Glacier National Park
Lake Josephine

Mt. Gould in Glacier Park

Lake Josephine

Lake Josephine in Glacier National Park
Photo Use Guidelines

Lake Josephine is probably the easiest of all the backcountry lakes in Glacier National Park to reach. Indeed, the only reason it is listed as a backcountry lake is because you can't drive to it. To reach Lake Josephine requires either a very easy one mile hike to its shore from the Many Glacier Road or hopping aboard a boat to cross Swiftcurrent Lake followed by a easy 200 yard hike.

Either way, Lake Josephine is easy to reach and its use reflects it. The lake is very popular for hikers to stop and sit a spell along the lakeshore. As hiking trails closely follow the lake on all sides, hikers are a common sight along Lake Josephine. Yet, as far as fishing goes, pressure is extremely light. Virtually all people who find their way to this lake are hikers, either making a easy destination of the lake or passing by the way the lake into the heart of Glacier National Park.

Lake Josephine is primarily a brook trout lake, with average sizes around 10 inches. Some kokanee salmon can also occasionally be caught. Virtually any dry fly or attractor fly works well on Lake Josephine. While winds can occasionally present casting challenges, the mountains give some protection from the fierce winds that pound Lake Sherburne just to the west.

Lake Josephine in Glacier National Park
Photo Use Guidelines

Lake Josephine, due to its easy access and moderate size, is a prime place to take a float tube, pontoon boat, inflatable raft or canoe. You can paddle across Swiftcurrent Lake and then portage your craft 200 yards over to the shores of Lake Josephine. Since virtually no one does this, you will very likely have the waters of the lake to yourself. Instead of the portage, you can also paddle up the channel that connects Lake Josephine to Swiftcurrent Lake.

The setting Lake Josephine is in is absolutely stunning. Mt. Gould, Allen Mountain, and Grinnell Point all tower above the lake. Allen Mountain and Mt. Gould both rise more than a mile in vertical height above the lake. Additionally, an easy hike up to Grinnell Lake, which is fishless, can also be done from Lake Josephine. Just go to the inlet of the lake and follow the well-maintained trail for a truly beautiful sight. The Grinnell Glacier Trail also parallels the lake on its way up to the beautiful Grinnell Glacier.

Several backcountry campgrounds are found near Lake Josephine. The Many Glacier Campground is also found nearby, although it fills up quickly. The Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake (less than 2 miles away) also provides for a more luxurious lodging choice for those who are tired of camping.

While the whole area around Lake Josephine is prime bear country, you're unlikely to see them due to the high amounts of people using the trails around the lake - the bears will generally be found more around Grinnell Lake and up the Grinnell Glacier Trail. Still, you never know, so pay attention when fishing along the shoreline of the lake.


Hiking Gear & Equipment Guide for Glacier National Park

Fleece Jackets : The best way to stay warm in Glacier Park
Hiking Pants : The best type of pants for hiking...period
Rain Jackets : Get the right type of rain gear for Glacier Park

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