Ptarmigan Tunnel Route
ElevationAscent: 2,283' 696 m
Descent: -2,283' -696 m
High: 7,231' 2,204 m
Low: 4,961' 1,512 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“A run up to a unique 250-foot tunnel through a sheer, rock wall with incredible views on each side.”— Jake Bramante
The trail heads into the forest with scattered views as you go by Ptarmigan Falls at mile 2.6, which you can see through the vegetation. The Iceberg Lake Trail splits off just after Ptarmigan Falls. The trail continues and gets steep once again. Huckleberries are plentiful here, and black bears are not uncommon, so be prepared. At a little over 1.6 miles from the junction, you'll reach Ptarmigan Lake. You'll see the two switchbacks up on the slope to the tunnel. There is definitely more than a little work ahead of you, but once you reach the tunnel it will all be worth it.
The views looking back down the drainage over the lake are fantastic. The views on the other side of the tunnel are even more breathtaking. The trail on the other side was hewn from the red rocks and offers staggering views onto Elizabeth Lake and the Belly River drainage. It’s time to turn around, enjoy the views looking into Many Glacier, and drop back down to your vehicle.
This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visithike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to run.
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Land Manager: NPS - Glacier National Park