This past weekend my brother-in-law flew up to visit friends in Montana. We flew into Kalispell and met our friend Sage for a few days before heading south to see other friends south of Missoula. During each of our 3 days in Kalispell, we went hiking in Glacier National Park.
Once I saw that there was a Snyder Lake on the Glacier National Park map, I knew we had to hike to it. Especially given that it was the perfect length hike for the amount of time we had during our last evening in the park.
Trailhead to Snyder Lake
The trail to Snyder Lake shares a trailhead with a couple other popular trails. You park at the Lake McDonald Lodge and then head across Going to the Sun Road to start the hike.
The trail is initially a pretty good climb. It was warm, and we took a couple breaks on the way up.
Eventually (after like 2 miles) you’ll come to a sign directing you to Snyder Lake.
The other options are continuing on further to the Fish Lake spur, or all the way to Sperry Glacier if you have the time. If we had all day to hike, heading to the Glacier probably would have been the best choice.
Snyder Lake trail
The Snyder Lake trail was a whole lot less traveled than the other trails we had been on the previous two days. We hiked to Avalanche Lake on our first evening, and then the Highline Trail on Saturday (SEE: Hiking the Highline Trail Glacier National Park). Both were spectacular, but both also had many other hikers traveling them.
Over our time on the Snyder Lake trail, we only saw two other groups of hikers. The trail was well-trodden, but the bushes around it often started to grow into the path. I started to get a bit concerned about ticks.
The trail was a gentle incline, which was perfect after our brutal 3,000 foot descent the day before. I was happy that heading back would be a comfortable gentle downhill. We also crossed several small creeks.
The further we got up the canyon, the prettier the scenery became.
Arriving at Snyder Lake
Notwithstanding all the complaining by my brother-in-law, Snyder Lake was quite pretty.
I could hear a waterfall in the distance, but even after looking across the Lake for a while, I couldn’t spot it.
The only issue with the lake was the bugs. There was a noticeable increase in mosquitoes, flies, and gnats within the last 1/4 mile of the hike, and things were even worse once we reached the lake. The lake offers primitive camping sites for backpackers, and I was quite glad we weren’t staying.
We could have continued on to upper Snyder Lake, but it was getting late and we were getting hungry, so we decided to turn around immediately.
We had only been hiking back about 5 minutes when we ran into a deer right in the middle of the trail. She made absolutely no move to get out of the way, even with the 3 of us only 25 feet away. Ryan finally blasted a bit of Lindsay Stirling as loud as he could on his phone and the deer moseyed off.
Concluding the hike
We arrived back at the Lake MacDonald Lodge parking lot after 8:00. Luckily, Jammer Joe’s was still open, so we hit the place for dinner. Heading out of the park was bittersweet, as I knew there is *so* much more to see. We’ll have to come back someday.