Iceberg Lake Trail

MODERATE 236 reviews
#3 of 114 trails in

Iceberg Lake Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near East Glacier Park, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until September.

DISTANCE
9.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1443 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

beach

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

no dogs

The trailhead is behind the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn in the Many Glacier section of Glacier National Park. At the very beginning, there is a section about .1 mile in length that climbs about 250'. It is the only steep section on the trail, but be ready for it on the return! Those with bad knees will find it a brief challenge. Most of the climb and return are easy-moderate. Most of the trail passes through open terrain, with most of the forested spots in the middle of the hike. At 2.8 miles, just past Ptarmigan Falls, there is a trail junction for the Ptarmigan Trail. The falls are a great place for a reast stop, and there is an outhouse just off the trail, right before you get there. Views are panoramic for most of the route. The trail ends at a lake called Iceberg Lake, named bfor the icebergs that float in the the lake all year (the lake is in the shadows of Mt. Wilbur and gets very little sun, so the water remains cold). The water is bearable for brief step-ins, and some of the icebergs are big enough to stand on. The trail is "rated A+ for grizzly viewing", but the presence of bears cannot be guaranteed. Having said that, the trail and/or adjacent areas are often closed for short periods due to bear activity.

26 days ago

Rox!

1 month ago

Great hike! The water is very cold, so don’t plan on swimming! Worth the trek!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! We hiked this in September 2017, the trail is easy to follow and offers spectacular views the entire time. It passes through dense forest and open valleys, waterfalls and great views of the glaciers. We started early in the day and only saw 2 other hikers. Bring lots of water and a sandwich and snacks. Carry bear spray. The trail passes through prime grizzly habitat, so make lots of noise. The views of Iceberg Lake are amazing and there is another lake right before Iceberg Lake that is stunning as well.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. A fairly easy trail with spectacular views. Was there at end of August 2017 , was a bit warm but not bad. Still had plenty of icebergs to see and water was beautiful, would love to take the Oru Kayak up sometime . Take plenty of water First half of hike more in the trees so more blind corners on the trail , just keep talking , leave the bell at home .

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing! There were still icebergs in the lake in August

hiking
5 months ago

Loved Iceberg Lake trail! The trail is long but not extremely difficult. Through binoculars, we saw a mother grizzly bear and her two cubs climbing the mountain across the ravine. Luckily we were a safe enough distance away. Once we got to the lake, we climbed on the icebergs and walked across. Very busy but very beautiful.

6 months ago

Went mid-September. There was snow on the trail but no icebergs in the lake. Still spectacular.

hiking
6 months ago

We’ll maintain trail - moderate rated due to length no bouldering or severe pitches to hike. Views are amazing start to finish.

hiking
7 months ago

The most picturesque hike I have done in a while. It was a rainy hike but the sight of pristine cobalt blue water lake, fall colors along the way, and the fact there there's no one at the lake made is worth 10 mile out and back hike. We heard from few folks and park ranger that this lake is a bear heaven but thankfully we didn't have to use our bear spray. Gradual incline makes it easier to soak in the view - bunch of glaciers and a water fall. I highly recommend this hike if you are visiting Glacier National Park. The only sad part was that we had to drive 2 hours to get to the trail head because of the going to the sun road closure due to forest fire, but as I said it was so worth the effort.

hiking
7 months ago

Terrific day hike. Elevation is so drawn out that you barely notice you've climbed 1,700 feet. Very high traffic on this trail but probably the easiest way to feel like you're getting in some alpine hiking at GNP without tackling some difficult terrain. Photo opportunities at every turn on this hike. Keep an eye open for bears in the valley below, and big horn sheep and mountain goats on the outcroppings above.

7 months ago

Great hike. Not hard. Lots of flats. Beautiful views and lake. Saw goats on the hillside otw up.

7 months ago

high traffic, park behind the Swift River Motor Inn, so worth the pain, great paths, outhouse, halfway and at the top, so majestic, bears, mountain goats and sheep, moose!!

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this spur after hiking up the the Ptarmigan Tunnel. Logged 16.4 miles. Five of us think this was the better route, get the tunnel climb before the lake. The views from both are amazing! The "people pollution" was minimal at the lake. Even enjoyed watching a Moose chilling in the water.

hiking
7 months ago

Solid hike. When the trail splits for Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg, it's a consistent 2mile uphill that is definitely doable. Did Ptarmigan tunnel trail in the morning then Iceberg once I made it back down, crowds moved in by that time but warm enough to take a dip in the frosty waters. Highly recommend it!

hiking
8 months ago

By far one of the best trails I've been on. About half way to the lake, you come across a waterfall and creek area. It's a good spot to take a break. The lake itself is incredible and worth the hike. We spotted two grizzlies on our way back with one actually on the trail about 30 meters from us.

8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Completed hike on 8/15/17. Gorgeous day, clear blue skies and amazing views the entire time. Streams, falls, lakes and the amazing icebergs. We even saw two grizzly bears at the lake. One walked right down to the water near a somewhat crowded beach while the other called it back to shore. No threat to us - everyone kept a safe distance. One of my favorite hikes! Only reason I give it four stars is because I didn't see a moose! :D

hiking
8 months ago

Our favorite day hike of the week in GNP. Spectacular views throughout the whole day. We saw goat at 50 yards, sage grouse 10 yards, and a grizzly at about 75 yards (it had just walked up the trail from the opposite direction just 2 minutes from the trailhead). Wildflowers were on the wane according to the rangers, but still seemed amazing to us.
The lake views are well worth the effort to get there. If it is warm, bring your towel and brave the water.

8 months ago

We took our kids 8 and 11 on this trail and they both said it was their favorite one we did. Although I think they could have made it to the lake, we opted to turn around at Ptarmigan Falls so that it wasn't too much for them. We had a nice picnic at the falls and stuck our feet in the water. Nice views. Many reports of grizzly bears that day but we didn't encounter them.

hiking
8 months ago

Super fun trail with great scenery the entire hike. We saw a deer during our hike and some bear poop but no bear. Bring sunscreen and lots of water. Definitely worth the hike the lake is absolutely breathtaking.

8 months ago

Completely worth it! Well trafficked, saw animals, just missed a couple bears. The lake is an awesome site. My almost 6 year old made it, it was a long day but a memory forever.

hiking
8 months ago

A+ for Moose viewing too! Saw two bulls. Beautiful lake, Worth it, and not really too difficult of a trail.

hiking
8 months ago

The lake itself was beautiful. The trail was largely nondescript​ in that it did not have the wide open views of some of the other trails (such as Grinnell Glacier). On the other hand, it was a fairly easy ten miler - not a lot of incline. It was also relatively quiet in terms of other hikers. Which is probably why we were able to see elk, a moose, and a grizzly bear with her two cubs. Highly recommend!

hiking
8 months ago

Path is well maintained and not too hard. Unbelievable scenery. When I went through lake was frozen over which made for a unique experience.

hiking
8 months ago

Most beautiful, unique hike I've ever done!! Completed a week ago. Waited 5 days for trail to open. Well worth it!! No bears despite just opening. Go early. Popular hike. Pack a lunch to enjoy at lake. Lots of wildflowers and plenty of photo opportunities!! Don't miss this one!! It's not everyday you get to see icebergs in July!! Easy gradual incline. Diverse terrain. Bring water. Pit toilets about halfway and at lake. Thanks NPS!!

hiking
8 months ago

Such a beautiful hike! Saw a bear, a moose, and lots Rocky Mountain goats! Also swam to an iceberg!! Burrrrrrrrr! It was about at 10mile round trip with a slow steady incline very nice and enjoyable!

hiking
8 months ago

Completed the trail in late-July. It was absolutely beautiful! Wildflowers were in abundance and I spotted a moose and calf and mountain goat. The only drawback was that I arrived a bit late in the day so the sun was behind the peak. Enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner at the lodge as a reward for your efforts. Parking can be difficult to find.

hiking
8 months ago

Excellent hike. Iceberg lake is well worth the hike once you get to it. The water feels great to cool off, but you will quickly lose all feeling in your toes and not last long.There are some nice scenic views along the route as well.

hiking
8 months ago

One of my favorite hikes, absolutely beautiful! You're definitely likely to see a bear on this trail, so be prepared. Well worth the drive! Hike is pretty flat, not much elevation gain. Can also be quite crowded.

hiking
9 months ago

We paired this with Ptarmigan Tunnel for a longer day. Definitely recommend doing the tunnel first because it's more strenuous. It makes Iceberg Lake seem like a piece of cake. Since Iceberg Lake is a pretty easy trail, despite the distance, be prepared for crowds on the trail and once you get to the lake. If crowds in nature aren't your thing, skip this trail and do Cracker Lake instead.

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