Albertawow

Glacier Lake Hike

  Ratings:    Ratings 4 Star
Level: Moderate Time/Dist: 4 to 6 hours / 18K return Elevation Gain: 400m

Trailhead: Park at the Glacier Lake trail head parking lot across from the Saskatchewan Crossing Resort, approximately 77kms north of Lake Louise on the Icefields Parkway. Banff National Park.

Description: Locate the trail head on the back side of the parking lot. Within 1Km you will reach the foot bridge that crosses the North Saskatchewan River. Cross the bridge and continue on another 1.2kms until you reach the Howse River View Point. Interesting to note that David Thompson who led a group of fur traders camped at this very spot for several days in 1807. From this historical viewpoint you can see Howes Pass, Mount Murchison, Mount Outram, the Sir James Glacier and the beautifully colored Howes River. Follow the trail to your right (west) as it drops down towards the river. The trail meanders upstream along the banks of the Howes River for another 2Kms or so then enters a lush spruce, fir and pine forest. Lots of wildflowers and mushrooms can be found on this section of the trail. In approximately 4.5kms you'll reach a signed trail junction that points towards the Glacier Lake Campground. The trail splits here towards Glacier Lake and the dangerous Howes River crossing that joins the historic Howse Pass Trail, part of the great divide trail. From the junction it's a short distance down to Glacier Lake. Glacier Lake is the fourth largest lake in Banff National Park. It is 4.6kms long and .9kms wide. The lake is fed from the massive Lyell Glacier that is whispering your name 8.5kms west of here.

It's very tempting to continue on towards the Lyell Glacier however it would be a very long day trip, 36kms return. If you're spending the night at Glacier Lake Campground a trip to the Lyell Glacier is a must or better yet you can overnight near the glacier. There is an old log cabin located within the Glacier Lake Campground that is still in use. The cabins door is missing so in the middle of the night you might be sharing it with local wildlife. The backcountry campground has a few picnic tables located near the lakes shore and there are several flat spots for a tent. Expect it to be windy here as it is located at the east end of the lake below the S.E. Lyell Icefields Valley.

Near Here: Local campgrounds include Mosquito Creek, Waterfowl Lake and Lake Louise. Trailheads to Bow Falls, Caldron Lake, Fish Lakes, Molar Pass, Helen Lake, Cirque Peak, Peyto Lake Hike, Bow Lake Lookout Hike, Chephren Cirque Lake Hikes, Michelle Lakes, Mount Hector Alpine Climb are all located near here. You are in bear country.

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Glacier Lake Banff National Park
Glacier Lake, Division Mountain, Southeast Lyell Glacier  
   
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Glacier Lake Trail  North Saskatchewan River
   
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North Saskatchewan River North Saskatchewan River, Mount Murchison
   
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Foot Bridge Over The North Saskatchewan River Glacier Lake Trail
   
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Howse River Viewpoint Howse River Towards Howse Pass
   
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Howse River Towards Howse Pass Howse River, Mount Murchison
   
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Howse River and Mount Sarbach Howse River Towards Howse Pass
   
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  Mount Outram And Sir James Glacier
   
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  Carved In 1928 By Surveyors
   
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  Glacier Lake Backcountry Campground
   
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Glacier Lake Survey Peak
   
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Glacier Lake Survey Peak
   
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Glacier Lake Log Cabin  
   
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Glacier Lake Backcountry Campground  
   
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Glacier Lake, Division Mountain, South East Lyell Glacier  
   
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