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.
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Grinnell Glacier Reviews
Staying at Swiftcurrent made access to great hiking trails very easy. The trail to Grinnell Glacier was spectacular, even though we couldn't get past Grinnell Lake to Grinnell Glacier due to a heavy.... more »
I hiked to Grinnell Glacier in July 2019 and have thought about it literally every day since. It is truly that amazing. I have a healthy fear of heights, so I was apprehensive about this hike but at..... more »
A stunning glacier on the northeast side of the Garden Wall with an intensely turquoise tarn.
Grinnell Glacier was our favorite trail in the park. We also hiked Iceberg, Avalanche, and Highline. The overlook was amazing and well worth the hike. Lots of beautiful wildflowers, lakes, a waterfall, and a weeping wall. Less strenuous than the Highline trail but heavily trafficked. Had to get here early (around 8:30) to get a good parking spot. If you get here too late, they will close access to the entrance until parking is available.
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