Swiftcurrent Lake sits in a spectacular setting in Glacier National Park, framed by the three massive peaks of Grinnel, Allen and Gould. Hugging the east tip of the lake is the historic Many Glacier Lodge. There are many fine hikes originating here, and one with perhaps the biggest scenic bang for the effort required is the simple loop around Swiftcurrent Lake.
Most visitors take the boat ride around Swiftcurrent, and that is definitely worth doing, but nothing beats the ability to linger at scenic views and set one’s own pace. Starting just west of the hotel, the trail winds along the shore with ever-changing views of the looming mountains. The inlet stream runs through a beautiful meadow, and at the far end on the lake there is a boat dock and a trail junction. At this point the hike can continue all the way to Grinnell Lake, passing Lake Josephine along the way (3.4 miles round trip), or just continue around the north side of the lake to complete the loop. Even for those wanting the shortest hike should take the 0.2-mile trail to the foot of Josephine for the wider mountain view. The northern shore segment of the loop has nice views too, but some of it is interrupted by a parking lot and the road. The view of Many Glacier Lodge from the north side is great, as are the falls at the outlet stream on the way back to the hotel.