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5 Things you Need to Know about Hiking to Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park

Glacier is packed full of incredible mountain views, crystal clear lakes and rivers, epic hiking trails, glaciers and more and Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park is one of the best easy hikes to take it all in.

Located in Many Glacier, Red Rock Fall Glacier National Park is a 4.2 mile easy trail that offers mountain views, a lake side walk, and some of the best waterfalls in the park cascading over striking red-colored rocks.

We hiked the Red Rock Falls trail during our visit to Glacier during the summer of 2023 after spending the morning rowing boats on the Lake from the Many Glacier Hotel. In this article you will find complete details of the hike including 5 things you need to know before heading out on the trail.

Looking for more information about visiting Glacier National Park? Check out our COMPLETE GUIDE or our 3 day Glacier Itinerary.

Note: you will see Red Rock Fall spelled with and without a space (Red Rock and Redrock). We’ve used both spellings so people can more easily find this information online.

red rock falls glacier national park
Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park

Overview of the Hike to Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park

Distance: 4.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 300 feet
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

The Red Rocks Trailhead is located at the Swiftcurrent Inn in Many Glacier. After just 1/3 of a mile, a short side trail leads to Fishercap Lake with a great swimming area and lovely views. Continue on the Red Rock Trail for 1.7 miles and you will reach the shore of Redrock Lake.

Follow along the shoreline of the lake until you reach Redrocks Falls at the far end of the lake. To return to your car, retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

This hike is well marked and generally easy hiking. We saw many families with younger kids enjoying the trail and unlike some of the other trails in Many Glacier, the Red Rock Falls Trail is mostly shaded. You can see complete details of our hike below.

Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park

5 Things to Know about the Hike to Red Rock Falls Glacier

1. The Red Rock Fall Trailhead is in Many Glacier

Redrock Falls is located within the Many Glacier part of Glacier National Park.

There is no way to access the trailhead from the Going to the Sun Road area and you will need to leave the park and re-enter through the Many Glacier Entrance. From the St Mary Entrance gate on the east end of the Going to the Sun Road, Many Glacier is about a 30 minute drive.

Many Glacier has many other tremendous hikes, many of which are longer than the Redrock falls trail. Some of the most popular include the hike to Grinnel Glacier and Iceberg Lake.

To get to the trailhead for Red Rock Fall Glacier National Park, drive to the Swiftcurrent Inn. There is a large parking lot here. Park at the far end of the parking lot to find the trailhead to Redrock Falls.

Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park

You Need a Reservation to Visit the Falls

Glacier National Park has a reservation system.

In order to enter Many Glacier you will need to book a reservation through the National Park Service. Reservations can be made 4 months in advance or the day prior to you visit. Reservations fill up quickly (often within minutes), so make sure you book as soon as you can.

Reservation only cost $2 but you will also need to pay the park entrance fee or use your National Park pass to get into the park.

If you are unable to get a reservation, you can still hike the Red Rock Fall Trail, but you will need to enter the park prior to 6 am. Another option is to book lodging within the park.

Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park: Notice the Grizzly Bear in this photo

You may see Bear or Moose on the Trail

Bear and moose are both common in the Many Glacier area. When we visited several of the trails in the area were closed due to grizzly activity and we saw a grizzly bear during our hike to Red Rock Falls. We also saw a moose the following day on the nearby trail to Iceberg Lake.

Always follow posted information and signs reguarding animal encounters in Glacier. Maintain distance from moose and bear. As you hike, carry on a conversation so you don’t surprise a bear and constantly be on the lookout for them along the trail.

You should carry bear spray along this trail and hike in the group.

You can Swim Along the Way

One of the best parts of this trail is that you can swim in several places along the trail.

The first place to stop is Fishercap Lake. This is a small detour off the main trail, but it is a popular place to see moose and to swim.

Continuing along the trail, you will come to Redrock Lake. There is a small beach here and it is the perfect place to take a dip.

Finally, Redrock Falls is a great place for a swim. The water flows over the falls into many different pools. Many of these pools are perfect for swimming. Use caution on the rocks, especially if the water is running strong.

Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park: Swimming in the Falls

Red Rock Fall is one of the Easier Hikes in Many Glacier

Many Glacier is full of many excellent hiking trails. Most of the trails in Many Glacier are long and more challenging than the Redrock Fall and lead to glacially fed lakes. Below you can see some of the other hikes in Many Glacier (distances below are 1 way)

  • Apikuni Falls: 1 mi (1.6 km)
  • Cracker Lake: 6.4 mi (10.3 km)
  • Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint: 5.3 mi (8.5 km)
  • Grinnell Lake: 3.4 mi (5.5 km)
  • Iceberg Lake: 4.8 mi (7.7 km)
  • Piegan Pass 4.5 mi (7.2 km)
  • Poia Lake: 6.4 mi (10.3 km)
  • Ptarmigan Falls: 2.7 mi (4.3 km)
  • Ptarmigan Lake: 4.3 mi (6.9 km)
  • Ptarmigan Tunnel*: 5.3 mi (8.5 km)
  • Swiftcurrent Nature Trail: 2.3 mile loop (3.7 km)
  • Swiftcurrent Pass: 6.8 mi (10.9 km)

Map of the Redrock Trail

Below is a map of the trail to Red Rock Falls.

Map of Red Rock Fall Glacier National Park
Map of Red Rock Fall Glacier National Park

Details of Hiking to Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park

We hiked to Redrock Falls after spending the morning rowing boats on the lake in Many Glacier. After hiking the Highline Trail the day before, we were looking forward to a shorter hike.

The trail starts at the Swiftcurrent Inn. At the first junction, you have the option for a short hike to Fishercap Lake. This is a lovely spot that is perfect for spotting moose or taking a swim.

Continue further along the trail. Since the trail has very little elevation gain, the trail feels mostly flat and the footing is generally easy. This is a great hiking trail for young kids or if you’re looking for an easier trail.

Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park (Redrock Lake)

The path goes through the forest for the next stretch. There are several areas with aspen trees making this a great fall hike and a pleasant walk with some shade.

As we were hiking along this part of the trail we saw a grizzly bear happily munching right along the trail. Since he was close to the trail it stopped us and several other hiking groups from continuing along the trail. We were able to watch him from a distance for 5 minutes before he moved off and we continued down the trail.

At 1.7 miles, the trail reached Redrock Lake. This lovely lake is a great place for a swim and the edge of the lake was home to wildflowers and butterflies in the early summer. From the lake, you’ll have views of the 8851-foot Mt. Grinnell and the Swiftcurrent Glacier and the 8436-foot Swiftcurrent Mountain.

From here the trail follows along the edge of the lake until you reach the waterfalls at the far end of the lake. The trail splits directly before the fall and you will turn left for a very short distance to the falls.

Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park

Redrock falls are well named and you will find a series of falls cascading into a series of pools over the red/orange rocks. We spent about 20 minutes here swimming and climbing around on the falls for the best view. Even if you don’t plan to swim, this is a great place to soak your feet on the hot day.

If you want a longer hike, continue along the trail until you reach Bullhead Lake. This makes the hike about 6.8 miles.

The trail took us about 1.5 miles to hike including some time to swim at the falls.

Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park
Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park

What to Pack for Hiking to Redrock Falls?

This is a short hike so while it’s tempting not to bring all the day hiking essentials, it is still important to be prepared. While the trail is mostly easy, we still recommend hiking shoes or boots although you could do the trail in sneakers.

Here are a few essentials you should bring on this hike:

  • Bear Spray
  • 1-2 liters of water/person
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Bathing Suit/towel
  • Good hiking shoes
  • Extra layer

Common Questions about the Red Rock Falls Trail

Is there cell service at Red Rock falls Glacier National Park?

No – we did not have cell service along this hike. There is limited cell service throughout the park. If you are entering the park with a reservation, it’s important to save the reservation information or download it onto your phone.

Are there Bathrooms on the Red Rock Trail?

There are not bathrooms or facilities at the falls or anywhere along the trail to the falls. It’s best to use the bathroom at the Swiftcurrent Inn prior to heading out on the trail.

Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park

Can you bring dogs on the Redrock Trail?

No, dogs are not permitted on this trail and the amount of wildlife on this trail would make it a bad choice for hiking with your dog.

When is the best time to hike to Red Rock Falls Glacier National Park?

The best time to do this hike is early summer and into the fall. The trail is popular so you should plan to hike either early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the crowds. We hiked the trail mid-afternoon and it was crowded on the hike, but we had the falls almost to ourselves.

Looking for more about Hiking and the US National Parks?

Check out our hiking guide or visit our National Park Planning page.

You can find more about exploring Glacier National Park in our Complete Guide to Glacier or see our guides on hiking the Highline Trail and Iceberg Lake.

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