Best time to travel to Glacier National Park, MT

Iceberg Lake in Glacier National Park, MT 2024

Surrounded by iconic peaks and alpine meadows, this lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the park

Best time: June–October

Iceberg Lake
Iceberg Lake
Iceberg Lake
The Trail to Iceberg Lake

Iceberg Lake, located in the northeastern part of Glacier National Park, is nestled between Mount Wilbur in the south as well as Iceberg Peak and the Continental Divide in the west. This alpine lake lies at an elevation of 6094 feet, shaded from the sun by the mountains, so it's known to have snow and ice during most of the summer. A popular hiking destination, Iceberg Lake is accessible from The Swiftcurrent Auto Camp at Swiftcurrent Lake via a 4.8-mile (7.7-km) trail. The best time to visit the lake is from June through October.

Iceberg Lake Trail

The Iceberg Lake trailhead is located near tourist cabins, not far from the parking lot of the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. The hikers must turn right and continue their ascend through the Ptarmigan Trail. At Ptarmigan Trail junction, hikers must go left and pass the Many Glacier Hotel. This area is known for the abundance of grizzly bears, so be ready to encounter some wildlife. Hikers will also pass Ptarmigan Falls and Ptarmigan Creek before they reach the Iceberg Lake Trail junction. Another landmark on the trail is the impressive Ptarmigan Wall, hanging over the trail. After hikers pass a footbridge over Iceberg Creek, the trail arrives at a beautiful wildflower meadow with emerald Iceberg Lake in the background.

Where to stay

Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins is a popular option with hikers. The complex includes 95 rustic cabin and motor inn rooms, a store, and a restaurant. Horseback rides and other outdoor activities are available in the area. The inn is a gateway to Swiftcurrent Pass, Ptarmigan Lake, and Ptarmigan Tunnel. Many Glacier Hotel is another iconic accommodation of Glacier National Park. Located on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake, it features a store, a dining room, and a gift shop. Boat cruises and horseback rides are available to be booked at the hotel. For those who wish to stay closer to nature there is a 13-site Many Glacier Campground.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Iceberg Lake?

Iceberg Lake is best visited from June to October when the weather is warmer and the snow and ice start to melt. Visitors can take advantage of this period to enjoy hiking to the lake and admire its surroundings without worrying about extreme temperatures or freezing weather. Show more

Where is Iceberg Lake located in Glacier National Park?

Iceberg Lake is situated in Montana's Glacier National Park, in the northeastern region. It sits between Mount Wilbur on the south side, Iceberg Peak, and the Continental Divide to the west. Access to the lake can be attained using the 4.8-mile-long (7.7 km) trail starting at The Swiftcurrent Auto Camp located at Swiftcurrent Lake, with an elevation of over 6094 feet above sea level. Show more

What landmarks can be seen while hiking Iceberg Lake Trail?

The Iceberg Lake Trail is notable for various landmarks, such as Ptarmigan Falls, Ptarmigan Creek, and the fascinating Ptarmigan Wall located above the trail. During their hike to the lake, visitors can also enjoy the beautiful wildflower meadows, alpine woods, and towering mountains. Hikers may also encounter black bears, wolverines, lynx, or mountain goats while admiring the scenic views. Show more

What are the accommodation options near Iceberg Lake?

Visitors can choose between Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins and Many Glacier Hotel during their stay near Iceberg Lake. Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins is an excellent option for rustic cabins and motor inn rooms, a store, and a restaurant. Visitors can also partake in outdoor activities such as horseback riding. Alternatively, Many Glacier Hotel can be found at the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake, providing a shop, dining area, and gift shop. For those seeking a closer-to-nature experience, a 13-site Many Glacier Campground is also available. Show more

What kind of wildlife can hikers expect to encounter on the trail?

Hikers on Iceberg Lake Trail should be mindful of encountering a variety of wildlife, including black bears, grizzly bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, wolverines, and lynx. Visitors should be careful and avoid carrying anything scented while hiking. Staying on designated trails reduces the risk of encountering these creatures, hiking in groups also further ensures proper precautions are taken. Show more

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