The Stanton Lake hiking trail located in the Great Bear Wilderness near Glacier National Park is an excellent family-friendly hike.
The trail starts by hiking through a fairly dense forest and up some fairly steep pitches. The trail is well maintained and traveled. There is some erosion on the steep parts, but overall the trail is not bad. Most of the ascent is in the first half of the hike. The trail levels off about halfway for about .1-miles. The trail then descends down to Stanton Lake and you will arrive at the outlet. This shoreline has plenty of space to dip your feet and enjoy the view. We saw a loon at the lake as well as plenty of other hikers. We could tell there were a lot of huckleberry bushes along the trail that were not ripe yet – make sure you are bear aware. The hike to Stanton Lake is a fantastic bang for your buck in terms of effort.
*Since there is a loon pictured in the slideshow you may want to know that there are estimated to be only 60 nesting pairs of loons in Montana. It is estimated that 25 of them are successful. Breeding loons lay only 2 eggs. Therefore, Montana loons typically produce less than 35 chicks each year. About 12 of those 35 chicks will survive to return to Montana as mature breeding age loons. We found these facts on signs near the trail and through the link below. Please give loons and their nests space so future generations can enjoy them.
Source: University of Montana