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black Coleman Glacier Trail

Trail

3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,091' 333 m
Descent: -60' -18 m
High: 6,323' 1,927 m
Low: 5,292' 1,613 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)

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Trail shared by Joan Pendleton

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Forest trail that goes to the Coleman Glacier moraine with great views of the glacier and surrounding peaks and creeks.

Joan Pendleton

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views

Description

Coleman Glacier Trail starts at a marked trail junction at the edge of the forest on the gravel flats of the Smoky River, along Moose River Route: Smoky River Crossing to Moose Pass. Go southeast at this trail junction to hike to views of Coleman Glacier.

From the trail junction, Coleman Glacier Trail enters the fir forest with its dense undergrowth. The trail climbs through the forest as it follows Yates Torrent upstream for the first 1.6 miles. Yates Torrent is to the right (southwest) of the trail, and below the trail in a canyon along this stretch. There are a few lookouts where the trail comes close to the edge of the canyon and Yates Torrent can be seen, but otherwise it is only heard.

After 1.6 miles, Yates Torrent jogs southwest away from Coleman Glacier Trail, and can no longer be heard. The trail continues in the forest to about the 2.0 mile mark. Although most of these first 2.0 miles are in the forest, there are a few small stretches that break out of the forest and it's easy to lose the trail in these small meadows. Watch carefully to see where it reappears.

At the 2.0 mile mark, the trail reaches a small meadow on the west side of a little glacial lake, and disappears. Cross the meadow, keeping to the right, and pick up trail on the west (right) side of the little lake. Follow this trail to the lake's outlet stream, cross the outlet stream and look for cairns. Follow these cairns over the rocky area here at the end of the lake to find the trail as it reenters the forest.

After the trail reenters the forest, there is visible trail all the way to close to the Coleman Glacier moraine. The trees eventually thin as the trail climbs toward the rocky moraine. The visible trail ends at the base of a rocky ridge (the moraine) to the right.

Remembering where the visible trail ended, climb to the top of the moraine and continue hiking up its crest to get better and better views of Coleman Glacier and Yates Torrent as it cascades down from the glacier with glacial melt waters into a little glacial lake, and then down towards its canyon and the Smoky River. The barren cliffs of Chetang Ridge are across Yates Torrent. In the distance, on the right, Chetang Ridge joins Tatei Ridge at Titkana Peak that forms the north side of Snowbird Pass, a gap in the mountains to the right. Lynx Mountain, farther in the distance, on the right, is the south side of Snowbird Pass. Reef Icefield is behind Coleman Glacier and the glacier flows down from this icefield.

Flora & Fauna

Firs with dense undergrowth and some fallen fir logs across the trail.

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Aug 25, 2018
Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#10055

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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#10,055

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130 Since Sep 9, 2018
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