Many visitors come to Glacier National Park to hike part of its network of 700+ miles. There are a multitude of trailheads on the western half of the park, within easy driving distance from the Belton Chalet. Trails are of varying distance and degrees of difficulty; there is a walk in the park for every ability level. Take advantage of the new hiker transit shuttle system which is free once you are inside the park and operates during the busiest part of the summer. There are also local hikes that originate from the Belton Chalet which we'll be glad to recommend for you. Here are some of our favorite hikes in the Park:
A 30 minute drive from West Glacier, the Trail of the Cedars is a short walk (a half mile loop) through the beautiful Avalanche Creek gorge. A perfect hike for kids, the looping trail takes you through a rainforest setting of ferns and towering cedar trees. The trail also branches off toward Avalanche Lake, an easy hike (four miles round trip ) to a pristine mountain framed lake.
Logan Pass is at the summit of the Continental Divide and the top of the Going to the Sun Road. Beginning from the Logan Pass visitor center, a moderate hike will take you to Hidden Lake (1.5 miles to the overlook of the lake, significantly more effort will take you to the lakeshore). The trail provides fantastic views of some of the higher peaks in the park and along the way you're bound to run into some mountain goats.
This one- way hike begins at the top of Logan Pass and ends at "the loop" which is halfway to Logan Pass on the Going to the Sun Road. Groups will have to take two cars, leaving one at the loop on the way up to the pass, or use the hiker shuttle. This 11 mile hike follows the Garden Wall (a ridgeline on the West side of the Continental Divide) and provides some of the best views of the park. The Granite Park Chalet, built in the 1920's (accessible only by this hike), lies at the halfway point and is a perfect lunch spot. Make sure to bring binoculars to scope out the meadows for grizzlies.