“A gentle loop around Swiftcurrent Lake with wonderful views and a chance to see many animals.”
— Jake Bramante
Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Level, varied trail around a lake with many scenic bridges and places to see wildlife.
Bring bear spray.
This trail starts off at the Many Glacier Hotel
with fantastic views, then heads south along the shoreline to the trail sign. From there, you meander through a pleasant forest that roughly follows the shoreline. You are never far from the lake, and the trees are airy enough for you to be able to see it most of the time. The birding is great between the forest birds and the waterfowl.
The trail continues along the eastern shore where it passes by a boat house all the way to the head of the lake where a footbridge has you cross over Cataract Creek right after the junction for a cutoff trail to the South Shore Lake Josephine Trail
. The trail travels east through more trees and shoreline until it gets to the boat launch and intersects with the Grinnell Glacier Trail
. Take a right and head north along the west shoreline through more trees with filtered views of the lake.
The trail then breaks away from the lake as it heads towards the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead, crossing over Swiftcurrent Creek. This area is a great section to keep your eye out for moose as you head through the trees. Once at the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead, follow the loop of the road to the right and, just before you get to the Many Glacier Road, you'll see the trail take off again and follow along the shoreline. Views across the lake of the hotel are wonderful. Keep an eye up on the hillsides to the north which is frequently inhabited by bears, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats.
The trail eventually wraps around onto the road, crosses the outlet creek via a bridge and parallels the road back to the hotel.
This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com
for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.
Flora & Fauna
Many forest flowers such as arnica, glacier lilies, and beargrass. Birds vary from chickadees and finches to warblers and waterfowl such as loons and goldeneyes. Tree squirrels and chipmunks make up the smaller animals, but black and grizzly bears, moose, deer, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats may all be observed from the trail.