West Glacier Trail from beginning to end is roughly six miles and climbs about 1000 ft (~300 meters) in elevation. We move at a comfortable pace for the group. We may shorten the tour by a mile or so depending on the groups speed.
The first 1 1/2 miles is mostly flat and easy for most. After that the trail gains elevation slowly for the next 1 1/2 miles. Most of the elevation gain is in the form of stair-like trail that is carved out of stone. This stair-like trail also has handrail on the side for support and safety.
Between these climbs, the trail is narrow with moderate rolling hills. There are many tree roots and rocks along the trail. Most important thing: remember to pick up your feet when hiking and everything is fine :)
We cross many bridges and one stream that has no bridge. We walk across rocks to get to the other side. During this time your guide walks close by to make sure you aren't having any difficulty stepping from rock to rock. This is all part of having an Alaskan adventure!
The last quarter mile stretch to the final outlook is a little bit of a scramble. Our nice rock stairs aren't around and we switch into adventure mode (if you haven't already) to hike up the rocks. There are still many good footholds that your guide will show you to make the climb as easy as possible. Photo below is of a 72 year old man who moved through this part no problem with his grandson.
Rain or shine, if you expect your feet to get wet on this trail you will never be disappointed. Even waterproof boots sometimes aren't enough to keep away all the precipitation.
There is lots of vegetation on both sides and we encourage hikers to wear long pants and sleeves. None of the plants are poisonous, but we do have plenty of Devil's Club along the trail that is quite painful were you to accidentally rub up against it with bare skin. Your guide points this out along the trail to hopefully prevent a painful encounter.