In the summer Canwell Glacier is reachable by a rough gravel road. An ATV trail parallels the glacier for a couple miles after the road ends, doubling as a nice hiking trail with amazing views of the glacier valley. Like Castner Glacier, you can spend all day roaming around the moraine looking for interesting features like caves, meltwater canyons, glacial lakes, and more, or you can press up the glacier as far as you desire. Unlike Castner Glacier, though, it only takes a mile of hiking over rough moraine to reach bare ice, and from that point it is rather easy to continue up the glacier. It’s easy to avoid crevassed areas and other dangers, and you don’t need crampons, axes, or any other special gear. If you hike up the glacier you’ll spot the Lower Canwell Hut and have great views of Institute Peak, which lights up beautifully around sunrise and sunset in the summer. Those looking for an easy hike with beautiful scenery can simply stay on the trail and explore the hillside above the glacier. In early summer and possibly September, snow cover may restrict how far you can hike up the glacier. Snow generally melts off the lower glacier moraine by the end of May, but may remain on the upper section of the glacier into mid-June.
Route Length (half-day): up to 2.5 miles (one-way), elevation gain 800 feet
Route Length (full-day): up to 6 miles (one-way), elevation gain 1500 feet