The Lakes of Glacier National Park
Swiftcurrent Lake

Mt. Gould in Glacier Park

Swiftcurrent Lake

Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park
Photo Use Guidelines

Swiftcurrent Lake lies in the exceptionally scenic Many Glacier Valley in Glacier National Park. Swiftcurrent Lake itself is absolutely beautiful, surrounded by towering, snow-capped peaks. The water is crystal clear and remains cool all summer long. For any angler or visitor to Glacier National Park in search of scenery, any stop must include the entire Many Glacier Valley and Swiftcurrent Lake in particular.

Swiftcurrent Lake is different from other lakes in Glacier National Park in that it actually receives quite a bit of use. Most of the use on Swiftcurrent Lake comes in the form of recreational uses. Scenic boat rides are available that take hundreds if not thousands of tourists a day across this scenic lake and onto Lake Josephine. Numerous other tourists rent canoes and other boats near the hotel and take this out on this exceptionally beautiful and clear lake.

Fishing pressure, on the other hand, is pretty low. Except for people fishing along the shore near the hotel and a handful more than leisurely fish out in the middle of the lake, this lake receives little fishing pressure.

Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park
Photo Use Guidelines

The fish found in Swiftcurrent Lake consist primarily of brook trout. For brook trout, the fish are decent sized, averaging around 10 inches, with some going well over a foot.

Access to Swiftcurrent Lake couldn't be any easier. The hotel area has countless spots that allow easy car access. In addition, a picnic area just up the road from the hotel allows for further easy road access. Finally, well-maintained and marked trails ring the shoreline of the lake, including the beautiful Grinnell Glacier Trail, allowing for excellent trailside access. The trails along the shoreline of the lake are basically flat and short, making for an easy hike.

Fishing from shore can be done with success. However, like any lake, a boat will allow for better fishing opportunities. While this lake can be windy, the wind is not as big of a problem (although it can still be windy!) as is found further down the valley. As a result, a float tube, inflatable raft or canoe will generally work ok on Swiftcurrent Lake, particularly in the morning hours before the afternoon "breeze" kicks in.

Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park
Photo Use Guidelines

In addition to the hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake, the Many Glacier Campground is located just up the road and provides the only camping facilities in the Many Glacier Valley. Regarding this campground, a word of warning is due. This campground fills up very early and quickly during the summer, so if you want to stay here a night plan on getting here early.

Finally, the area around Swiftcurrent Lake serves as the nucleus for many hiking trails that head up into the surrounding mountains. Beautiful hiking trails, such as the Grinnell Glacier Trail, Iceberg Lake Trail and Swiftcurrent Pass Trail all begin here.

Any trip to Glacier National Park should include a side trip up to the Many Glacier Valley. It is just as scenic, if not more so, that the scenery found along the Going to the Sun Road.

Camping Gear & Equipment Guide for Glacier National Park

Camping Tents : Find the right tent to fit your specific needs
Sleeping Bags : A Guide to getting the right sleeping bag
Sleeping Pad : Why you need a good and warm sleeping pad

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