Hidden Lake, West Glacier, Montana, USA
The hike to Hidden Lake begins from the west side of the Logan Pass Visitor Center. Once on the back side of the visitor center, after climbing the stairway, stay towards the right and look for the Hanging Gardens Trailhead. The trail is more commonly referred to as the Hidden Lake Nature Trail.
The entire length of this trail is completely open and exposed as you proceed through the alpine meadows known as the Hanging Gardens. At this lofty elevation visitors should normally expect a lot of sun and wind. You should also expect extreme crowds, as the Hidden Lake Overlook area is one of the most popular destinations in the park. As a result, parking is usually an issue during peak tourist season. If you wish to avoid the crowds I highly recommend starting your hike as early in the morning as possible.
The trail begins as a paved surface, but soon turns into a raised boardwalk after only a short distance. At this elevation snow tends to linger around well into the summer. The boardwalk helps to keep hikers above the snow, slush, mud and rivulets. Once the snow melts, however, the Hanging Gardens becomes an incredibly beautiful carpet of wildflowers.
As you proceed upwards during the early portions of the hike, 8760-foot Clements Mountain will dominate the view directly in front of you (see photo on right). Look towards the north, on your right, for some outstanding views of the Garden Wall (see photo above). Standing towards the northwest is 8180-foot Mt. Oberlin.
A little more than a half-mile from the visitor center, after climbing a series of steps, hikers will reach the end of the boardwalk section. From here the trail shifts to a more southwesterly course, and begins heading in the direction of Bearhat Mountain. Both 9125-foot Mt. Reynolds and 8016-foot Heavy Runner Mountain will be on your left as you proceed to the top of the climb.
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