Easy walk to Eagle Lake, then skirt left-hand side of lake for about two miles – there is a small trail. You’ll criss-cross the stream for the easiest walking. Proceed up steep scree slope, connect with trail that takes you into the canyon. Proceed up canyon about two miles until you reach toe of Flute Glacier. This glacier is crevassed and only part of it is safe to travel on without glacier training and equipment. A route up Eagle Peak is available from this location at toe of glacier.
After skirting Eagle Lake, remove hiking boots, socks, and put on tennis shoes. This will allow you to take the easiest route along the stream to the end of the valley, crossing the small stream several times and walking on gravel bars. Once you walk the mile to the head of the valley, before you ascend into the canyon, remove tennis shoes, and put on hiking boots with nice, dry, warm socks! Leave tennis shoes there – nobody will take them, at least, no one would ever take MINE!
Water is plentiful but build in lots of time because it’s a 24-mile round trip if you decide not to camp at Eagle and/or Symphony Lake. Winds can really rip through the canyon so be prepared with protective clothing.
Note from the webmaster: I’m real glad Frank submitted this hike. I’ve been to Eagle and Symphony Lakes quite often and really love it there. I’ve always wanted to check this glacier out but for some reason I never have. He has definitely motivated me to get cracking.
PS: If you’d like to educate yourself about glaciers and their awesome power, please visit All About Glaciers, a great introductory website.
Take the Glenn Highway to the Eagle River Loop / Hiland Road exit. Turn right off the highway, and then another right onto Hiland Road, which you will follow for several miles, nearly all the way to the end. Turn right on South Creek Road, then another right on West Creek Drive. The parking area for the trailhead will be on your left. This is a very popular trail, and on a busy summer weekend (especially if the weather is nice), expect to find cars overflowing the parking lot and lined all along the side of the road.