Iceberg Lake

Glacier
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Iceberg Lake

Distance: 16.4km
Elevation: 465m
Time: 4-6h

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9.1 Overall Rating
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Iceberg Lake is a wonderful hike in the Many Glacier area, especially early in the season when there are still icebergs contrasting the incredible blue of the water! The trail also includes beautiful wildflower meadows and stunning mountain views.

Getting there

Head into Many Glacier Area on the pock-marked road, remaining watchful for animals – bears are likely here in early summer. Park anywhere near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Parking here can fill up fast, so arrive early or be prepared to walk some ways down the road from where you parked!

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About

When to do

June through September

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Trailhead

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Elevation


Detailed Description

Halfway down the parking lot beside the Motor Inn are signs pointing towards Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake. These signs direct you up a road, past several small cabins to a tiny parking lot for guests staying at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Right past the small parking lot is the trailhead for both trails.

The first 4.5km of the path is similar between Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake. Emerge from the trees and hug the right side of the valley as you veer right below Ht. Henkel. You will be given great views across the valley with glimpses of Mount Grinnell and Mount Wilbur. The grade is slightly uphill, though nothing too steep. You will re-enter the trees as you approach the junction. Right before the junction are the beautiful Ptarmigan Falls, which have a smooth rocky place to sit – a perfect halfway break!

After passing over a small bridge and the pit toilets you will arrive at the junction. Turn left to continue to Iceberg Lake. The grade of the trail remains constant as you are once again thrown from the trees. Here you will be able to bask in the numerous wildflowers that permeate the entire meadow. From here you will also be able to see the first glimpses of the rocky cirque that encompasses Iceberg Lake.

Continue along the trail and re-enter some scattered trees before you crest a hill and go down the Iceberg Lake. Hopefully you came earlier in the season, as sometimes the icebergs melt away completely during hot summer days! Looking up you will be able to see Iceberg Peak on the right and Mount Wilbur on the left.

There will most likely be many people soaking in this beautiful gem, so skirt a short while to either side of the lake to find some tranquility.

This trail can frequently be closed due to bear activity. Check with a ranger before proceeding on the hike. Even if the hike is open, carry bear spray, make lots of noise, and hike in a group.

Return the way you came, considering a hike to Ptarmigan Tunnel if you have the energy.

Insider Hints

  • This hike can be paired with Ptarmigan Tunnel, but it’s a long 25.0km+ day.

  • Spend a weekend in Many Glacier and explore all the wonderful valleys.

Comments

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andjef5 days ago

Great hike. One of my favorites. I gave in to peer pressure and jumped in to swim with the icebergs. It was as cold as one would expect a lake filled with icebergs to be.

10.0 Overall Rating
Physical Difficulty
Tim_1011 week ago

beautiful hike. This is one of their most famous hikes in Glacier and sadly they do close it often due to bear activity. Although I'd rather go on another hike than risk my neck. It was open when I was there and I really enjoyed it.

9.0 Overall Rating
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MaggieRoy2 weeks ago

Another iconic hike in the Glacier National park, an absolute must-do. When the view to the lake and the glacier opens up it's just mindblowing

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6h 00m Time Taken
Wicked T3 weeks ago

closed due to bears. twice I've been in this park and twice it was closed. Oh well, at least the Grizzlies are enjoying it

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stocRob3 weeks ago

This hike was one of my favourites (with Grinnell hike) and would choose to do it again if I'm ever back at Glaciers. Once you reach the last part of the hike and the view to the lake opens up it's really one of the most spectacular things a person could experience

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5h 50m Time Taken
Ronny3 weeks ago

I heard this hike is often closed so it was good to be able to do it. my brother tried a year before and it was not available due to bear activity. The walk was great, really amazing nature. There were a bunch of other folk going together so we felt safer.

8.0 Overall Rating
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4h 00m Time Taken
Burokai3 weeks ago

We had to wait for several days to do this hike as it was closed due to bear with cubs wandering around (apparently it happens more often than I could have imagined) but it as my second favourite hike (after Grinnell). Absolutely stunning and must do if you are in Glacier National Park!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
7h 00m Time Taken
7 Comments

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