Lake of the Hanging Glacier

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
5.5-7.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
15.9 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
947 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Lake of the hanging glacier

The trail leading to the Lake of the Hanging Glacier is a 15.9 km out-and-back hiking route that will take you on an amazing adventure through forests and over scenic river crossings to reach a picturesque glacial lake with surrounding mountains framing the backdrop. More technical than steep, this route is a challenging hike that will reward you with breathtaking scenery and unforgettable memories. It’s best to make the drive in with a 4x4 high clearance vehicle, as the road to the trailhead is fairly rough and rugged.

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Route Description for Lake of the Hanging Glacier

Hiking to the Lake of the Hanging Glacier is a spectacular outdoor experience that will allow you to visit a glacial lake that is nestled within some truly jaw-dropping terrain. The trail winds through the forest alongside Horsethief Creek before visiting the cascading waters of a spectacular waterfall. From here, the route turns south and climbs through the valley to reach the picturesque shores of the Lake of the Hanging Glacier.

Once there, take some time to explore the surrounding area and get up close with the melting glacier. Directly behind the lake, you will have the imposing rock formations of the Commander, Lieutenants, and Guardsmen peaks; to the west, you will find Glacier Dome, and to the east, you will be able to spot Granite Peak and Mount Maye. After taking in the amazing views of the surrounding mountains and the crystal-blue water of the lake, head back down the trail to return to your vehicle.

*Note: The bridge crossing Hell Roaring Creek is currently out and awaiting repairs. Attempting to cross the creek by foot can be dangerous, and you should only attempt it if you are experienced enough to do so.*

Getting to the Lake of the Hanging Glacier Trailhead

To reach the Lake of the Hanging Glacier trailhead from Radium Hot Springs, drive west on Forsters Landing Road for 2.8 km and make a slight left onto Horsethief Creek Road. After 8.6 km, make a slight right on Forster Creek FSR and follow it for 1.8 km. Make a left on Horsethief Creek Road and follow it for another 9.5 km before turning left. Continue for 26.8 km to arrive at the trailhead.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June-October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Lake of the Hanging Glacier Elevation Graph

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