The second day was a big day for us. Today we were going to hike the Grinnell Glacier trail. The glacier has been receding rapidly over the past several years. There are photographs of the parks glaciers in the hotel and other parts of the park. It’s amazing to see how much glaciers have receded in the park. I wanted the chance to hike up to the glacier before it’s all gone (which is currently predicted to be by 2030).
To get to the Grinnell Glacier trail, there are two options. You can hike around the lake or take a boat across the river. Reserve a spot on 8:30am boat, and you can join the ranger on a guided hike on trail.
When we visited, only half of the trail was open. There was still snow on parts of the trail. The day before, we ran into some hikers that hiked the entire trail. They said while there was some snow, it was quite passable. After some discussion, we decided that I would take the older two kids through the whole trail (and turn around if we feel it’s too dangerous) and my husband and youngest would hike as far as the ranger walked.
It was the most strenuous hike I have done to date, mostly because the elevation was so high. But it was worth it. If you take your time and are moderately in shape, I would recommend this hike. The views are breath taking and walking up to an actual glacier is amazing! It was the best feeling!
My husband and son also had a great time. On the way back to the hotel they spotted a moose in the lake!
By the time we got back to the hotel, we were so tired! That night we were camping at Many Glacier campground and my husband had already set up the tent.
Many Glacier campground is very popular, but half of the campsites are available to advance reservation. Go can reserve sites on recreation.gov. There’s detailed instructions and the sites open up exactly six months in advance. It’s a good idea to set up an account and practice ahead of time. These sites go really fast, so the quicker you are, the better chance you’ll have to get a site.
That night, we ate dinner at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. We also checked out the general store nearby and asked about laundry and showers. Here, the laundry is located behind the store. The showers are coin operated. You purchase a token and when you insert it, it’ll give you eight minutes.