Another hike in Glacier on our ‘must repeat’ list was to the Grinnell Lake area. We wanted to climb all the way up to the Glacier but were agin foiled by ice cliffs and unsafe conditions (to avoid this problem, visit earlier in May/June when the trail is covered in sturdy snow or later in July/August so the snow can fully melt.)
We experienced unexpectedly warm conditions on our hike up to the overlook. We shed layers and, even though we had to re-dress for warmth at the overlook, we were comfortable enough to sit for a long time to soak in the views. We watched one hiker who was brave (or stupid?) enough to try to traverse the ice cliffs. He took nearly an hour circumventing the worst of the cliffs and then, eventually, he was still caught in too precious of a spot and turned around. The sun shone on us the entire time and we even spied some grizzly bears playing on a snow field between us and the lake.
On our descent, we decided to try to hike down to the lake shore, even though we heard the area had been flooded. Most of the trail was safe and aside from a workout involving lots of log hopping, we made it to the lookout. By this time, the winds had picked up (and would stay that way for several more days), ruining the glassy surface we had hoped to see at the lake. Once it started drizzling, we turned around because we had hotel reservations we were pretty darn excited about at the Many Glacier Lodge.
This historic building is stunning and sits right along the edge of Swiftcurrent Lake. Grinnell Point rises dramatically across the lake, providing a stereotypical view to the whole area. We were pleased with how nice renovations were to our room and we were even more pleased with the surprising revelation that our room overlooked the lake. We were able to make our reservations for the hotel in February before we visited in early July. But reservations go very quickly here, and especially in the busier seasons of August. This next year, we are revisiting Glacier in August. Our preferred dates were already taken but we managed to shift some things round to get reservations (three nights in two different hotels and three different rooms).