Highline Trail In Arizona

Here is everything you need to know about the Highline Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Arizona
  • Length: 50.2 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: National Park Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/highline-trail.htm

The Highline Trail, located in Glacier National Park in Montana, has a rich historical background that dates back centuries. The trail was originally used by Native American tribes, such as the Blackfeet, as a traditional route for hunting and trading. These tribes relied on the trail to navigate through the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains, connecting various regions and facilitating cultural exchange.

In the late 19th century, the Highline Trail gained significance during the era of exploration and westward expansion. European settlers and explorers, including trappers and fur traders, began to utilize the trail as they ventured into the untamed wilderness of the American West. The trail provided a vital link between the eastern and western parts of the country, enabling the movement of people, goods, and ideas.

During the early 20th century, the Highline Trail became an integral part of the transportation infrastructure in the region. The Great Northern Railway recognized the potential of the area’s natural beauty and constructed a railway line adjacent to the trail. This railway, known as the Glacier Park Line, allowed visitors from across the country to access the stunning landscapes of Glacier National Park. The Highline Trail served as a scenic route for hikers and tourists, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and alpine meadows.

Today, the Highline Trail continues to be a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Its historical significance, as a pathway used by Native Americans and early settlers, adds to its allure. The trail stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of human exploration and the deep connection between people and the natural world.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Logan Pass: This is the most popular access point for the Highline Trail, located at the summit of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana.

2. The Loop: This is a popular starting point for hikers who want to do a shorter version of the Highline Trail. It is located about 2.7 miles east of Logan Pass.

3. Granite Park Chalet: This historic chalet serves as a trailhead for the Highline Trail. It is located about 7.6 miles from Logan Pass and offers overnight accommodations for hikers.

4. The Haystack: This is a prominent rock formation along the Highline Trail and serves as a landmark for hikers. It is located about 9.5 miles from Logan Pass.

5. Swiftcurrent Pass: This is the eastern terminus of the Highline Trail, located near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn in Glacier National Park. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.

6. Many Glacier: While not directly on the Highline Trail, Many Glacier serves as a popular access point for hikers who want to connect to the trail from the east. It offers various trailheads and accommodations for hikers.

7. The Garden Wall: This section of the Highline Trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It is located between Logan Pass and Granite Park Chalet.

8. The Grinnell Glacier Overlook: This is a side trail that leads to a viewpoint overlooking the Grinnell Glacier. It is located about 11.5 miles from Logan Pass.

9. The Cattle Queen Creek: This is a creek crossing along the Highline Trail, located about 13.5 miles from Logan Pass. It offers a picturesque spot for hikers to rest and enjoy the scenery.

10. The Swiftcurrent Pass Trail: This is a side trail that leads to Swiftcurrent Pass, offering additional hiking opportunities for those who want to explore the area further. It is located near the eastern terminus of the Highline Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Highline Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service specifically for the Highline Trail, providing convenient transportation for hikers.
2. Glacier National Park Shuttle – Shuttle service operating within Glacier National Park, offering transportation to various trailheads including the Highline Trail.
3. Glacier Taxi – Local taxi service available for transportation to and from the Highline Trail.
4. Uber – Ride-hailing service that can be used to reach the Highline Trail and other destinations in the area.
5. Lyft – Another ride-hailing service providing transportation options for accessing the Highline Trail and surrounding areas.
6. Glacier National Park Red Bus Tours – Guided tour service offering transportation to the Highline Trail and other scenic spots in Glacier National Park.
7. Glacier Adventure Guides – Outdoor adventure company providing transportation services and guided hikes to the Highline Trail.
8. Glacier Guides and Montana Raft – Tour operator offering transportation and guided hikes to the Highline Trail and other popular trails in the area.
9. Glacier Park Boat Company – Boat transportation service across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine, providing access to the Highline Trail.
10. Glacier National Park Shuttle – East Side – Shuttle service operating on the east side of Glacier National Park, offering transportation to trailheads including the Highline Trail.


The amenities available at the Highline Trail may vary depending on the specific location or section of the trail. However, here are some common amenities that can be found along the Highline Trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have restroom facilities available at trailheads or designated rest areas. These restrooms can be either flush toilets or pit toilets.

2. Parking: Many trailheads along the Highline Trail offer parking areas for visitors to leave their vehicles while they hike. These parking lots may have designated spaces or be on a first-come, first-served basis.

3. Camping Sites: The Highline Trail often provides designated camping areas or backcountry campsites for hikers who wish to spend the night. These sites may have tent pads, fire rings, and bear boxes for food storage.

4. Picnic Areas: Some sections of the trail may have designated picnic areas or scenic spots where hikers can take a break, enjoy a meal, or simply relax. These areas may have picnic tables, benches, or shelters.

5. Water Sources: Along the Highline Trail, there may be natural water sources such as streams, rivers, or lakes where hikers can access water for drinking or filtering. It is important to check the availability and safety of water sources before relying on them.

6. Trail Markers and Signage: The trail is typically marked with signs, blazes, or cairns to help hikers navigate the route. These markers ensure that hikers stay on the designated trail and avoid getting lost.

7. Information Boards: At trailheads or visitor centers, you may find information boards or kiosks that provide details about the trail, its rules and regulations, safety tips, and any current updates or closures.

8. Wildlife Viewing Areas: The Highline Trail passes through various natural habitats, offering opportunities for wildlife viewing. Some sections may have designated viewing areas or platforms where hikers can observe animals in their natural environment.

It is important to note that amenities can vary along different sections of the Highline Trail, and it is advisable to research the specific area you plan to visit for accurate and up-to-date information on available amenities.

Nearby Services

1. Highline Lodge – A cozy lodge located near the trailhead, offering comfortable accommodation.
2. Mountain View Inn – A nearby inn with scenic views, providing lodging options for hikers.
3. Trailside Diner – A popular eatery along the Highline Trail, serving delicious meals for hungry hikers.
4. Wilderness Grill – A restaurant specializing in grilled dishes, conveniently located near the trail.
5. Highline Campground – A campground with basic amenities, offering a rustic camping experience for hikers.
6. Highline General Store – A convenient store near the trail, providing essential supplies for hikers.
7. Highline Medical Center – An emergency medical facility equipped to handle any medical emergencies along the trail.

Highline Trail Difficulty Notes

The Highline Trail, located in Glacier National Park, presents a moderate to challenging difficulty level for hikers. Spanning approximately 15.2 miles, the trail offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, alpine meadows, and glacial lakes. However, its elevation gain of over 1,000 feet and narrow sections along steep cliffs require hikers to be physically fit and have a good sense of balance. Additionally, unpredictable weather conditions, including snow and strong winds, can further increase the difficulty level. Despite these challenges, the Highline Trail rewards hikers with unparalleled beauty and a sense of accomplishment upon completion.

Features And Attractions

The Highline Trail is a popular hiking trail located in Glacier National Park, Montana. Along the trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Highline Trail:

1. Logan Pass: The trailhead for the Highline Trail starts at Logan Pass, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and meadows.

2. Garden Wall: As you hike along the trail, you’ll pass by the Garden Wall, a towering cliff face that offers breathtaking views of the park.

3. Haystack Butte: This prominent landmark along the trail provides panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

4. Grinnell Glacier Overlook: A short side trail leads to an overlook where you can see the Grinnell Glacier, one of the park’s iconic glaciers.

5. Granite Park Chalet: Located along the trail, this historic chalet offers a glimpse into the park’s past and provides a great resting spot for hikers.

6. Swiftcurrent Mountain: This peak offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making it a popular spot for photographers.

7. The Loop: As the trail descends from the Garden Wall, it passes through a section known as “The Loop,” where you can witness the trail winding around the mountainside.

8. Glacier National Park’s Wildlife: While hiking the Highline Trail, you may encounter various wildlife species, including mountain goats, bighorn sheep, marmots, and even the occasional bear.

9. Wildflowers: During the summer months, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers, adding to the scenic beauty of the surroundings.

10. Glacier National Park’s Alpine Scenery: Throughout the Highline Trail, you’ll be treated to breathtaking alpine scenery, including snow-capped peaks, pristine lakes, and lush meadows.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can experience while hiking the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park.

Usage Guidelines


Seasonal Information

The Highline Trail, located in Glacier National Park, Montana, offers breathtaking views and a unique hiking experience. The best times of the year to visit the Highline Trail are during the summer months, from June to September. During this time, the weather is generally mild, and the trail is accessible and free from snow. The summer months also provide the opportunity to witness the vibrant wildflowers in full bloom, adding a splash of color to the already stunning landscape.

It is important to note that the Highline Trail is subject to seasonal closures due to weather conditions. The trail typically opens in late June or early July, depending on the snowmelt and trail conditions. It is advisable to check with the park authorities or the visitor center for the most up-to-date information on trail closures and conditions before planning your visit.

During the winter months, the Highline Trail is closed due to heavy snowfall and dangerous conditions. The trail becomes inaccessible, and it is not recommended to attempt hiking during this time. However, if you are an experienced winter hiker or snowshoer, you may find alternative routes or guided tours available for exploring the area during the winter season.

Overall, the best time to visit the Highline Trail is during the summer months when the trail is open and the weather is favorable. It is essential to plan your visit accordingly, keeping in mind the seasonal closures and checking for any updates or advisories from the park authorities. By doing so, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience along the Highline Trail, surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of Glacier National Park.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trailhead: The Highline Trail has a designated accessible trailhead with accessible parking, restrooms, and a smooth, level surface for easy wheelchair access.
2. Paved Pathways: The trail features paved pathways that are wide enough for wheelchair users to navigate comfortably.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are available at various points along the trail, equipped with grab bars, spacious interiors, and accessible sinks.
4. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail offers numerous benches and rest areas along the way, providing wheelchair users with opportunities to take breaks and enjoy the scenery.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail that are wheelchair accessible, allowing individuals to enjoy outdoor meals comfortably.
6. Accessible Viewing Points: The Highline Trail includes accessible viewing points that offer stunning vistas and are designed to accommodate wheelchair users.
7. Signage and Information: The trail features accessible signage and information boards with braille and large print, ensuring that individuals with visual impairments can access relevant information.
8. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trail to assist individuals with disabilities, ensuring a safe and accessible experience.
9. Accessible Transportation: The trail provides accessible transportation options, such as shuttle services or accessible parking areas, to facilitate easy access for individuals with mobility challenges.
10. Accessibility Guidelines: The Highline Trail adheres to ADA accessibility guidelines, ensuring that individuals with disabilities can enjoy the trail with ease and independence.

Safety Information

1. Weather conditions: Be prepared for sudden changes in weather, including thunderstorms and high winds.
2. Wildlife encounters: Exercise caution and maintain a safe distance from wildlife, including bears and mountain goats.
3. Trail conditions: Watch out for steep and narrow sections, loose rocks, and potential hazards along the trail.
4. Altitude sickness: Take necessary precautions and acclimatize properly to avoid altitude-related health issues.
5. River crossings: Be cautious while crossing rivers, as water levels can vary and currents can be strong.
6. Falling hazards: Stay alert for potential falling rocks or tree branches along the trail.
7. Sun exposure: Protect yourself from sunburn and heat exhaustion by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and staying hydrated.
8. Limited facilities: There are limited restroom facilities along the trail, so plan accordingly.
9. Navigation challenges: Carry a map, compass, or GPS device to ensure you stay on the correct trail.
10. Remote location: The Highline Trail is in a remote area, so be prepared for limited cell phone reception and limited access to emergency services.

Conservation Notes

The Highline Trail, located in Glacier National Park in Montana, is considered to have a stable conservation status. The trail traverses through diverse ecosystems, including alpine meadows, subalpine forests, and glacial valleys, providing habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species. The park management has implemented various conservation measures to protect the natural resources and maintain the ecological integrity of the trail.

One of the key conservation efforts is the strict regulation of visitor activities along the Highline Trail. Park authorities have established guidelines to minimize human impact on the fragile ecosystems. These regulations include restrictions on camping locations, waste disposal, and wildlife interactions. By enforcing these rules, the park aims to prevent habitat degradation and disturbance to wildlife populations.

Additionally, the Highline Trail benefits from ongoing monitoring and research programs. Scientists regularly study the flora and fauna along the trail to assess the health of the ecosystems and identify any potential threats. This data-driven approach allows park managers to make informed decisions regarding conservation strategies and prioritize actions to protect vulnerable species or habitats.

Overall, the conservation status of the Highline Trail is considered favorable due to the implementation of strict regulations and ongoing monitoring efforts. These measures ensure that the trail remains a pristine and ecologically significant area within Glacier National Park, preserving its natural beauty and biodiversity for future generations to enjoy.

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