Iceberg Lake Trail

MODERATE 389 reviews
#3 of 120 trails in

Iceberg Lake Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Swiftcurrent, 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
1,443 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

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

Hiked yesterday and it was gorgeous. Started around 10am and hardly anyone else on the trail. It was cloudy/misty out which helped because didn’t have to worry about sun. The Lake didn’t have any icebergs but large snow/ice pack surrounding that looked like a glacier. Very quit and peaceful at the lake. Took a detour and hiked to lake Ptarmigan made it about 13 miles total. Saw 3 grizzlies, 1 mom and 2 cubs on the hill near the end of the hike going back to the parking lot. The only downside is the drive to get to the trailhead- it was 2.5 hours in the car from The west entrance of the park. Totally worth it.

3 days ago

Excellent hike with amazing views

hiking
4 days ago

Iceberg lake is a fantastic way to see glaciers up close without much strain or challenge. The moderate difficulty rating is likely attributed due to exposure and distance, not incline. Expect a more leisurely hike compared to what other GNP trails (Highline, Grinnell) provide, but the difficulty to payoff ratio here is outstanding.

If you are a novice hiker, this is a great trail to calibrate your skills with GNP. Highly recommend doing this first as it will help you gauge your skills with some other trails.

There is a good amount of exposure throughout the hike, so be prepared for sun and rain depending on the forecast. Inclined in general are gradual with the exception of a quarter mile stretch early in the trail.

6 days ago

Solid hike. Would consider other options given the crowd on this one

9 days ago

Did the Iceburg Lake Trail today and it was amazing. The trail is long, but easy, and has beautiful scenery all along the way. A Park Volunteer along the trail mentioned there hasn’t been any bears along the trail for the past couple of years because of the effect the hot and dry summers has had on the huckleberry bushes. We did see a Grizzly and her two cubs from the road on our way out of the park

hiking
15 days ago

Busy hike, but an awesome hike. Uphill the entire way, but it's pretty gradual and not steep.

hiking
22 days ago

We hiked this trail in early July so a lot of people on the trail. The hike isn’t technical but recommend sturdy shoes as it’s also not flat. The scenery is beautiful and it’s worth the hike to end at the lake.

1 month ago

Stood on an iceberg!

1 month ago

Great scenery throughout this hike. We did the ptarmigan tunnel trail in the morning and did this one in the afternoon from the split off. Nice way to do it as it was busy going up to the lake with everybody leaving, but very quiet at the lake itself as everybody had mostly left already. Great lake to jump in if you can take it (still not as cold as grinnell glacier lake!) with Crystal clear water and amazing icebergs to stand on and jump off! Great experience all round for the whole family.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely stunning hike with a Great Lake at the end to take a dip. Only downsides were the bear sightings that caused the trail to become closed and a little too many people for my liking.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail on 08/09 and it was on day 2 of being open after being closed due to bear activity. It was a beautiful hike up to the lake but keep in mind that on a sunny day, it can be kind of brutal because there is very little shade along the way. On our return, we ran into a pretty decent sized Grizzly right off the side of the trail so make sure to bring bear spray & make some noise! Worth it!

1 month ago

Fantastic views, babbling brooks, a powerful waterfall and Iceberg Lake is worth the trip. From the look of tracks in the snow around the lake, the wildlife loves to play in this spot, too.

1 month ago

very beautiful hike from start to the top - highly recommended - expect to have a lot of bites by aggressive flies - longsleeve clothing can help.
done August 5 2018

1 month ago

Spectacular! Long but relatively easy after the first little bit. Saw several grizzly bears along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Nice views along the way. Iceberg lake itself is overhyped, but everything else made it worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Aug 1 - Awesome lake. Better view if you rest on the top of the boulder field and look back down. The floating glacier is hard enough that you can jump over. The Blouder field is the most confusing part as there aren't much markings around. Only way you know it's the path is the smaller gravel and flatter rocks.

hiking
1 month ago

Start Early! This is a great hike but much of it is exposed so it would be very hot to be walking uphill into the sun. I have hiked this twice on hot days but it was fine if you start around 9 am. The falls are a nice half way point and the flowers and icebergs are awesome.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike on 7/25. My boyfriend and I drove to Many Glacier to look around and on our drive decided to do this hike last minute. SUPER glad we did because it was amazing. As other reviews say it was definitely hard in the beginning. I have arthritis and asthma so it was pretty challenging for me but if I can do it, lots of others can too. It's a little longer of a hike than I usually do but it was fun, challenging, and the view at the end is worth it.
Theres a lake that has no icebergs before the actual Iceberg lake so don't be fooled, thats not it, keep going. The lake with no icebergs in it is super clear and blue. There is a small cliff with and easy ledge to get out of the lake. If we had our swimsuits we would have jumped in.
There was also a female and male moose near the top that made it extra special.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an absolutely gorgeous hike. The wildflowers were in bloom, and the surrounding mountains were gorgeous. Most of the trail is open to direct sunlight, so make sure to put on that sunscreen! There are also a lot of bugs on this trail, I would suggest bug spray as well. One thing I will say about our trail experience would be that there were an excessive number of people on the trail and at the lake. The hike itself is relatively easy, with slightly steep areas in the beginning of the hike. Keep bear spray at the ready, and make noise around blind curves so as not to startle a bear. We saw grizzlies from a distance. Iceberg Lake, situated in the shadows of the mountains, is worth this 10 mile round trip hike. The view is absolutely breathtaking!

1 month ago

It was our first hike of our 8 day trip. Great hike with a fantastic destination. Took our shoes off when we got there to put our feet in...SO COLD! It is important to start early if you want fewer people and more animals. We saw moose and bears and so many beautiful flowers. A must on the list. Pack bug spray and sunscreen the way back is full sun along the mountain side and the forest is had flies galore once you get close to noon and it warms up.

hiking
1 month ago

Had an amazing time hiking to Iceberg Lake on 7/28/18! After a steep climb in the first few hundred yards it evens out to a very gradual climb all the way to the lake. The descent was very easy. Beautiful views and lovely landscape the whole way. And the lake is one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited! This is a cant miss experience!

hiking
1 month ago

Stunning! Get there in the beginning to mid-July to actually see Icebergs on the lake. And start early to beat the crowds and the ranger-led hike that begins at 9am. The lighting on the lake around early afternoon was prime and made the water a crystal clear blue.

1 month ago

great trail, not too difficult

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail and beautiful scenery! We did this starting about 7am which got us away from the crowds. It was peaceful and serene.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this back in mid June when the lake was still frozen over, very cool to see in the bowl of mountains it was surrounded by, and the view of valley you walked up to get it is spectacularly beautiful.

2 months ago

Hiked on 7/15. Best hike of the week! Moderate hike with great views and what a payout at the end!! Coolest lake with stunning views. Saw a group of big horn sheep near the end. Go out early to have the trail to yourself and bring bug spray

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked July 16th. Absolutely beautiful! Really wish we had hiked Iceberg before Grinnell though, instead of the other way around. Grinnell raised expectations that were hard to meet. As you'll read, the only steep part is at the beginning, and the rest is a gradual climb. As one would expect, the water is cold, but not as cold as Grinnell, so take the plunge! Water shoes tho! We didn't have water shoes to navigate over the rocks when getting in and the soles of my feet were bruised the next day. Other than a moose occupying the trail on our way down, we didn't encounter much wildlife (12pm-5:30).

hiking
2 months ago

We began our hike at 1:30 pm when the sun was high - it was warm but worked to our advantage on the return as there was shade our entire descent (5:30-8:00pm). The trail was quite busy on our ascent but quiet on the return. Several springs and Ptarmigan Falls offered relief along the way. The lake is stunning - well worth the effort with our 8 & 11 year olds! Many icebergs were in the water and we even witnessed a chunk fall into the water while there. Stunning views all along the trail - if you’re in East Glacier do not miss! Also, bring your bug spray, bear spray and sunscreen! The bugs were really thick in the afternoon.

2 months ago

Great hike!!! The views of the valley and mountains are awesome. And it’s hard to describe how incredible the lake is. You have to see it to understand. We also saw a moose as we got closer to the lake!! We went with the family today, which includes our youngest, who’s 8 years old. He did well on the hike up and was super excited as he played in the lake. He got a little tired on the way back, but that might be because it’s not as exciting hiking back to the car. :)

Watch out for the chipmunks and ground squirrels at the lake. They’re used to hikers grabbing a bite there and aren’t afraid to steal some food.

Also, we got to the motor inn around 9:15am and the motor inn lot filled up right after we got there. I’m guessing people started to park on the road by around 9:30 because there wasn’t any space left in the lot.

2 months ago

Beautiful trail! Definitely worth it.

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