on our very last day at glacier national park, anna and i ditched the rest of the lidkids and drove back up to the many glacier part of the park, to hike to iceberg lake. we had a couple of different hikes in mind, but grinnell glacier wasn’t fully open and the highline trail presented some logistics issues, so this was our final decision.
it’s a hike i went on solo on our last trip, in a ranger led group. it’s about 11 miles, out and back, and 1500′ elevation gain, and i wasn’t 100% sure how anna would do, but she was all in, so i was all in.
we woke up extra early to beat the masses to the parking lot and trailhead.
like every other single day of our trip, the weather was perfect. sunny with clear blue skies. i literally do not have one single complaint.
we marched our little selves along, chatting and singing about how we would certainly not like to have any run ins with megafauna, nick naming bears “chompy slashers”. the scenery was so beautiful, which i did not experience in 2017 because it was overcast and drizzly.
there were so many colorful wildflowers. we stopped to take pics of them all. 🙂
before long, the lake was before us. and it was lovely.
it was still quite early in the morning (we made good time) and the sun wasn’t quite doing it’s job reflecting off the rock flour and minerals to give it that iconic aqua color.
but it was still a million times better than my previous viewing. here’s a side by side. 2021 vs. 2017.
other folks were being absolutely crazy, diving in and climbing on floating “icebergs”. we kept it to wading in for a few seconds while a friendly fellow hiker snapped a pic. it literally felt like knives stabbing our legs and it was like 1.5 seconds before we were numb.
we walked along the shore a bit and found ourselves a secluded area for a snack and break (and to watch the crazies jump in). but it wasn’t long before the place filled up. and then a random group of people came right next to us in our little cove and plopped down, which is all fine, but they were sooooo loud. so, we moved down a bit to a new spot. eventually the sun started doing it’s job and the lake started turning properly aqua.
when we walked back towards the trail, we noticed that one of the icebergs was a bit closer to the shore and i managed to talk anna into going out on it. she’s a trooper. the water was cold, but standing on ice is cold too.
as more and more people arrived and set up shop and acted like idiots, we decided that we had reached the point of diminishing returns in regard to how much more aqua the lake would get and how annoying so many people would be. so, we snapped a few parting photos and began our return hike.
on our way back, we passed so many more people (there were like four on the hike up). but, some folks pointed out a moose way off in the valley, which is how we prefer our megafauna (not bears and far away). we had a snowball fight as we crossed back over a big snowfield (on july 4th). and we were sure to take lots of photos and selfies to commemorate this excursion.
on the way up, we had passed by ptarmigan falls, which is pretty cool but we were on a mission. it made for an excellent place to take a break on the way back to cool off, but since it’s only a couple of miles in, it had soooooo many people, so we didn’t stay too long.
i won’t lie. our feet were pretty sore when all was said and done. i treated anna to a giant ice cream from the lodge and we drove back to camp. it was such a fantastic hike and a perfect last hurrah to our amazing time at glacier. i could not be happier about our time there.
that night, while we were hanging out with our new friends, we noticed fireworks in the distance, so we walked down to watch them. (it was july fourth afterall).
that night, storms rolled in and the next morning was foggy and gray and overcast and we couldn’t see the tops of any of the mountains. and i was thankful for my nine days of perfect weather and had no regrets as we pulled out of my happiest place on earth.