The trail from the Fern Lake Trail-head to Bear Lake is an 8.8-9.0 mile one way trail that rises from a serene valley along a winding creek to heights of over 10,000 feet. In the gentle valley before the trail begins, one can see elk grazing and fisherman casting their lures to catch the delicious trout.
Heading up past Fern Lake, the snow pack was still well established, even in late June-so much so, that we thought more than once about turning around, but decided we’d already come far enough to warrant continuing.
After a treacherous few hours navigating the mountainside trail with a drop of several thousand feet into the valley below, we managed to overcome the worst of it and break clear of the snow and ice on the other side.
After climbing and crawling our way up over the pass we were finally able to descend the trail back down to Bear Lake in the valley below and catch the shuttle back to our campground at Glacier Basin.