Swiftcurrent Glacier

Swiftcurrent Glacier is located at 48.77519, -113.7569. In 2005 this glacier covered an area of 223519 m2 and in 1966 it covered an area of 261410 m2 . That is a change of -14.50 % over this time period.

Description

Standing on the dock at the Many Glacier Hotel and looking over Swiftcurrent Lake, Swiftcurrent Glacier is easily viewable. I have overheard visitors to Glacier National Park discussing the difference between an annual snow field and a glacier many times and inevitably which ones are glaciers is the topic of consideration. There are only a handful of glaciers that are viewable from a vehicle in Glacier and Swiftcurrent Glacier falls into this list. We accessed it from the west side of the Park from the Loop Trail which is the tight switchback in the Going-to-the-Sun Road just after the west side tunnel. We hiked past Granite Park Chalet and through Swiftcurrent Pass. Within a few hundred yards of the crest of this pass we hung a sharp right leaving the trail and found our way over the ridge. There is a large bowl that we crossed through and up one more small ridge which was a lateral moraine of the glacier. This was one of our longest treks for the summer of 2013 entailing about 12 miles of trail and 6 miles of off trail traverse. The glacier itself is located directly east and over the ridge from Granite Park Chalet and north of Grinnell, Salamander and Gem Glaciers.