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uww
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PostWed Mar 13, 2019 10:56 pm 
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Any suggestions for non-technical day hikes that get you up close with a glacier? I'd like to have some ideas to take out of town guests that may never get the chance to see one up close in person, but may not be up for a major approach. The toe of the Easton Glacier on the railroad grade trail is one that I have thought of- relatively easy and gets you right next to some impressive snow formations. Thinking more along the lines of being able to see big crevasses than vistas of carved out valleys.
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RandyHiker
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PostWed Mar 13, 2019 11:10 pm 
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"Glacier Vista" from Paradise on Mt Rainier gives a good view of the Nisqually.  Not an up close view, but good.  It's enough of a hike that you get beyond the paved paths around Paradise.  Probably not going to be melted out this year until late July or early August.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostThu Mar 14, 2019 6:07 am 
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As pointed out, both the Easton from Railroad  Grade that you mention and the Nisqually that Randy describes are excellent.
Another is the Coleman Glacier from the Heliotrope Ridge Trail. If you take the trail to its eastern end you look right down on the lower reaches of the Coleman and across to the Roosevelt Glacier.  Expect numerous crevasses and seracs but also loads of debris on the ice. I used to take my Glacial Geology students there.
Be very careful  while standing on the lateral moraine. While it should be obvious enough, it overhangs in places. A safer viewpoint is 'Lunch Rock', a prominent eroded remnant of bedrock.

Stream crossings can be challenging on the trail until we are past the primary snow melting season, usually not until at least mid-July.

Here is another possibility, the Scott Paul Trail,  on the south side of Mt. Baker,  that can be combined with Railroad Grade Trail for a full day but wonderful hike.

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zephyr
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PostThu Mar 14, 2019 9:15 am 
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I recommend Third Burroughs Mountain in Mt. Rainier National Park accessed via Sunrise Visitor Center.  This is a great hike after the melt out in July through September.  By following the ridge line of Third Burroughs south-southeast, you get up close to the Winthrop Glacier and the mountain  itself.  Lots of seracs and crevasses to look down on.  Here's the WTA write up.  ~z
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Mar 14, 2019 11:16 am 
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All the previous suggestions are good options.  Another is continuing beyond Lake Ann to get an up close view of the Lower Curtis Gl.
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DadFly
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PostThu Mar 14, 2019 11:43 am 
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Mnt Ruth up by Mnt Shuksan

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Mar 14, 2019 11:57 am 
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Mt. Baker area seems to be the place to go for most of these suggestions.  Here's another--Ptarmigan Ridge, all the way to the end.  Up on the rocky promontory on the edge of The Portals.  Good look at several of the glaciers of Baker, including the Rainbow directly in front of you (and below).
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Mar 14, 2019 2:11 pm 
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If you bring bikes you can ride beyond the gate at the Carbon River entrance to MRNP.  The road is pretty much flat.  Stash the bikes at the road end, then hike up to an in your face encounter w/ the Carbon Glacier (not sure how much it might have retreated; only time I was there was during college, which was...a few years ago).




I would only recommend it in late fall (due to water level), but wandering along up into Nooksack Cirque is pretty cool.  Dead ends at a huge wall on the north side of Shuksan w/ hanging glaciers above and all the chunks they've spit out piled up in the cirque below them.  The Nooksack River just suddenly appears out of the ice.
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Sore Feet
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PostThu Mar 14, 2019 6:00 pm 
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Heliotrope Ridge is definitely the best spot around, provided fording the creeks near the end isn't a deterrent.  The Emmons Moraine trail gets pretty close to the toe of the Emmons, and the Nisqually Moraine Trail probably gets the closest of any trail on Rainier, save for the Wonderland where it passes the Carbon and Winthrop, but it's a much longer hike to those.

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drm
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PostThu Mar 14, 2019 7:37 pm 
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Cooper Spur on Mt Hood gets you very close to the Eliot Glacier. Not all the way up either. One mile up from Cloud Cap parking to the stone shelter (ca. 6800') and then a few hundred yards off to the right and you are on a lateral moraine.
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Mar 14, 2019 8:53 pm 
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I was going to suggest a few trails, but everyone else already mentioned them.

Cascade Pass is a good option as well.  It doesn't get you quite as close as some of the others mentioned here, but you come shoulder level with them, and can watch and hear them avalanche in the spring.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostSun Apr 14, 2019 7:48 am 
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Here is more info.  about one of the recommended places to get up close to a glacier in relative ease and  safety.
http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8022653

Although the report focuses on the volcanic geology encountered, it also briefly describes the scene overlooking the lower Coleman Glacier.

Edit: duh! I already linked this report in an earlier post.
One's memory is a terrible thing to lose doh.gif

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Foist
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PostTue Apr 16, 2019 1:24 pm 
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Glacier Basin at Mt. Rainier is good one, and melts out fairly early, although earlier in the season you won't see any exposed ice, of course.  The other suggestions here are good ones too.  I think Heliotrope Ridge is the most impressive, because the crevasses are so huge and the view is almost right on top of them.  But I further echo the comments about the stream crossings, they can even be challenging in August.  My 60+ year old mom slipped and hurt herself crossing one of those streams and the injury lingered on for a long time.
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