The Granite Park Chalet is an icon of Glacier National Park. It was built in 1914 and has watched history unfold as generation after generation of visitors have stayed the night within her stone walls. In the early years the only way to see Glacier National Park was on horseback and pack train, and each night the group would stay at a different chalet that was strategically placed throughout Glacier Park. The Granite Park Chalet is one of those original chalets, and is a national treasure.
The Granite Park Chalet is nestled on a rocky hillside, just north of Mount Gould. The trailhead to get to the chalet begins at Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and you take the Highline Trail to reach it. The hike to the Granite Park Chalet is 7.6 miles, and the Highline Trail only climbs 200 feet. Whether you want to just check the chalet out on a day hike, or if you'd like to spend the night at the chalet, it's always a treat to see such a historic treasure.
Trailhead: Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Highline Trail trailhead
Distance: 7.6 miles (one way)
Elevation Gain: 200 vertical feet
Glacier National Park's Livingston Range dominates the skyline to the west of the Granite Park Chalet. Heavens Peak is the peak in this photo.
The Granite Park Chalet in Glacier National Park was built in 1914, and is a national treasure. It is one of only two remaining original Glacier Park chalets existence.
If you ever wanted to stay the night somewhere deep in the heart of Glacier Park, this is exactly what you've been looking for. There's a special magic about the Granite Park Chalet, and once you've spent the night in this historic place, you will forever be the better for it. The experience is difficult to describe, but all we can tell you is that if you're up for it, it's well worth the effort. You will catch the "Spirit of Glacier Park" on this overnight trip, and it will stay with you for the rest of your life.
The Granite Park Chalet in Glacier National Park is nestled in such a place that you see huge, glorious mountains everywhere you look. It's almost like a fairy tale setting where it seems unreal it's so pristine and breathtaking. We love staying at the Granite Park Chalet, and we are confident that you will love it too. And once you've arrived, there are several wonderful things to do that are near the chalet that you never would be able to enjoy otherwise. It's really a rare treat to be able to spend time in the backcountry of Glacier Park and still have a nice warm bed to sleep in and a table to eat on!
You can see forever from the upper deck of the Granite Park Chalet.
The Granite Park Chalet in Glacier National Park is built of stone, whereas several of the original chalets were made of wood. That's a big reason why there are only two chalets remaining in existence.
The Ultimate Granite Park Chalet Experience:
1. Begin your hike on the Highline Trail at Logan Pass. Take your time, enjoy the scenery. There is no rush to get to the chalet- you've got all day to hike there. The Highline Trail is world-renowned as is something to savor.
2. On the way to the Granite Park Chalet, if you are up for it, take the half mile hike up to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook (See right photo). It's well worth the effort! The trail is fairly steep, so take your time. You will be greatly rewarded once you get to the top.
3. Spend the evening enjoying the Granite Park Chalet and spend the night there.
4. Early the next morning hike up to Swiftcurrent Mountain (see photo left) This is a rare opportunity for you to summit a major mountain in Glacier Park, and the view from this summit is spectacular! This involves a 2.2 mile hike up a thousand vertical feet of switchbacks. You need to be in fairly good shape for this hike, but you will be greatly rewarded. If you've ever wanted to be on a summit in Glacier National Park, this is something you really need to consider doing. There's no climbing involved, you hike on the trail the whole way, and the view is unforgettable.
5. Hike back down Swiftcurrent Mountain and head over the Swiftcurrent Pass, and begin the decent down to the floor of the Swiftcurrent Valley. You will then end up at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn at Many Glacier, which is 6.6 miles from the pass. This hike is all down hill or level. (see right photo)
The above scenerio obviously works best if your vehicle is parked at Many Glacier- more specifically the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Therefore, the night before, stay somewhere in the Many Glacier Area and take an early shuttle from the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn or the Many Glacier Hotel, to Logan Pass.
Again, take the Highline Trail from Logan Pass to get to the Granite Park Chalet. DO NOT hike up the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail from Many Glacier! Do not let someone talk you into hiking over 2,500 vertical feet when you could have walked the same distance and only climbed 200 feet! The Swiftcurrent Pass Trail at Many Glacier is the wrong way!
What About "The Loop Trail?"
"The Loop" Trail starts on the west side of the Going-To-The-Sun Road about 6 miles west of Logan Pass.
It's only 3.5 miles to the Granite Park Chalet from there compared to 7.6 miles if you start at Logan Pass, HOWEVER the downside is instead of only climbing 200 vertical feet (from Logan Pass), you climb 2,200 in only 3.5 miles.
That's quite a climb, and it tires a lot of people out. And the views from the Loop Trail are not nearly as spectacular as the views from the Highline Trail on Logan Pass.
"The Loop" along the Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
Also, if you want to go to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook, "The Loop" Trail doesn't take you there. You have to first get to the Granite Park Chalet, and then walk about a mile on the Highline Trail back toward Logan Pass to get to the overlook trail.
Why take "The Loop" UP to the chalet? We have no idea! Why tire yourself out. Why not take a relatively flat trail (Highline Trail) and enjoy yourself? And again, the Highline Trail is far more scenic.
Now, if you aren't going to head for Many Glacier the next day, and you want to take a different trail than what you came in on, then it's logical to walk DOWN the "Loop" Trail and then catch a shuttle back up to Logan to get your car. Hiking DOWN the "Loop" is very logical if you're just visiting the Granite Park Chalet on a day hike along the Highline Trail. But walking UP to the Granite Park Chalet from the "Loop" trailhead isn't a good idea.
Granite Park Campground
Just below the Granite Park Chalet, along The Loop Trail, is the Granite Park Campground. This back country campground is for hikers who are on a multi-day hike along the Northern Highline Trail. The Granite Park Campground is about 3 hundred yards down the slope to the west of the Granite Park Chalet, and is nestled in a fairly dense pine forest. You will see the sign to the Granite Park Campground as you get near the Granite Park Chalet along the Loop Trail. Backcountry reservations are required.
What's Further To The North?
Yes, there are Grizzly Bears roaming near the Granite Park Chalet.
This is a view from the Grinnell Glacier Overlook near the Granite Park Chalet in Glacier National Park.
During the right time of year, there is an OCEAN of Glacier Lilies around the Granite Park Chalet along the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park.
Heavens Peak dominates the western skyline at the Granite Park Chalet.
"The Annex" is a quaint little stone building next to the Granite Park Chalet.
A view from The Loop Trail near the Granite Park Chalet in Glacier Park.
GET YOUR RESERVATIONS FAR IN ADVANCE!
The Granite Park Chalet in Glacier National Park is a very popular backcountry destination, and you really need to get your reservations far in advance. CLICK HERE to book your Granite Park Chalet reservations.
Granite Park Chalet, Glacier National Park