Swiftcurrent Lake, Montana, USA

When many visitors to Glacier National Park think of lakes in the area, it is often Swiftcurrent Lake that comes to mind. Often photographed, this beautiful little glacier-fed lake hosts the Many Glaciers Hotel and is the one most park visitors to the east entrance first see. Stunning, with towering peaks reflected in the lake, Swiftcurrent Lake is the scene most remembered by park visitors. Nearly all visitors to the – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Swiftcurrent Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Swiftcurrent Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Swiftcurrent Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Swiftcurrent Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Swiftcurrent Lake

Lake Locations: USA - West - Montana - Glacier Country -

When many visitors to Glacier National Park think of lakes in the area, it is often Swiftcurrent Lake that comes to mind. Often photographed, this beautiful little glacier-fed lake hosts the Many Glaciers Hotel and is the one most park visitors to the east entrance first see. Stunning, with towering peaks reflected in the lake, Swiftcurrent Lake is the scene most remembered by park visitors. Nearly all visitors to the park, even if they aren’t interested in hiking, will visit this lake.

Popular boat tours take visitors from the hotel’s dock to the far end of the lake, where they can hike a few hundred yards to yet another beautiful lake. Or, they may rent a canoe or kayak or row boat and explore the lake at their leisure. The early morning boat tours often see a multitude of wildlife, including moose, bighorn sheep and the occasional grizzly bear. Trout rising to the surface leave dimpled rings on the water before the wind comes up. The air is crisp and clear, and all of nature’s beauty is on display. No wonder the vision of Swiftcurrent Lake remains in visitors’ memories long after they have returned home.

Just over 100 acres, Swiftcurrent Lake doesn’t have any official statistics on how deep it is. A 20th century report on the lake states that it consists of two basins, each between 15 and 30 feet in depth. The near shore shallows are great for a little wading, and fly fishermen often fish for brook trout either from shore or using the float-tubes they bring for the purpose. The row boats are often rented by fishermen to reach some of the more inaccessible inlets and coves where they try their luck. Average sized trout are hungry, even with boats plying the lake regularly. Although all visitors need a park pass, fishermen don’t need a special fishing permit for fishing within the park; the regular Montana fishing license will suffice. Regular visitors often bring their own canoes or kayaks and enjoy the water without time limits or fee concerns.

The shore of Swiftcurrent Lake near the hotel docks is the beginning of several of Glacier’s best hiking trails. There is an easy loop trail around the lake that is generally flat and easy walking. The Swiftcurrent Nature Trail loop is two-and-a-half miles long with a new vista opening up everywhere one looks. Great views of Mount Gould, Allen Mountain, and Mount Grinnell dominate the skyline, with snow-capped peaks forming a nearly continuous backdrop to the scenic lake. During the early summer, native wildflowers paint the small alpine pastures with points of riotous color. With a good pair of binoculars, hikers may see a bear or bighorn sheep on the slopes above. At the far end of the lake, a short diversion allows hikers to visit Lake Josephine. The Grinnell Lake Trail veers off to continue on to the longer, more strenuous hike. Staying on the nature loop takes one completely around the lake, with a variety of views all begging to be photographed. These are strictly walking trails. Other trails starting near Many Glaciers Hotel are also open to horseback riding. Guided horseback trips can be arranged within the park.

The Swiftcurrent Trail, beginning near the campground next to the Swiftcurrent Motor Lodge, eventually takes hikers along Swiftcurrent Creek on a strenuous trail to Swiftcurrent Pass, the Highline Trail along the Continental Divide, and the Granite Park Chalet. Other trails lead to Piegan Pass and other points of interest in the park. Glacier National Park is prime grizzly bear country. It is estimated that the park contains more grizzlies per square mile than any other location in the United States. When bear activity is high, trails are often closed, but they can appear along the trails at any time. Rangers will tell you to give them a wide berth and carry bear spray.

Many Glaciers Valley is one of the most scenic locations within Glacier Park. Staying at the Many Glaciers Hotel overlooking Swiftcurrent Lake allows visitors to experience the historic atmosphere of Glacier National Park, with continuous reminders of its origins in the early 1900s. The hotel still looks much like it did in 1915, and guest are sometime amazed to find that the rooms contain no such ‘modern’ conveniences as television or air conditioning. They are hardly necessary here; nature’s panorama is just outside, and the altitude keeps the temperature pleasantly cool even in summer. The campground near the hotel fills up quickly, so more active campers often move on to the back country campsites around Lake Josephine. Swiftcurrent Motor Lodge just down the road offers rustic cabins, motel rooms and yet another campground. There are no swimming beaches, since the water in Swiftcurrent Lake remains quite cold all summer. In winter park facilities are closed but trails are still open, although many may be impassible due to deep snow. Regular visitors sometimes use the lower trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Glacier National Park abuts the Blackfeet Reservation on the east a short distance from Many Glaciers Valley. A few services are located outside the park in the small towns of Babb and Saint Marys. Some lodgings can be found in these towns including a few guest ranches, small motels and bed-and-breakfasts. Local restaurants welcome tourists, and groceries and supplies can be purchased here. ‘Going To The Sun Road’ across the park is a not-to-be-missed drive with spectacular views. More private businesses can be found on the west side of Glacier Park. The largest city of any size nearby is Kalispell, over 125 miles away.

Real estate isn’t available within the park but is sometimes found outside of the park boundaries. The tiny town of Columbia Falls near the park’s western edge has several skiing locations and outfitters eager to offer their services. Private rentals are often available near here. The area is well worth a week or so to explore and see all of the sights, whether on foot, by car, or by boat and kayak. Don’t forget the camera and binoculars.

Things to Do at Swiftcurrent Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Park

Fish Species Found at Swiftcurrent Lake

  • Brook Trout
  • Trout

All About Swiftcurrent Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Swiftcurrent Lake

The Swiftcurrent Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Swiftcurrent Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Swiftcurrent Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Swiftcurrent Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Swiftcurrent Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Swiftcurrent Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 106 acres

Shoreline Length: 2 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 4,875 feet

Maximum Depth: 30 feet

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More Swiftcurrent Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

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  • New Swiftcurrent Lake photos coming soon!
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LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Swiftcurrent Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Swiftcurrent Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Swiftcurrent Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Swiftcurrent Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Swiftcurrent Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

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New Swiftcurrent Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi