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Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

Categories: Geologic Formations, Hiking Trails, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.9/5 based on 400+ reviews on the web
Grinnell Glacier is in the heart of Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. The glacier is named for George Bird Grinnell, an early American conservationist and explorer, who was also a strong advocate of ensuring the creation of Glacier National Park. The glacier is in the Lewis Range and rests on the north flank of Mount Gould at an altitude averaging 7000ft, in the Many Glacier region of the park.The glacier has been one of the most photographed glaciers in the park and many of these photographs date back to the mid 19th century. When compared with images taken over subsequent years, the glacier has obviously retreated substantially. In 1850, at the end of what has been referred to as the Little Ice Age, Grinnell Glacier measured 710acre, including the area of The Salamander Glacier, an ice apron or shelf glacier that used to be attached to Grinnell, but is now separate. By 1993, Grinnell Glacier measured 220acre and The Salamander measured 57acre.Between 1966 and 2005, Grinnell Glacier lost almost 40 percent of its acreage. Glaciologists have predicted that if carbon dioxide levels increase at a worst-case scenario, all the glaciers in the park, including Grinnell, will disappear by the year 2030. However, under a modest increase in overall carbon dioxide levels, some glaciers will remain until the year 2277.Gem Glacier, one of the smallest remaining glaciers in the park, is located on the Garden Wall above Grinnell. Repeat photography taken between the years 1938 and 2009 (as shown below) show that Grinnell Glacier has retreated significantly over that period. The Salamander and Gem Glaciers have shown little change in area over the same period of time. The Salamander receives its name for its shape and its coloring, which comes from the serratia bacteria that grows on it.
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  • This is not a difficult hike, but a long one. We were fortunate to get reservations for the guided hike, including boat rides across two lakes to make the hike more do-able. Highly recommend the guide...  read more »
  • After we took two boats to cross the lakes, We started our hike to Grinnel Glacier. Its wasnt that easy and took us 4 hours round, but the views up the glacier are beatifull. 
  • I chose a pretty bad day to take the hike to the Grinnell Glacier. About 2 hours into the hike, it began to hail, and then turned to snow. It was very cold. Along the trail, your are likely to see moo...  read more »
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