"Can I hike 9.1 miles in a few hours?"
"How many miles do I have to hike each hour to make it back to the boat by 5pm?"
I agonized about the hike to Grinnell Glacier for days after I decided I wanted to hike it with my husband. 9.1 miles roundtrip is the longest hike I've ever attempted, so it seemed pretty daunting to me.
Then, I read that only the first 3 miles was open because there was still heavy snow.
R E L I E F
Then, I read that the trail was now open.
D R E A D again...
What took my mind off of the hike was the two boat tours that lead us to the beginning of the trail head. It was spectacular and worth every penny!
The hike started at Many Glacier Hotel in East Glacier. You could also rent kayaks and enjoy Swiftcurrent Lake at your leisure there.
Tours are a most at Glacier because of the historical commentary. We learned that there was a huge fire that almost burned the hotel down and that the hotel staff risked their lives to save the hotel. I'm glad they did, because it is a beautiful replica of a Swiss chalet.
After a 20 minute boat ride, we got to shore and completed a short 1/4 mile hike to Lake Josephine where we took another boat ride to the other side of Lake Josephine. From there, you could either return or get a ticket for a return boat ride every hour until 5pm. Since we were continue to Grinnell Glacier, we took the ticket.
Look how beautiful the blue waters are!
I highly recommend this boat tour even if you don't continue onto the hike.