ElevationAscent: 1,349' 411 m
Descent: -1,349' -411 m
High: 6,141' 1,872 m
Low: 4,962' 1,513 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
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“An out-and-back hike to Iceberg Lake with ample opportunity to see a variety of Glacier's megafauna!”— Jake Bramante
Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Although the first two-tenths of a mile climb at a fairly steep grade, the trail quickly flattens out, becoming a nice, gradual incline taking you to broad meadows. Keep an eye on the meadows along the slopes above and below the trail, as this area is frequented by bighorn sheep and grizzlies. Occasionally you can see mountain goats in the rockier cliffs higher up.
The trail heads into the forest with scattered views as you go by Ptarmigan Falls at mile 2.6, which you can see through the vegetation. Beyond the waterfall, continue past the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail which breaks off to the right, to the Iceberg Lake Trail.
From here, the trail eventually breaks out of the trees and heads through avalanche chutes and meadows. Wilbur Creek creates a waterfall at the head of the drainage and flows below the trail. As you head into the basin, you pass a beautiful small pond surrounded by flowering meadows in early to mid-summer. Continue on over the rise. As you drop towards the towering rock walls, Iceberg Lake becomes visible. In the cooler, earlier months much of the lake is frozen, with scattered icebergs throughout.
As summer months begin to get warmer, the icebergs will separate and float freely on the top of the water. During rare years with higher-than-normal temperatures, the icebergs can become completely melted.
From Iceberg Lake, head back the way you came to your vehicle.
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.
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Land Manager: NPS - Glacier National Park