at home to get my knee ready to take me to the top of a mountain was challenging, but let me tell you: this view is absolutely worth it!
Being surrounded by my friends and family who have supported me for my whole journey was the cherry on top of an already incredible experience. Also, my cousin put up a hammock in between some trees at the top of the viewpoint which was amazing – I felt suspended in the mountain sky!
Need to Know Before you Go
The parking lot at Logan’s Pass fills up fast since it’s also a visitor center. After getting there at 6:30/7am, it took us over an hour to find a park. The earlier you get there, the better chance you have of finding a park. You don’t need to be intimidated by the full 12 mile hike – just do what you can! We hiked the first four miles and it still felt like a great accomplishment.