Hike to Iceberg Lake, Glacier National Park

Iceberg Lake Trail

Enjoy insanely rugged views that make you feel like you've hiked for days to see it. Once you make it the lake, you'll be rewarded with spectacular scenery -- get the camera ready.

The 9.7-mile out-and-back trail starts in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park, near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. The trailhead is easy to find at the northwest corner of the Inn area and the trail is well marked the whole way. The trail heads northwest almost the entire time except for the last mile or so that opens up out of the woods and curves west, southwest. From here you will be able to see where the lake sits at the bottom of a massive cliff face. The trail gradually gains 1,200' of elevation to the lake, making this one of the easier hikes in GNP. Sure, it's long but it hikes fast and you'll be there before you know it.

Remember all your bear safety as you travel through this area. It is prime territory for Grizzly bears. Carry bear spray and make enough noise that you won't startle any bears.

Head back the same way you came and stop at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn for some Huckleberry ice cream. You've earned it.

Pack List

  • Rain Jacket - I put this first because it can get cold up there.
  • Bear Spray
  • Bear bell or a noisy kid - make sure the bears know you're there.
  • Camera
  • Snacks
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RT Distance 9.7 Miles
Elevation Gain 1200 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

one of my favorite hikes in the park.

I'm a full time traveler and I recently visited this park last week. I'll keep this short, out of all the hikes I did in the park, this had to be one of my favorite. I mainly did the hike to photograph Ptarmigan Falls, but once I realized I was so close, I decided to hike the extra 2.1 miles to the lake. What a great decision that was! well worth my time and the hike is fairly easy too! A must do if you're in that section of the park.

Easily one of the most popular hikes in Glacier National Park

There are more than 700 miles of trails in Glacier National Park, so if I hike a trail twice it is usually to bring a friend or visitor that hasn't been to the park before (sometimes it's just smarter to have first hand knowledge of a trail when setting out to hike with someone who doesn't hike regularly). Yesterday I hiked to Iceberg Lake for the fourth time. Despite the fact that the trail is very busy with hikers, it is one of my favorite trails/destinations in the park. It's an easy five miles- although the first quarter of a mile or so is a lot of uphill, some of it like climbing stairs- and on a sunny day in July, August and September the view of the lake is usually pretty spectacular. And I think I have seen at least one moose the last three times I hiked this trail, usually about a mile to a mile and a half from the lake. On a sunny day with good visibility, you are also likely to see eagles and hawks circling over head and goats and sheep at the higher elevations. If you go too early in the season though, before the lake has thawed, there really isn't that much to see and it can be disappointing to someone that has heard how beautiful the lake is.

Glacier's Gift to all Hikers

Everything about Glacier NP is beautiful and this hike is no exception, bringing all of the lovely aspects of Glacier into one wonderful adventure; wildflowers, huckleberries, wildlife, and towering mountains. We went on the ranger-led hike and it was amazing to learn more about the geology and ecology of the area, I would highly suggest. My sister and I had a great time eating the wild huckleberries, but be sure to know what your are eating! We saw a moose and grizzly on this hike as well as more tourists than one would expect for a 10-mile hike. Also, be sure to use the makeshift 'port-poddy' at the top of the hike, its an experience everyone must have.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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