Danny On Memorial Hiking Trail | Whitefish, Montana

There's no better way to commune with Big Mountain than hiking up its spine.

While there are hundreds of miles of trails to hike and explore in the Big Mountain and Glacier Park area, there is only one Danny On, that leaves directly from Whitefish Mountain Resort's village.

The famous Danny On Memorial Hiking Trail, named after a Big Mountain naturalist and photographer, meanders up the slopes of Big Mountain to the 6817 foot summit, passing through forests and fields with opportunities to pick huckleberries and smell wildflowers. Epic vistas look out over the valley and the mountains from various points along the trail.

The trail offers one main village to summit route, with loop extensions to Flower Point and on the East Rim. The longest route is 5.6 miles from base to summit.

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Latitude: 48.506355286 Longitude: -114.348190308 Elevation: 6804 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Jessica Downing

Trail Vertical Gain or Loss

2,353 foot elevation gain

Highlights and Best Features of this Trail

The trail winds through alpine fir forests and spectacular fields of wildflowers and offers a fabulous view of the Flathead Valley. As one ascends, glimpses into Glacier National Park come into view. Famous locally for its abundance of huckleberries and cyclical displays of bear grass lilies.

Full Description of this Recreation Trail

The trail begins in the base area of the Whitefish Mountain Resort and proceeds to the summit - a distance of 4 miles. Elevation gain of 2,353 feet. During the main summer months, the chairlift runs and a one-way lift ticket can be purchased to ride in either direction. 

Trail Distance

4-5.6 miles depending on trail chosen

Type of Trail Experience


Estimated Time it Takes to Experience this Trail

The uphill trek takes 1.5-3 hours depending upon ability. Chair lift ride is 20 minutes long.

Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark

Take U.S. Highway 93 to Whitefish, Montana. Go over the train tracks on the viaduct to Wisconsin Avenue. Follow Wisconsin Avenue to Big Mountain Road turnoff. It is a 4 mile drive to the base area of the resort.


This trail rocks, beautiful vistas, but don’t underestimate the 2400' elevation gain. A good 4+ hour round trip. Also, dogs are welcome, but not allowed on chairlift. So if you and Fido hike up you'll also have to hike down.

Johnboy, 7/8/2018

I loved the hike but coming from a South Carolina beach at sea level, the elevation change really caught up with me. I’d sure do it again, but I did ride the lift down! The views are amazing!

Bonne T, 7/26/2018

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