Iceberg Lake Trail

MODERATE 846 reviews
#3 of 135 trails in

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

Distance: 9.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,450 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

beach

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

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.

hiking
2 days ago

Was there last summer back in June, I believe. Couldn't resist swimming out and climbing on to one of the floating iceburgs. The water was absolutely freezing, as expected, but it was a definitely a refreshing cool down.

hiking
3 days ago

Did this Hike on a Clear sunny Day very Beautiful.

hiking
8 days ago

Enjoyed the hike on this cloudy, windy day. We did the tunnel last visit, so decided to do the lake and was not disappointed. We had lunch when we reached the lake (take the less traveled path to the right when walking down to the lake to avoid crowds). We saw the lone duck, a goat (up high), and a buck moose when we were leaving the lake, heading back. Great views...moderate-to-easy hike in my opinion.

hiking
8 days ago

This was a great day hike, taking the estimated 6 hours or so from start to finish. We left around 8:30am on a Sunday morning and the trail was relatively empty most of the way. We were actually surprised how few people we saw along the way compared to some of the more heavily trafficked trails. Also didn’t see much wildlife...just a duck up in the lake itself and a few squirrels. Made plenty of noises up and down, as this trail is supposedly an A+ rated grizzly bear favorite. As hard as we looked, we saw little more than bent brush here and there..:evidence that something had been through at some point. After the first 10 minutes of climbing stairs and steeper graded paths, it levels off and becomes a much easier grade most of the way up. Beautiful views all the way. Lots of forest paths opening up to vast mountain views, waterfalls, and lush overgrowth. A truly gorgeous trail. The lake at the top itself was a tranquil midday treat. No icebergs this late in the season, but a super pleasant place to chill for an hour, enjoy lunch, and take in nature’s grandeur. We’d done the Grinnell Glacier Trail the day prior, and this trail felt like a mini version of that...less difficult and a little shorter with far fewer people and a surprisingly pleasant pay-off at the end. It does lack a little of the “wow” factor since Grinnell feels like a bigger deal when you’re there, but this trail was nearly as rewarding and much easier to enjoy. No issues with heights on this one, just a general anxiety about bear encounters. But with a can in hand we forged confidently through and had nary an issue aside from a brief threat of rain. Overall, an excellent, moderately challenging hike!

hiking
9 days ago

Took our time and made it a full day hike. Could be done in 4.5-6.5 hours. The view was worth every step to get there. High trafficked path. Parking was easy. We could see Bears and goats way off in the distance- thankfully not on the path. Truly breathtaking views.

hiking
9 days ago

Great trail. Didn’t get to see any bear but saw some mountain goats and deer!

hiking
11 days ago

It was pretty cloudy today but we had a really good time hiking both of these trails. The tunnel was fantastic but it was very very foggy at the top. We would definitely recommend that you do this when it’s nice out but it’s still an exciting hike if you do it in overcast weather.

hiking
14 days ago

Wonderful lake, able to find a segment on the rocky beach just to ourselves to take a quick nap. Definitely a more crowded trail we experienced in the park, felt about the same as the highline. Hiked in the afternoon after Ptarmigan Tunnel.

hiking
17 days ago

Our favorite hike in the park! (though of course we did not do them all!) - view at the end is well worth the long hike!

hiking
17 days ago

amazing hike. must do while in glacier. had some grizzly bear scares early on in the trail. a momma and her cub crossed the trail down the hill. we were sure to make noise and have bear spray ready. the view at the lake was breathtaking. dont forget to stick your feet in the water!!

hiking
rocky
20 days ago

Amazing trail to a beautiful lake! We hiked from the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn parking lot to the lake and back in about 4.5 hours including a 30 min stop at the lake and 10 min stop at Ptarmigan Falls. We encountered a couple of grizzly cubs 10ft away from us, around a mile into the hike. This is prime grizzly country so make sure to make a lot of noise and carry bear spray! Hiking in groups of 3 or more is recommended.

hiking
22 days ago

Highly recommend this hike. Got to the swift motor inn parking lot at 8:45am on a Friday and there was plenty of parking. There was previous grizzly activity during the week on the trail but we did not see any. Lots of raspberries along the way. Lake was beautiful - no ice in it at this time of the year but was still an incredible sight. Lots of sun on the trail midday on our way back. More trafficked on our way back but nothing unexpected.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful hike that ends in solitude of the lake. I saw moose on the hike. Highly recommend.

hiking
26 days ago

Just gorgeous! We saw a moose and a grizzly bear. Took us a total of 5 hrs, including 30 mins by the lake.

hiking
26 days ago

We went on 8/26, started around 7:30. It was a great hike, beautiful views, iceberg lake was gorgeous. We saw 6 moose. Go early, we were one of the first 10 on the trail, on the way down we passed over 300 people.

hiking
27 days ago

Slight elevation gain, but not difficult. Great shorter day hike. (Can continue up to Ptarmigan Tunnel to make a longer hike). Stunning views of iceberg lake. Can be quite busy like most Glacier day hikes. Typically see wildlife along the way- Grizzlies seem to like the trail as much as the visitors!

recorded Iceberg Lake Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of wildlife. 2 grizzles, pair of foxes, deer and a black bear. Lots of blind spots so make noise. Nice steady climb except the very beginning and end. Lake was beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, right up there with grinell glacier. Only real tough part is the first half mile or so but then it levels out and is fairly easy. The top of the hike is absolutely beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

We hit this trailhead by 7:30am Saturday morning (Aug 17), plenty of time to beat the rush. We fully expected to see some bears due to the other reviews we read, but the only large wildlife we saw was a moose lying down at the tree line about halfway through, and four mountain sheep on the cliffs overlooking the lake. It took us just under 5 hours to complete the out-and-back hike, including a 45 minute rest on the lakeshore. The only strenuous part of the hike would be the first half mile of the hike. Otherwise, most elevation gain was pretty gradual. The varying scenery was absolutely beautiful, and we didn’t hit any crowds until about halfway on our way back. An absolutely stunning lake, worth the trek!

hiking
1 month ago

I would like to be a Park Ranger in this beautiful national park—Glacier! We hiked yesterday (08.17.19). It seems the weather is not cooperating when we get to Canada-US boarder at around 9 AM, it was raining a bit hard. Then weather suddenly changed to foggy and gloomy on our way to trailhead. The first 45 minutes hike is ascent challenge. As we go along, it opens up majestic vista where Mt Wilbur can be seen at far distance. Mt Wilbur and the lake in-one is fantastic ala paradise! It’s a beautiful moderate trail which we loved and enjoyed the sceneries.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike back at the beginning of august. Go! just be aware this is a bear heavy area with lots of blind corners on the trail so make some noise.

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I did this trail in mid August with our 10-year old son and 7-year old daughter and we all loved it. Round-trip took about 5 hours and we saw two moose but no bears. We both wore trail runners and they worked, but we agreed we should’ve opted for boots! Climb is not too bad and the scenery is breathtaking. We started the hike around 11am and the trailhead was packed with cars, but we passed tons of hikers coming down and then pretty much had the lake to ourselves when got there around 1:30. Everyone goes early, for solitude go late!

hiking
1 month ago

worth the hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail with amazing scenery. Started at 8:15 am and made it back to car at 2:30pm after enjoying the lake for about 45 minutes. As has been stated by others, be bear aware. As the trail runs through quite a bit of berry bearing plant areas. We saw one Black bear well off the trail within the 1st mile. Many trees on the trail have bear claw marks on them as well as trees showing antler rubbing damage from last fall, due to size and height I’d call the culprits Elk. We saw a couple of Mountain Goats on the west rim above the lake plus a Golden Eagle on the hike. I would hike the trail again.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful Lake and scenic views the whole way. We arrived at 9:10am and got parking on 8/14. The trail had tons of wild flowers and starts off rigorous but that’s the hardest part. We saw a deer by Iceberg Lake. There weren’t any icebergs in the lake. It was cool at the lake and we ate lunch before heading back down. It rained and was windy on the way down. Bring layers even if it looks warm and sunny. We saw people in shorts but were glad to have quick drying pants and rain coats. Sunday’s were nice when it was sunny and rainy!

Loved this trail! Arrived at the trailhead about 2:30p and got back at 7:30p. Whole family did the hike. Didn’t see any bears or anything like we had hoped but it sure was a great hike with a lot of variety of woods, streams, and then open views . The lake is gorgeous. First 1/2 mile is a difficult grade but not terrible. It really levels off after that

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

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