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Lake of the Hanging Glacier Trail [PDF]

General Trail Info

Name of the trail

Lake of the Hanging Glacier Trail


A world renowned well used trail to a glacial lake sourrounded by rockwalls and hanging glaciers. There is an area for camping before the trail gets to the lake.

Trail can be used for the following activities


Directions to the trailhead

From Radium at the 4 way main intersection head W down to the Lumber Mill and the Columbia River. Turn on the Horsethief Creek Forest Service Road and follow it to a four way intersection with the West Side Road. Continue W on the Horsethief Creek road ignoring any turns to the end of the road at the trailhead parking. In some cases the road is not passable early in the season but is ususally always fixed up.

Detailed description of the trail

It begins by climbing up and around a wash out, and then follows an old roadway for 2 km to the trail registration box. From here the trail narrows, and starts climbing up towards the bridge over Hell Roaring Creek. (Note: this bridge is only installed for the months of July through August and removed during the off season, possibly requiring a treacherous ford over the creek). From the creek the trail climbs up into thicker forest and a junction. Stay left (the right trail leads to a horse crossing) to cross a metal bridge over Horsethief Creek.

From the bridge the trail goes along the creek for 1 km or so to reach the start of the switchbacks. There are 13 of them, and the grade is moderate. Once above the switchbacks, the trail goes trough the valley until alpine meadows are reached. This is where the camping area and toilet is. From here an 800 m hike past a beautiful cascading waterfall brings you to the head of the lake. Several rock bars must be crossed to get to the cairn

Status screen

This trail has been contributed by Kevin Altheim
This trail has been viewed 5248 times so far.

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Location and Amenities


Nearest city


Trail located in region

Purcell Mountains

Trail located in province

BC - British Columbia

Trail located in park

No Park


Availability of amenities

TrailPit toilet, Fresh water raw, Camping (Back country),


Name of the section

Lake of the Hanging Glacier Trail

Total distance (km)


Completion time (h)


Elevation at start (m)

Maximum elevation (m)

Average grade (%)

Maximum grade (%)


This section is in a


This section has a

Linear Return


Condititions @ Aug 13 2005

Trail quality and condition4
Road condition and accessbility3
Vehicle parking3

Point of Interest


Sources of Information

User comments

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