Wowza! Strenuous with a little moderation. Wooo hooo! Switchback heaven OR hell depending on your perspective. Unimaginable beauty, and a defining point would be the totally different vista when you exit the tunnel on the other side. This hike rates right up there as one of my favs because you have an immediate kick your butt elevation gain and then you have an immediate kick your butt elevation gain and THEN you have Lake Ptarmigan for a nice ‘soak your feet in a cold pristine alpine lake and rinse you head wrap.’ After that? Yah, the switch back with a major kick your butt elevation gain, for a total of 2500 feet.
Coming down the mountain is far more arduous than going up for a couple of reasons; The trail is very narow, steep, and dry rocks make it unstable. Bring your sticks! The other reason; as you can imagine the descent is steep and it’s hard not to run. 😉
Bears concerned Kevin the most on this hike because two miles of trail were lined with Grizzly dessert – berries. Numerous campgrounds, trail heads and park sections were closed due to the high volume of Grizzlies this year. Yes, we saw four Grizzlies and three were close. Hind feet close. Check out this article of a Griz in Glacier sleeping on a tent AND stealing a pillow. 🙂
Warm up for Ptarmigan Tunnel with the Iceberg Lake hike.
Moderate elevation gain. Iceberg Trail ends at the Lake. If you’re there in August, you’ll likely see Grizzlies due to two miles of berry lined trails. No worries, they could care less about you. It’s the delicious Huckle and Blueberries they’re after. Do make much noise as not to alarm them and put them on the defensive.