Glacier: Cracker Lake

July 04, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I tried to head into Cracker Lake earlier this year and had to bail since the weather was too windy, the forecast called for 50mph winds. This weekend the weather looked pretty decent so I decided to try again. All I gotta say is wow. I have been to Cracker Lake before, but nothing beats watching a sunrise there. I would put it very high on the list of things to do in Glacier. The drive into Many Glacier Valley started off with a bear jam due to a grizzly on the side of the road, but we didn't care about the bear because the wildflowers were poppin'!

Wildflowers along the Many Galcier Road (4) 7.2.16Wildflowers along the Many Galcier Road (4) 7.2.16 Wildflowers along the Many Galcier Road (2) 7.2.16Wildflowers along the Many Galcier Road (2) 7.2.16

Once we got on trail it's a pretty boring hike for the first 4 miles or so minus a few open spots. Then eventually you get into the basin and you are greeted with this spectacular view.

Group Hiking in Cracker Lake (2)Group Hiking in Cracker Lake (2)

The lake itself is the most unique color of blue. It looks fake even in real life.

First View of Cracker LakeFirst View of Cracker Lake Hiking to Cracker Lake CampgroundHiking to Cracker Lake Campground

Eventually we made it to camp had some beers and whiskey, made dinner, and then explored the area during the last hour of daylight.

Dinner at Cracker LakeDinner at Cracker Lake   Head of Cracker Lake SunsetHead of Cracker Lake Sunset Canyon Creek SunsetCanyon Creek Sunset Canyon Creek and Cracker Lake SunsetCanyon Creek and Cracker Lake Sunset Cracker Mine Equipment SunsetCracker Mine Equipment Sunset

The next morning at 5:38 am we work up to an amazing sunrise. This was the entire reason that I wanted to come out to Cracker Lake and it didn't disappoint.

Tent view From Cracker Lake at SunriseTent view From Cracker Lake at Sunrise Cracker Lake Campground SunriseCracker Lake Campground Sunrise Cracker Lake at SunriseCracker Lake at Sunrise   Cracker Lake at Sunrise (2)Cracker Lake at Sunrise (2) Cracker Lake at Sunrise (3)Cracker Lake at Sunrise (3) Cracker Lake at Sunrise (4)Cracker Lake at Sunrise (4)   Corn Lily LeavesCorn Lily Leaves

After breakfast half our group left and the rest of us stayed to explore more of the area and relax. We started our way up Allen Mountain but again, it was SUPER windy so we decided to just chill in an awesome patch of beargrass where we watched a moose browse along the lake and the clouds float by.

Mount Siyeh and BeargrassMount Siyeh and Beargrass Relaxing in the BeargrassRelaxing in the Beargrass Emily at the Head of Cracker LakeEmily at the Head of Cracker Lake Me in the Furnace (2)Me in the Furnace (2)

After a few hours of chilling we were supposed to meet another group of friends back near the campground so we headed back to make lunch, finish our whiskey and catch some more sun. They never showed because the went on a different hike so we ended up taking a nap before waking up and deciding to head back to the trailhead. Needless to say it was a blast of a trip.

Canyon Creek Below Cracker LakeCanyon Creek Below Cracker Lake

Trip notes: The hike to the lake is straightforward: about 6 miles to the foot of the lake with 1,300' of elevation gain. The majority of the trail is fairly boring, it's mostly in the trees. Also, there are a lot of horses on the trail with means a lot of horse shit. On a hot summer day the smell can be pretty strong. Since the headwall of the lake faces east, watching a sunrise there is definitely worth it on a clear day.

Screen Shot 2024-01-01 at 12.56.39 PMScreen Shot 2024-01-01 at 12.56.39 PM Screen Shot 2024-01-01 at 12.56.50 PMScreen Shot 2024-01-01 at 12.56.50 PM


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