17 Photos - Jul 20, 2015
Photo: We hiked to up that valley on the right to Cracker Lake (at the base of Mt. Siyeh). Lake Sherburne is in the foreground.Photo: The trail started near the Many Glacier Hotel. This is one of the best places in the USA for scenic day-hikes of 10-15 miles each. CORRECTION: That is the Many Glacier Hotel (not motel).Photo: From this trailhead to the far end of the lake was about 13 miles round-trip.Photo: Mt. Siyeh on left - The water and "rock flour" from Siyeh Glacier is the source of Cracker Lake's powder blue water.Photo: Our first look at Cracker Lake - We encountered 10-15 people during the 13-mile hike.Photo: There are a handful of campsites for backpackers on the other side of that outcropping. You can see my friend (Tim) hiking on the trail toward that area.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Before the park was established, there was a copper mine at the head of the lake. According to legend the mine received its name when two prospectors, L. C. Emmonds and Hank Norris, after staking their claim, had a lunch of cheese and crackers on the site. - Then the lake was eventually also named "Cracker".Photo: Photo: The mine machinery is between that patch of snow and the lake.Photo: Photo: This is at the head of the lake where melt-water from Siyeh Glacier enters the lake. The opaque blue water of lakesĀ  like this is called "glacial milk".Photo: The melt-water contains clay that formed as the glacier pulverized that rock that it flowed over. The clay, called "rock flour", stays suspended in the lake and reflects blue light - hence the color.Photo: Heading out, the trail crosses a moraine. An end moraine is a ridge of rocks deposited at the end of a glacier.Photo: Trail starts near the Many Glacier Hotel at Swiftcurrent Lake - first 1.7 miles is crappy (used for horse tours), but after that its great. Its about 6 miles to the lake, with only 1,000 ft. of elevation gain.