Blackfoot Glacier Basin

Pumpelly Glacier, Blackfoot Glacier Basin and Jackson Glacier as seen from Mount Logan

Blackfoot Glacier Basin at sunset

Blackfoot Glacier Basin and Jackson Glacier from Fusillade Mountain

Blackfoot Glacier Basin upclose

Blackfoot Glacier Basin lakes, Reynolds in the background

Blackfoot Glacier Basin is a mammoth expanse of rock and ice. Blackfoot Glacier Basin is of course home to the receding Blackfoot Glacier, but the terrain being exposed by this recession is unlike anything we have ever seen. The expanse of glacier-carved rock is mind-boggling in its size, as well as in its views of the surrounding peaks. Usually not a destination unto itself, the Blackfoot Glacier basin also contains numerous waterfalls and streams and even two large high-altitude glacial lakes. Named “Old Man Ice” by the Blackfeet, this glacier split into two in the mid 20th century, giving birth to Jackson Glacier. In 2012 and 2014, large portions of the large ice wall of Blackfoot Glacier collapsed, accelerating its recession. Early explorers were blown away by the majesty and sheer size of Blackfoot Glacier. George “Bird” Grinnell dubbed the surrounding area the “Crown (jewel) of the Continent” and early cartographer and glaciologist F.E. Matthes in 1904 wrote ” Here is a scene which dwarfs the Yosemite Valley and makes the Grand Canyon seem commonplace”. Although Blackfoot Glacier is receding, we still tend to agree with these assertions.

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