Many Glacier Lakes

Resembling the European Alps with its stunning vistas and four glaciers, Many Glacier Valley attracted visitors via the Great Northern Railway when Many Glacier Hotel opened in 1914, just four years after the formation of the Park. Branching out from the hotel, hikers, then and now, have a network of trails to choose from for their day’s outing. The hotel offers trail rides, and tour boats run between the hotel and the upper end of Lake Josephine. Just outside the Park entrance, the town of Babb also offers visitor services and accommodations.

The Many Glacier Valley offers visitors the opportunity to view wildlife such as the powerful grizzly bear and the agile mountain goat and bighorn sheep. Fishing opportunities include the valley lakes as well as the backcountry lakes. However, some of the lakes, such as Upper Grinnell Lake, Iceberg Lake, Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake, Poia Lake and Cracker Lake, are barren or closed to fishing.

A short distance from Swiftcurrent Lake, at the end of the road, is the trailhead to Red Rock Lake. The hike to Red Rock Lake is three miles. It provides fishing for brook trout. A third trail from Many Glacier leads to Fishercap Lake, Iceberg Lake and Ptarmigan Lake. Fishercap Lake is a five-mile hike from Swiftcurrent Campground and provides fishing for brook trout and rainbows. Pass up the barren Iceberg Lake and plan on a hard five-mile hike to fish Ptarmigan Lake.

Lake Sherrburne
Lake Sherrburne is actually a reservoir and provides inconsistent fishing for pike and the occasional brook trout.

Swiftcurrent Lake
Attracting large numbers of people at both the hotel and the campground, Swiftcurrent Lake receives the most fishing pressure of the area lakes. The lake is home to brook trout and kokanee and the fishing is described as fair. Beginning a half-mile west of the hotel at a picnic site, Swiftcurrent Lake Trail #167 provides a self-guided nature trail that circles the lake. Crossing the foot-bridge over Grinnel Creek, Trail #180 branches off to take the hiker to Trail #171, which follows the southern shoreline of Lake Josephine.

Lake Josephine
Less than a mile hike from Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine provides fair fishing for brook trout and kokanee. Hikers may choose the South Shore Lake Josephine Trail starting at the hotel or the footpath along the north side of Swiftcurrent Lake to the upper Swiftcurrent boat dock and then westward to Lake Josephine.

Grinnell Lake
Lying above Lake Josephine, Grinnell Lake may be reached following the south shore of Lake Josephine or the northern shore. However, the fishing is said to be poor as a result of receding glacial flow from Grinnell Glacier.

Fishercap Lake
Just past the parking lot for the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, Fishercap Lake is easy to reach but disappointing as a fishery, offering up small brook trout in a shallow lake. The inlet stream and the outlet stream offer better opportunities for faster action, albeit small fish. Fishercap Lake is the trailhead for Red Rock Lake and Bullhead Lake.

Red Rock Lake
Because of its two-mile hike from the parking lot of the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, Red Rock Lake gets pounded with hardware and bait. It is said to be fair fishing for brook trout. The final lake in this chain of lakes is Bullhead Lake, which is only 3.3 miles from the parking lot. Again, the lake is reported as fair fishing for brook trout.