Want to get to one of the most beautiful lakes nestled in the mountains of Glacier National Park? Look no further than the Iceberg Lake Hike in the Many Glacier area of the Montana park. This lake has ice on it all year long because the Mountains block the sun, which makes for a spectacular scene. Along the way see colorful wildflowers 🌸, stunning panoramic views 🏔, gushing waterfalls 💦, and plentiful wildlife 🐻!
This is one of the four trails that I have done in the park and it was my favorite hiking experience. I was blown away by the views of the mountains and we saw three grizzly bears on the trail! Get my complete guide 📝 to completing this trail below including hike distance, detailed hike descriptions and a comprehensive packing list. Make sure to pack bear spray and learn how to use it for all of your hikes in Glacier!
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Table of Contents
Iceberg Lake Hike Details
Quick Hike Details
Length: 9.3 miles
Elevation: 1450 feet
Type: Out and Back
Iceberg Lake Trail Description
Find the trailhead for Iceberg Lake past the cabins behind the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Once you get on the trail, it begins to climb up 250 feet and is the steepest portion of the trail. Then, the path levels out and you will start to see sweeping views of the mountains beyond. If you go during the summer, then 🌺 wildflowers 🌺 will also surround you on either side.
Luckily, this trail is out in the open for the majority of the time, so you will get plenty of chances to see the amazing landscapes. Continue about 2.6 miles until you get to the Ptarmigan Falls. There’s plenty of space to stop and take a break at this spot while you observe the falls.
Then, continue on the Iceberg Lake trail from there or stop at the pit toilet 🚽 just beyond. Views continue as you walk on the path and then you will cross a river about .2 miles short of the lake. Finally, you will walk down the hillside to reach the gorgeous blue icy lake in front of Mount Wilburn. It’s a fantastic end to the trail and an even better spot to eat lunch or a snack 🍞. You will continue back the same way you came!
Things to Know Before You Go
💵 Glacier costs $35 for a private vehicle that covers 7 day. You can also use any of the annual passes like the America the Beautiful Pass to get in.
☀️ Weather changes quickly in Glacier National Park. Make sure that you stay updated and that you take the proper precautions. If there are signs of bad weather, then stay in the lower elevations.
🐻 Glacier is bear country, so make sure to stay bear aware and make loud noises when hiking on the trails. Use the rule of thumb when viewing wildlife, so that you stay the correct distance away. Pack bear spray in case of emergencies.
🦮 Pets are not allowed on this trail or in most of the park.
⚠️Iceberg Lake trail can get closed due to snowy conditions or bear activity. Make sure to check the NPS website for regular updates on the trail conditions.
🍃 Remember to follow the Leave No Trace Principles. As always, you want to leave nature looking better than you found it.
How to Get to Iceberg Lake
The Iceberg Lake Hike is located in the Many Glacier area of the park. You will have to enter the park through the Many Glacier Entrance on the East side, because there is no road that connects between this area and the Going to the Sun Road 🚗.
Many Glacier’s entrance is located off of US89. You can get there if you continue on that route from Browning, MT. If you are coming from the Going to the Sun road, you will want to take that road East and then turn left onto US 89 from the St Mary Entrance. Continue for 8.5 miles until you see the St Mary Entrance.
Once you get into the Many Glacier area, you will continue past Josephine Lake and Swiftcurrent Lake until you see the signs for the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. You should park in that parking lot and you can find the path to the trail on the left side of the Inn. Walk past the cabins and down the path until you see the trailhead sign for Iceberg Lake 🪧. From there, you will follow the trail all the way to the end!
Iceberg Lake is nestled in the mountains of Glacier, which means you will want to prepare for your hike with plenty of gear. Storms travel quickly ⛈ through the mountains, so you will want to be prepared for any weather condition. Bring layers, pack plenty of snacks & water, and wear sunscreen because the sun is strong up there 🥵. Also, hikers often see bears on this trail (I saw 3 grizzlies on this hike alone!) so always bring your bear spray to have on hand.
If you only have time for one trail in the park, then you should do the Iceberg Lake Trail. It has all of the best components of a Glacier hike: wildflowers, mountain panoramas, and an alpine lake. There’s nothing quite as wonderful as exploring the gorgeous landscapes of this lovely park 🤗!
Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this trail guide!
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