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Hike to Iceberg Lake, Glacier National Park

Browning, Montana

4.9/5
based on 12 reviews

Details

Distance

9.7 miles

Elevation Gain

1200 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Conor Barry

Enjoy insanely rugged views like never before that feel well-earned. Once you make it to the lake, you'll be rewarded with spectacular scenery-- you'll want to 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.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Worth the work, great views

A crown jewel hike if the national park system. Make sure to hike in a group and have bear spray.

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.

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.

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.

Glacier National Park was one of the most incredible places I ever visited as a kid. The journey up the mountains to the lake was amazing and I remember being in pure awe of how beautiful the landscape was. I hope to get back there again some day very soon. To all that live in Montana, please, do yourself a favor and take a trip to GNP.

Hands down one of my favorites, and as the author said it hikes relatively fast. We saw a mama grizzly and two cubs on the way up, and then a half dozen mule deer at the lake. Awesome hike.

One of my favorite hikes ever, and certainly my favorite in Glacier!

This hike was my favorite day-hike in Glacier. The trail was not tough and the end view was incredibly rewarding! I'd recommend budgeting plenty of time to just hang out and soak in the views while at the lake.

We didn't get on the trail until 2pm. It was a little chilly and breezy but we warmed up soon. Almost all the elevation gain on this hike seems to be within the first 2 miles. About a quarter to half-mile in, we spotted a young grizzly bear on the trail. It was probably about a year old. We were 20 yards away at most! After make a lot of noise and being patient, it wandered off the side of the trail. This is an excellent hike overall. My only "complaint" is that it is a very busy trail.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Glacier's North Circle Route (North East Section)

Hike to Ptarmigan Falls

Ptarmigan Tunnel

Ptarmigan Lake Trail

Swiftcurrent Lookout

Hike to Redrock Falls