Iceberg Lake Trail

#7 in Best Things To Do in Glacier National Park
Iceberg Lake Trail picture
GlacierNPS/Flickr

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Hiking, Recreation, Free Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
4.0

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

The Iceberg Lake Trail is a favorite among experienced hikers, who are treated to stunning views of Mount Wilbur, Iceberg Peak and the Continental Divide upon reaching the snow and ice-filled lake. The hike begins behind the cabins at Swiftcurrent Lake and shares the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail for the first few miles, splitting off just past the Ptarmigan Falls. Hikers are rewarded with views of gorgeous alpine meadows in the spring and summer.

According to recent visitors, the trail is well-suited for avid hikers, and may be too difficult for casual travelers who are unfit, as the trail is mostly uphill. Many also enjoyed seeing grizzly bears, bighorn sheep and mountain goats along the way. Travelers said that late spring and early summer were the best times to see the floating icebergs on the lake, and cautioned that even in the summer, it can be cold or rainy. Some visitors even tried the "polar bear plunge:" a freezing post-hike dip in the lake.

You'll want to pack rain gear, hiking poles, water and a picnic lunch to enjoy lakeside. Several sections of the trail are known as prime bear habitats, so hiking in groups and carrying bear spray are recommended. The trail is free to access with your park admission. To learn more about the trail, visit the NPS website.

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#1 Apgar Nature Center

Housed in a small cabin built in 1929, the Apgar Nature Center sits in a grove of cedar trees and is one of the official park visitor centers. The nature center features interactive activities for kids: children can feel a grizzly bear's fur, listen and identify birds by their "songs" or create their own puppet show. Educational displays detail plants found in the park and teach about the habitats of the vast array of wildlife. Ranger-led talks and other programs are held in the outdoor seating area.

Recent travelers recommended making this visitor center your first stop in the park to gather important information on road and weather conditions, bear sightings and trail closures. Families particularly enjoyed the junior ranger programs and special activities, and many visitors were impressed with the restaurant, the helpful staff and the free Wi-Fi. Many also noted that this is the place to park for free shuttle service and park tours.

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