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  • Matt from Mount Forge

Gunsight Pass Trail To Gunsight Lake

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Distance from Mt. Forge: 2 hour 30 minute drive


Trailhead Location


*** Hiking Safely In Grizzly Country



The Gunsight Pass Trail is one of the most iconic trails in Glacier National Park. It runs just under 19 miles from the Jackson Glacier Overlook on Going-To-The-Sun Road to the Lake McDonald Lodge. If you do the entire trail you'll pass some incredible sights such as Gunsight Lake, Lake Ellen Wilson, and the Sperry Chalet.


On this trip we just decided to hike out and back to Gunsight Lake, which comes out to about 13 miles. The first half of the hike starts with a steep downhill for a mile and then heads through dense woods for the next 2-3 miles. Be very bear aware during this entire hike, it is less traveled than some of the popular trails in the park and goes through prime grizzly territory. About 3 miles in we saw a moose off in the distance across the river. It was very foggy for us and our views were limited.


Once we got to Gunsight Lake our day changed dramatically. The sun started peeking through the clouds and pushed the fog out. We were very close to heading back until the fog cleared and we had an incredible view across the lake for lunch. We saw a second moose (it was MASSIVE with big antlers) shortly after that. The weather warmed up a lot and it actually became a hot hike back to the parking lot.


Since it cleared up, our views on the hike back were unbelievable. We couldn't believe how massive the mountains were and that they were hidden so well from the clouds and fog in the AM.


That last mile coming back is a real doozy. The last thing you really want after hiking 12 miles is a very steep 1 mile incline. It was pretty brutal, but in the end so worth it. We loved this hike so much and look forward to planning a two-night through hike

in the future!


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Glacier National Park Info


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